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StreetShares Blog - The Resource Center for Veteran Small Businesses

StreetShares Blog

The Resource Center for Veteran Small Businesses

Topics

Attention Small Contractors: How to Entice a Large Contractor to Join Your Bid Team

By Steve Delahunty on November 8, 2017


This post is a guest submission from Steve Delahunty, Chief Executive at 
Arcetyp LLC. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official opinions, policies, or positions of StreetShares or any of its affiliates.

Have a great bid opportunity and want some big contractor guns to ensure the win?  This can be a challenge.  That big contractor you want to work with is established...  you are not.  They are well-known...  you are not.  But you know you can win if you can just get that big contractor onboard for that bid...  

You can guess the challenge here: large contractors are often wary of joining forces with small ones let alone even subcontracting to small ones that they do not know well.

So, not surprisingly, large contractors have a usual set of questions they want answered to their own leadership in order to engage a small contractor as a possible prime.

These requirements encompass elements such as the agreement's content, access and transparency to pricing, sign-off on the final proposal, and other areas.  You need to be ready to address these.  

How do you get ahead of the game?  Easy.  Just read the rest of the post.  Know the proactive measures you can take to handle the above areas and the general concerns over how risky you may be perceived as a small contractor prime.

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Veteran Owned Small Business Award Finalists

By Thomas Moody on November 7, 2017

The Veteran Small Business Award continues! We have 12 great veteran business owners with very unique companies. Take a quick peak at the finalists below and remember to cast your vote on the StreetShares Foundation voting page. Vote now and help three veteran business owners get grant funding.

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Starting Out in the Government Contracting Market

By Rabiah Sutton on October 18, 2017

This post is a guest submission from Rabiah Sutton from FWDthinkThe views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official opinions, policies, or positions of StreetShares or any of its affiliates.

When your company is new to government contracting, it’s hard to know where to begin. It’s tempting to start by targeting an agency you’ve heard about in the news, from a friend or family member, or even a client you’ve done work with in the past.

While it’s important to document which agencies could be possible targets because you have inroads there, it’s usually a mistake to start there or worse create a strategy around those inroads. Instead, ponder the following three questions:

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Defying Unemployment Rates Among Military Spouses through Entrepreneurship

Military spouses share a commonality among themselves as they may go through several permanent change of station (PCS) moves and are always transitioning with new friends and communities. The military spouse lifestyle not only affects one’s personal life, but also his or her professional life. 

More than 18 percent of employed military spouses have seasonal or temporary jobs and 82 percent of those spouses would prefer a permanent position, according to a study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation1.

Even though there has been a decline in military spouse unemployment from 23 to 16 percent, according to recent studies by the Department of Defense and the U.S Chamber of Commerce Foundation, military spouse survey respondents appear to be underemployed and not fully utilizing their skill sets.

We’ve worked with several military spouses who are defying these statistics because they’ve turned into entrepreneurs and small business owners. You may remember our list of the Top 10 Most Influential Military Spouse Business Owners who have made a difference in military spouse communities and are helping to decrease military spouse unemployment and underemployment. 

Today, we’ll take a deeper dive into the story of one military spouse business owner, Stephanie Brown, CEO of The Rosie Network. She'll tell us how she got started, how she's impacting the veteran and military spouse community and how she continues to grow with veteran business loans and small business financing.

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“Serving” Again to Support Military Veteran Business Owners

By Ed Walters, Chief Marketing Officer on September 7, 2017

I come from a family of military veterans. I am a graduate of West Point and served in the US Army before entering business. My grandfather served in the Army Air Corps during WWII, my father served as an Infantry Officer in Vietnam, my brother served in the US Army at the same time I did, and now my oldest son is finishing Army ROTC with plans to become an Army medical doctor.

There were times when I wished I had stayed in the Army for a full 20+ year career instead of entering the corporate world. I have worked for amazing companies, but the camaraderie of going through tough shared experiences in the military with my brothers and sisters in arms built bonds that we will forever share. I missed the supportive social network where everyone helped their teammates through the good and bad times, and to be honest, how we joked and ribbed each other in good nature. 

