How Women-Owned Businesses are Gaining a Foothold in the Public Sector

Mar 17, 2020
Bidsync Industry Blog

Did you know that the federal government's goal is to award at least five percent of all federal contracting dollars to women-owned small businesses each year? Or that many state and local governments have even more ambitious goals?  

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker just filed legislation on February 27, 2020, to increase the minimum percentage of state contracts that must be awarded to women-owned businesses to 8.8 percent, and many cities such as Philadelphia are hoping to secure upwards of 35 percent participation from minority, women, and/or disabled-owned enterprises (M/W/DSBEs) collectively on its contracting solicitations.  

In order to meet these goals, public sector entities automatically give women-owned businesses additional advantages when bidding on many government contracts. Sometimes those come in the form of set-aside contracts that can only be awarded to women-owned businesses while other come in the form of additional points during bid scoring.  

The takeaway is that there is a lot of potential revenue out there for women-owned businesses that are willing to commit resources to do business with states, cites, counties, municipalities, schools, airports and, of course, the federal government. Surprisingly, though, a lot of that revenue is left on the table.  

According to a 2017 State of Women-Owned Businesses report, Las Vegas alone is home to at least 75,600 women-owned businesses. Yet, the Las Vegas Review-Journal did a little more digging found after a Small Business Administration database search that “only about 270 businesses [had, at that time] initiated the process necessary to compete for federal contracts specifically set aside for certified women-owned small businesses.” That doesn’t account for the tremendous number of state and local government solicitations that are seemingly lacking responses from women-owned businesses.  

Since we’re in the midst of International Women’s Month, which is all about empowerment, we wanted to share a few tips to help your woman-owned businesses take full advantage of these exclusive and widespread opportunities:  

Just don’t forget to secure additional small business, minority-owned, veteran/service-disabled veteran or LBGTQ-owned business certifications, as well as 8(a) and HUBZone designations, if applicable. There are many contracts exclusively set aside for award to bidders who have one or more of these Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) designations. 

In fact, it was doing these three things that helped small, woman, veteran and minority-owned business

Spectra Property Management, LLC, increase its revenue from the public sector. The Oklahoma-based company already had a reputation for exceptional customer service at the local level after just three to four months in business and was quickly being sought out by property owners across the U.S. Confident in the value of its service and ability to accommodate clients on a broader scale, Spectra began to pursue state and government contracts.  

But manually searching for newly-listed solicitations on each organization’s website was time consuming. There were literally hundreds to review just within the state of Oklahoma. The team also knew that relying solely on word-of-mouth notifications from industry peers could result in missed opportunities.  Not wanting to abandon its pursuit of public sector business, the Spectra team began looking for a bid notification service that would keep them competitive for government opportunities and allow them to focus only on client service and the actual solicitation preparation before eventually selecting BidSync. In just 10 months, it had maximized its visibility in the public sector and maximized in-house resources across all areas of the operation, which led to further growth as you can read about here.  

Remember: Time is money, and making this one change can save you both when going after government business. Spectra Property Management, LLC, is proof.