GSA cancels 2014 Training and Expo conference, offers alternatives

February 4, 2014 by

For the second year in a row, the General Services Administration (GSA) has canceled its annual Training and Expo conference because of tight budgets and reduced travel spending.

“After careful review of projected attendance and continued travel budget reductions, GSA has made the decision to not hold an Expo in 2014,” GSA’s announcement states.  (See: http://www.expo.gsa.gov.)

As alternatives to the Training and Expo, GSA is referring industry and government representatives to two on-line resources and local customer service resources:

  • Interact - Interact offers free on demand and webinar training.  It also provides an online forum for interactions with industry partners.
  • GSA Training - gsa.gov offers free on demand, webinar and classroom training on a wide array of topics and offerings.
  • Customer Service Directors  - GSA’s local Customer Service Director’s are equipped to offer local training for your organization.

GSA’s announcement suggests that the Expo could return next year, but in a different form.  ”GSA remains committed to addressing the need for training,” the formal announcement continues, “and will identify the most effective way to offer Expo 2015 to deliver better value and savings for our government partners, our vendors, and the American people.”

 

2014 calendar of free government contract training announced

January 31, 2014 by

Seminars on government contracting topics are being scheduled at locations throughout the state of Georgia in 2014.   These training seminars are free of charge and are sponsored by the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC).

The complete list of GTPAC seminars can be found at: http://gtpac.ecenterdirect.com/Conferences.action

Below are highlights of upcoming topics to be covered:

  • Need a solid introduction — or a refresher – to government contract fundamentals?   Then plan to attend our 3-hour ”Introduction to Government Contracting.”  This is GTPAC’s most popular training class — and most frequently offered!  You’ll receive an update on all the basics, plus learn how to sign-up for GTPAC’s free services.   In addition, GTPAC offers a 1-hour orientation on this same topic called “Fundamentals of Working with the Government.”
  • Unsure if you are properly registered in the federal government’s vendor database?   Our webinar entitled ”Fundamentals of Navigating SAM and Working with the Government” is the event for you.  You’ll learn all about the System for Award Management (SAM) and how it’s used to identify prospective contractors.
  • Want to learn about preferences given to women and other groups such as veterans in federal contracting?  Consider attending our seminars such as ”Women-Owned Small Business Programs” and ”Small Business Certification Programs.”  Both of these workshops provide solid orientations to all the federal contracting preference programs, including how to qualify.
  • Don’t know how to find or approach small business specialists?  ”Working with Small Business Specialists” is the class for you.  We explain the role Small Business Specialists play within government agencies, how to find them, how to present your credentials, and what to expect.
  • Interested in contracting opportunities at the state and local government levels?   Then ”Marketing to State and Local Governments” is the workshop you should attend.  You’ll learn about how to find contracting jobs right in your neighborhood, how to get registered as a vendor, and how to pursue local government contract work.
  • Curious about what resources are available to you on the Internet?  Our workshop entitled ”Using Your Computer to Win Government Contracts” will teach you all about the free resources and information available on the web that will help you identify government contracting opportunities, conduct market research about upcoming government buying needs, submit bids on-line, communicate with governments, and get paid.
  • Need help preparing a bid or proposal?   GTPAC offers multiple workshops on ”Preparing a Successful Bid or Proposal” where we cover downloading a solicitation, initial preparation steps, analyzing the evaluation criteria, building a bid or proposal, following submittal instructions, and obtaining a debriefing.
  • Trying to figure-out whether a GSA Schedule is right for you?   Our ”Understanding the GSA Schedule Process” is your ticket to learning whether there is a GSA Schedule that matches your business and, if so, the fundamentals of how to submit a proposal.
  • What about all the other things you need to know?  GTPAC has regularly scheduled seminars on topics like: ”Selling to the Military,”  ”Wide Area Work Flow,”   ”How to Create a Great Elevator Speech,”   “What is a Capabilities Statement and Why You Should Have One,” and much more.

Be sure to visit http://gtpac.ecenterdirect.com/Conferences.action today for a complete list of classes, locations, dates and other details.