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Applying for a Small Business Loan? Here are 10 Things to Know

By StreetShares on September 1, 2017

For many small business owners as well as veteran-owned business owners, the loan application process can be tedious and overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to start and how exactly to present yourself to a potential lender. That’s why we’ve compiled this checklist for you to reference as you pull together your business loan application for a term loan, line of credit or if you’re mobilizing for contract financing from a factoring company.

What to Know Before You Go

Loan request approvals depend on how well you present yourself, your business and your financial needs to your business lender. The best way to do that is to know beforehand the answers to the most common questions lenders may ask:

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4 Things to Do Before You Submit & How to Bid for a Government Contract

By StreetShares on August 16, 2017

In our government contracting blog series, we’ve looked at why the Federal Government is a good opportunity for many different types of small businesses. We’ve discussed potential advantages like set-asides made for veteran-owned businesses, how some great modern tools can help you evaluate your market and find the financing you need to start these projects. Now, let’s dive into how to bid for a government contract.

This article is an excerpt from, “The Government Contractor’s Handbook,” which includes step-by-step guides and eight chapters of resources. Download it now.

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Closing the Civilian-Military Gap with Small Business Lending and Investing

Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Aaron S. Patterson

Many people have asked why a lifelong finance professional like myself, with years of experience from large banks such as Capital One and Wells Fargo, would join a veteran-focused startup even though I’m not a veteran. While the answer might not be clear to some, it is very clear for me. My personal, very focused mission is to give back to veterans who have created this space for me to be free. Some call actions like this an attempt to close the Civilian-Military divide.

During World War II, more than 9 percent of the American adult population served in the military. In the past decade, less than 1 percent of Americans have served in the armed forces, according to the Pew Research Center. The result is that the younger population has less of a family connection with the military. For 18-29 year olds, just 33 percent have an immediate family member who served in the military, according to a survey by Pew Research Center, while 70 percent of adults aged 50 and older do. 

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Why You Should Consider a Financial Capability Letter Before Bidding

Bidding season for government contractors is in full swing. As a small business owner, you’ve already got an advantage when bidding for government contracts. Furthermore, if you’re a registered Veteran Owned Business (VOSB), Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), 8(a), HUBZone, or Women-Owned small business, you’ve got an even better chance at winning a contract. Other than the size of your business or how you’re registered, though, what else does the government look at when choosing the right small business to work with?

As part of our government contracting blog series, you’ve seen that following all of the guidelines and responding to every requirement the contract sets forth is important when writing your proposal. We’ve also shared another great tip – to think about your government contract financing plan ahead of time. Now we’re training our sights on making sure you have financing in place prior to winning a bid.

Why do we think this is essential? Because the best time to think about financing is before you bid or have been awarded the contract. Knowing you have financing in place can provide extra assurance that you will be able to fulfill your part of a contract as a subcontractor to a prime contractor. Besides, in many cases, the government is going to require this from you; i.e. they’re going to want you to prove you have the financial capability to actually perform the contract you want to win. The first step in proving this capability is with a Financial Capability Letter. Click here to watch the recorded webinar on contract financing below.

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How to Understand a Swift Capital Business Funding Offer

By StreetShares on July 27, 2017

As a small business owner, when you’re looking to partner with another business or bring in a partner of the company, you’re looking for trustworthy, business savvy people. The same should be sought after in your small business lenders. We all know that getting an SBA business loan, traditional bank loan or VA business loan can be challenging if you don’t have enough revenue or time. That’s the reason why online small business lenders exist.

We’d like to help you compare your business loan offers from different small business lenders. We’ve provided business loan calculators to help you see the true cost of capital of an OnDeck loan offer and for Kabbage loan offers. Today, we’ll help you understand how a Swift Capital loan offer works. 

Swift Capital Loan Offers

As we’ve stressed in the past, the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the most important number you’ll need to understand when analyzing the true cost of capital. When receiving a Swift Capital business funding offer, you’ll see percentages described as the “price,” but not the total cost in APR. Use the standard calculators below to help you calculate the true cost of funding with the APR.

Use these calculators to help you understand the difference among other business loan offers.

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