Whether you’ve recently started your small business or have an established practice, learning to do business with the City of New York is crucial. Despite the challenges presented to all by the pandemic, the City has pushed forward, continuing to offer beneficial resources and mentorship to these firms through the New York City’s Department of Small Business Services (“SBS”). QED National’s President and Founder Colleen Molter has collaborated with NYC SBS on many occasions, and most recently participated in a panel to help Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (“M/WBEs”) learn how to effectively conduct business with City of New York agencies.
Ultimately, success is found through quality of services and determination, enabling positive reputations to develop. If City certified M/WBEs provide quality services and consistently take advantage of opportunities to communicate their offerings with government clients, their chances of successfully doing business with the City increases. A great beginning step, Molter advised, is to search public contracts in your firm’s service area and identify potential prime contractor partners. Developing relationships with prime contractors can be your foot in the door with government agencies, especially when demonstrating the value you may bring. Another path is to attend virtual trade shows and bidders’ conferences; both are ways to connect with government agencies and potential industry partners and to learn about the specific needs and goals of clients and industry partners. The more actionable steps firms take toward inserting themselves within the NYC small business community, the better their chances become of developing these business opportunities.
In addition to these recommendations, Molter spoke at length about her own journey, doing business with the City of New York for nearly 28 years and cultivating lasting relationships with respected leaders at City of New York agencies. It takes confidence and strength, Molter said, to be a small business owner as times will not always be easy – but, if you’re able to stay the course and refuse to quit, success is imminent.
“Staying committed and remaining strong has never been more important,” Molter said, closing out her session, “New York needs us.”