Applications for SBA’s “Emerging Leaders” program now open

January 29, 2014 by

What is Emerging Leaders?

The Emerging Leaders is an intensive training initiative to accelerate high-potential small businesses’ growth in America’s inner-cities. This comprehensive curriculum provides the tools to catapult participating companies to the next level and help them emerge as growing, self-sustaining businesses in their community.  In Atlanta, the Emerging Leaders initiative is supported by a coalition of local economic and business development entities.

What does the Emerging Leaders advanced training entail?

Over seven months, participants are required to participate in approximately 60-80 hours of classroom instruction, generally two three-hour sessions per month. The method used is primarily instructor-facilitated discussion of the training curriculum. Outside subject matter experts are included as guest speakers to bring a “real world” perspective. Additionally, class participants meet and work in smaller CEO Peer Mentoring Groups for an additional 15-20 hours during the training period.

Topics/subjects include:

  • Business & Leadership Assessment
  • Finances
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Business Development Resources
  • Growth Action Plan

Eligibility and Requirements

The Emerging Leaders advanced training series is open to the President, Managing Partner, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, or Chief Operating Officer of small businesses that:

  • Are located in Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, and Rockdale counties
  • Have been in active operation at least three years
  • Have generated for the past three years an average annual revenue of at least $400,000 not to exceed $10,000,000
  • Have at least one employee besides the owner(s)

In order to successfully complete and graduate from the program, participants must not have more than two unexcused absences from classroom or CEO Peer Mentoring Group sessions. They must also prepare and give a 15-minute presentation at the last class session on a three-year strategic growth plan for their business developed from their learning experience before a panel of business and economic development experts.

There will be up to fifteen small businesses accepted for the 2014/Emerging Leaders program. This program is provided at NO COST to participants.

For more information, please contact SBA’s Dorothy Atkins (404) 331-0100 ext. 305 or Charlotte Johnson, (404) 331-0100 ext. 405.  Formal “Expressions of Interest” to participate must be received by midnight, March 21, 2014.  The 2014 Emerging Leaders class begins on April 21, 2014.

2014 calendar of free government training seminars announced

December 17, 2013 by

Seminars on government contracting topics are being scheduled at locations throughout the state of Georgia in 2014.   These training seminars are free of charge and are sponsored by the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC).

The complete list of GTPAC seminars can be found at: http://gtpac.ecenterdirect.com/Conferences.action

Below are highlights of upcoming topics to be covered:

  • Need a solid introduction — or a refresher – to government contract fundamentals?   Then plan to attend our 3-hour “Introduction to Government Contracting.”  This is GTPAC’s most popular training class — and most frequently offered!  You’ll receive an update on all the basics, plus learn how to sign-up for GTPAC’s free services.   In addition, GTPAC offers a 1-hour orientation on this same topic called “Fundamentals of Working with the Government.”
  • Unsure if you are properly registered in the federal government’s vendor database?   Our webinar entitled “Fundamentals of Navigating SAM and Working with the Government” is the event for you.  You’ll learn all about the System for Award Management (SAM) and how it’s used to identify prospective contractors.
  • Want to learn about preferences given to women and other groups such as veterans in federal contracting?  Consider attending our seminars such as “Women-Owned Small Business Programs” and “Small Business Certification Programs.”  Both of these workshops provide solid orientations to all the federal contracting preference programs, including how to qualify.
  • Don’t know how to find or approach small business specialists?  “Working with Small Business Specialists” is the class for you.  We explain the role Small Business Specialists play within government agencies, how to find them, how to present your credentials, and what to expect.
  • Interested in contracting opportunities at the state and local government levels?   Then “Marketing to State and Local Governments” is the workshop you should attend.  You’ll learn about how to find contracting jobs right in your neighborhood, how to get registered as a vendor, and how to pursue local government contract work.
  • Curious about what resources are available to you on the Internet?  Our workshop entitled “Using Your Computer to Win Government Contracts” will teach you all about the free resources and information available on the web that will help you identify government contracting opportunities, conduct market research about upcoming government buying needs, submit bids on-line, communicate with governments, and get paid.
  • Need help preparing a bid or proposal?   GTPAC offers multiple workshops on “Preparing a Successful Bid or Proposal” where we cover downloading a solicitation, initial preparation steps, analyzing the evaluation criteria, building a bid or proposal, following submittal instructions, and obtaining a debriefing.
  • Trying to figure-out whether a GSA Schedule is right for you?   Our “Understanding the GSA Schedule Process” is your ticket to learning whether there is a GSA Schedule that matches your business and, if so, the fundamentals of how to submit a proposal.
  • What about all the other things you need to know?  GTPAC has regularly scheduled seminars on topics like: “Selling to the Military,”  ”Wide Area Work Flow,”   “How to Create a Great Elevator Speech,”   “What is a Capabilities Statement and Why You Should Have One,” and much more.

