There are so many routes to take when starting your own business. Early on, I was referred to the certification for being a Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and Texas Historically Underutilized Business (TX HUB). I pursued these certifications after the first few years of starting New Horizon Strategies, LLC.
Initially, the value was almost solely about feeling “official”. It was helpful to just make sure I had all the documents requested. Our own businesses are often a dream that we hope others will understand as we start selling our ideas! It can feel vulnerable to put ourselves out there. Even the smallest feeling of confidence that “I know what I’m doing” is huge when you’re first starting out.
“This was the first reason being a TX HUB transformed my business. Feeling Official”
For a few years, my target audience wasn’t the companies or agencies that typically utilized WOSBs or TX HUBs. I was focused on professional development and smaller opportunities to get traction on what we specialized in and why it mattered. But after 5 years, having a better-delineated service plan and customers who could verify our value, we began pursuing larger opportunities.
Had I not been certified; I wouldn’t have been as likely to know about these opportunities. Many large organizations and agencies have sites to become certified vendors. That’s fantastic! But, when it was just me not only delivering the services, but also doing all the marketing, admin, sales, bookkeeping, and professional development to grow, I just didn’t have the time. Thanks to the Centralized Master Bidders List (CMBL) which I was made aware of through my TX HUB certification, I was able to see RFPs, RFQs, and RFIs for which New Horizon Strategies, LLC qualified.
“This was the second reason being a TX HUB transformed my business. Knowing About Opportunities“
Where’s the beef?
In 2018, an RFP with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center for Executive Coaching was announced. Having applied for other RFPs with MD Anderson already, I was familiar with the organization and the proposal process. New Horizon Strategies, LLC was down-selected from the list of initial applicants to present (interview style) with a panel of leaders at MD Anderson. This was also something I was familiar with from having bid on other RFPs. We ultimately ended up winning a contract to provide executive coaching to the #1 cancer treatment center in the United States!
“This was the third reason why being a TX HUB transformed my business. Winning the Work!”
It wasn’t just about winning the work. Again, our lives end up being a series of “steps” that help guide our path and our aspirations to the next big goal. Winning this contract was a huge paradigm shift regarding what type of business we were. I had been thinking rather small before. My company is a single-employee company, so I can’t bid on big work. Not true! You can bid on any work that you can deliver with integrity, quality, and so much customer-satisfaction they want you back.
This paradigm shift enabled me to realize New Horizon Strategies, LLC didn’t need to be just me delivering all the services in addition to running the business (which are two full-time jobs). I brought on my first independent contractor to support this work after the first year of delivering high-quality services. By the next year, I had brought on another five independent contractors for all the work we were continuing to win, and we now have a team of 12 in addition to myself. I call our independent contractors CHAMPIONS because most of us have in many ways changed our entire careers to transform the people we work with, one individual, one team, and one organization at a time. We’re all championing helping the professional world come alive through coaching, consulting, and facilitation.
“Make no mistake. Winning the business (and winning it again because you’re tremendously good at what you do) will always be the sole responsibility of the business owner.”
Thank you, to the State of Texas, to all the procurement leads and HUB development leads in agencies and companies across the state for your foresight to establish a program that yields these confidence builders. The work you’re doing has supported our own Transition to Transformation success story!