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Wyoming Business Tips for March 20-26

March 11, 2016

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Brett Housholder, Wyoming Entrepreneur Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) program manager

“I attended the recent GRO-Biz Conference and Idea Expo, and made some great contacts with contracting staff from government agencies. It sounds like I’ll have an opportunity to work with some of them, but I don’t know what I should do now that the conference is over. Where do I start so they don’t forget about me?” Brent, Evanston

One of the best aspects of our annual GRO-Biz Conference and Idea Expo is the matchmaking component that allows business owners to sit down, one on one, with contracting staff from federal and state agencies to discuss how their businesses can sell to the government.

In an economic environment that is unpredictable, many businesses are exploring the option of selling to the government because it can be steady, dependable work that can help supplement a company’s private-sector revenue.

However, after getting energized by learning about opportunities to expand their businesses through government contracting, many business owners return to their offices unsure of how to get started and, more important, how to make sure the government agencies they visited with don’t forget about them.

A great rule of thumb, after a networking event, is to follow up with anybody you spoke with during the event, just to remind them of who you are, what you do and what you specifically discussed at the event.

During these conferences, people will have dozens of conversations with many folks, so remembering the specific details of each conversation can be a challenge. Do not be afraid to remind them of what you discussed with them, and let them know that you are happy to provide them with any further information about your business they may need.

Speaking of further information, we have written in the past about Capabilities Statements, the document format that government agencies prefer when a company markets to them. If you did not have one of those with you to hand out at the event, a follow-up email is a great way to get that document to them. Simply attach this single-page document with relevant information about your business to a follow-up email to make an impression after your conversation at the event.

The PTAC is happy to help you create an effective Capabilities Statement as well as determine the best way to reach out to your target agencies after you meet them at an event. One of the things we always challenge our attendees to do after the annual conference is to keep up with the momentum. Events like this are a great way to get energized about expanding your business, especially during times when the private sector is slowing down. It’s important to keep the conversation going after the event ends.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at http://wyen.biz/blog1/.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email wsbdc@uwyo.edu, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.


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