Be sure to visit http://gtpac.ecenterdirect.com/Conferences.action today for a complete list of classes, locations, dates and other details.

Contracting Academy’s workshop makes GSA Schedule proposal possible in as little as two days

December 11, 2013 by

The Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech (The Academy) is now offering an advanced workshop designed to help businesses seeking a GSA Schedule contract.  The Academy’s two-day workshop provides all the necessary hands-on instruction to help any businesses seeking a Schedule to prepare a complete proposal to GSA.

Workshops are scheduled to be conducted in Atlanta, Georgia, and the next one is March 10 & 11, 2014.   Registration for the workshop is now open.

GSA Schedule Contract

Real world business scenarios are presented during this instructional workshop, tackling all the difficult and confusing aspects of the proposal process.  The Academy’s affordable course is designed to reduce the typical proposal preparation time frame.  Our workshop is conducted by experienced government contracting professionals who have helped many business people successfully land GSA Schedule contracts.

The Academy’s GSA Schedule Preparation Workshop provides your business with the ability to complete your Schedule in as little as 2 days, depending on how readily available your proposal documentation is.  Even if you are just starting your proposal, our GSA schedule workshop can shorten the preparation and submittal process to as little as 30 days.

Plus, as an added bonus, The Academy provides workshop attendees with four hours of time with our instructional personnel – after the workshop – to answer any remaining questions, review your proposal package, and provide follow-on consulting.

If your business has been thinking about going after a GSA Schedule contract, this is the workshop you have been waiting for!

Three Reasons Why You Should Attend:

1. Knowledge.  Understanding all of the aspects of the GSA Schedule proposal process can be a daunting task.  There are over 40 different GSA Schedules, each containing numerous subcategories called Special Item Numbers (SINs) – and all having unique proposal and contract requirements.  The Academy’s GSA Schedule Preparation Workshop reduces the learning curve associated with responding to all the details in a GSA solicitation document.  Participants in our Schedule workshop gain a solid technical understanding of each specific step in the GSA Schedule proposal preparation process, enabling you to complete your proposal faster and more efficiently.  Workshop attendees don’t have to spend countless hours researching requirements or spending time on the phone with GSA representatives.

2.  Time.  If you are a do-it-yourselfer, the time you’ll take to prepare a GSA Schedule proposal will likely take you between 9 and 12 months.   The Academy’s GSA Schedule Preparation Workshop shortens the time to submit, allowing you to have your proposal ready in as little as 2 days (for companies that have already begun the process) or within 30 days (for companies new to the process).  Our GSA Schedule Preparation Workshop provides you with the information, templates, knowledge, and the follow-up consultation services you need to finalize and submit your Schedule proposal to GSA.

3.  Value.  The cost of hiring a consulting firm to assist with your GSA Schedule proposal easily can range between $8,000 and $25,000 – or more.   Many businesses understand the value of a GSA Schedule consultant, but simply do not have the budget.   Other businesses understand that there is value in controlling their Schedule proposal as the first step in establishing and managing their relationship with GSA.   Priced at just $1,995, The Academy’s GSA Schedule Preparation Workshop provides the perfect alternative for any business that wants to save money and keep control of the process.   If your company is considering the proposal process on its own, our GSA Schedule Preparation Workshop, for a fraction of the cost, provides all of the instruction, templates, and coaching that most businesses need.

