Get That Certification

Monday, June 23, 2008

I was skimming this article in the LA Times about minority owned businesses and the Southern California Minority Business Development Council Inc., and this section gravitated towards me:

How does minority certification help?

It's like the princess in the castle. Yeah, [big corporations] would like to do business with minority businesses, but minority businesses have to fight through the bramble and brush and get there. They have to do what businesses traditionally do, which is to know their market, know the value they can bring, build relationships. If they get to the point of a bid or proposal, they have to be competitively priced and they have to meet credit requirements and have sufficient capital or resources to allow them to perform the service.

Then, if they can jump over all those hurdles like any other business, toward the end of that process, you say, "By the way, we are a certified minority business." Maybe it gives the corporation a chance to say, "We think we can get equal value but this minority company also allows us to be a good corporate citizen and allows us to meet whatever our internal [diversity] goals might be."
Completely agree. I think the bottom line is that if getting that certification helps you get business, you should go for it - forget about thinking you should go without it because you might feel like you don't need it, or you may feel like it's a handout -- it's not.

It's just part of the way the game is shaped to help make things an even playing field and I think if you're getting into business, you should use every advantage that's offered to you because in some ways, people have been using every advantage they have against you.