Many small business owners are unaware of the benefits of business certifications. As a small business owner with limited time and resources, understanding the benefits of business certification may be the key to increasing sales and maximizing business performance.
One of the key benefits of business certification is that they provide preferential treatment when seeking contracts. Many businesses and governments around the United States have a specific number of contracts that they want to award to certified firms. Securing a business certification is the only way to gain access to the contracts exclusively available to certified firms.
Another key benefit of business certifications is that they limit the amount of competition your company will face. Large corporations do not have access to the contracts that are specifically set-aside for certified firms. Certification programs level the playing field and provide up and coming companies opportunities that are not available to well known, established firms.
Additionally, many certification programs provide access to a wide variety of valuable business development resources including educational and mentorship programs. Many certification programs also offer seminars and workshops. These provide excellent opportunities to network with other successful small business owners. Business owners are able to exchange ideas and even establish relationships that could lead to gaining additional business.
Furthermore, business certifications also serve as a valuable marketing tool for certified firms as many certification programs have databases that include all certified firms. Many larger companies utilize these databases to find certified firms to do business with.
There are various types of certification programs. Understanding the main benefits of each type of certification program allows small business owners to select the certification that will most help grow their business.
Federal Business Certification
If your business is specifically targeting federal government contracts, then federal business certifications like the 8(a) certification program or the WOSB/EDWOSB certification programs would provide the greatest benefit. Gaining acceptance into these certification programs provides small businesses access to set-aside federal government contracts. Companies that have these certifications benefit from preferential treatment when federal government agencies are seeking vendors to do business with.
Local and State Business Certification
Many businesses provide goods and services that would benefit local and state governments. If this is the case then the business would greatly benefit from local and state business certification. Many cities and states throughout the country offer Women Business Enterprise and Minority Business Enterprise Certification. Securing acceptance into these certification programs provides access to contracts specifically set-aside for certified firms by local and state governments.
National Business Certification
Business certifications such as the WBENC and the NMSDC can help companies that are targeting commercial clients. The main benefit of these certification programs is that they provide nationwide coverage. If your company is targeting commercial clients throughout the United States, then these third party certifications would provide the greatest benefit to your company.
The benefits to securing business certifications are clear. Unfortunately, the application process can be intimidating. From the ample documentation required to the often ambiguous questions, small business owners must work hard to identify the business certification that will benefit their business most. If used correctly, business certification can be a great way for small business owners to gain a sustainable competitive advantage.
Ready to move forward in certifications for your business?
For more information regarding certifications, visit our Business Certification page or Contact Us at 407-857-9002
Wanting more? Check out our prior blog Should You Consider Small Business Certifications where we further discuss certifications for your business.