Summary of Benefits:                                                

  • Save time and money with The Academy’s instructor-guided, do-It-yourself approach.
  • Avoid mistakes that can delay or stop your GSA Schedule proposal from being considered.
  • Receive expert guidance, valuable instruction, and answers to all of your questions.
  • Gain access to templates and sample narratives based on successful GSA Schedule offers.
  • Receive up to 4 hours of consulting after the GSA Proposal Preparation Workshop to review your package and receive further advice.

Workshop Outline:

Part I – GSA Schedule Fundamentals – Getting Started

  • DUNS Number
  • SAM, Representations and Certifications
  • Digital Certificate
  • Past Performance Evaluation References – (Open Ratings)
  • GSA Schedule and SIN(s) Selection
  • Navigating through GSA Checklists
  • GSA’s Pathway to Success

Part II – GSA Schedule Proposal – Services/Products Offered

  • Corporate Experience
  • Project Experience and Resumes
  • Pricing Information
  • Commercial Sales Practices – (CSP-1)
  • Discounting Policy
  • Authorized Dealer Information and Letters of Supply
  • Labor Category Matrix
  • Catalogs
  • Organization Structure
  • Production Points

Part III – GSA Schedule Proposal – Required Documentation

  • Descriptive Narrative and Literature
  • Marketing Plan
  • Quality Assurance Plan
  • Professional Employee Compensation Plan
  • Subcontracting Plan
  • Financial Statements
  • Sales Forecasts / Previous 12 Months’ Sales
  • EPA Mechanism
  • Exceptions to Reps and Certs – FAR 52.212-3
  • Training Courses

Part IV – GSA Schedule – Contract Administration

  • The SIP Program
  • GSA Advantage!
  • Industrial Funding Fee
  • Contract Management and Maintenance

The Academy’s next GSA Schedule Preparation Workshop is scheduled to be conducted in Atlanta, Georgia on March 10 & 11, 2014.   For registration details on the workshop, please click here

Douglas, Lawrenceville and Savannah events focus on lean, green, safety and problem-solving topics

October 28, 2013 by

Georgia’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP), with help of regional partners, is launching innovative events in November, December and January, in three areas across Georgia.

These two-hour events will include networking, a one-hour training presentation on a specific topic, and a case study.

Meetings in Lawrenceville, Savannah, and Douglas, GA are scheduled as follows:

  • Where Lean Meets Green: Building a roadmap to sustainable solutions – Nov. 13, 2013 – Douglas, GA – Learn how to include energy and environmental wastes into your lean systems–a strategy proven to maximize your return on investments.
  • What’s New With OSHA? – Dec. 5, 2013 – Lawrenceville, GA – Learn how new special emphasis programs will impact Georgia manufacturers.
  • Effective Problem Solving: 6 Essential steps to solve problems in your organization – Jan. 16, 2014 – Savannah, GA – Learn to develop a problem solving methodology that focuses on processes, not people, and build problem solving skills at all levels of your organization.

Cost of each event is $10 – $15, and breakfast or lunch will be provided.

For more information or to register, visit: http://gamep.org/events-training/all-events-training/manufacturing-growth-educational-series/

’10,000 Small Businesses’ program now offered nationwide

October 7, 2013 by

Goldman Sachs has announced that its 10,000 Small Businesses initiative will now be offered to small businesses nationally, enabling small business owners from across the country to participate in the program. Small business owners in all 50 states can now apply to 10,000 Small Businesses, and accepted small business owners will receive intensive training and advice from business experts and peers at Babson College in Massachusetts.  To date, the program had been open to businesses in 15 markets across the United States.

10,000 Small Businesses offers qualified business owners:

  • The opportunity to create a customized growth plan that includes financial management, people management, negotiations and marketing.
  • One-on-one business counseling and a network of support from other small business owners as well as leaders in the business world.

The national program will be delivered through two, four-day sessions held at Babson College, the leading entrepreneurial school in the country for the last 17 years according to U.S. News and World Report, and 8 hours of coursework and interactive sessions per week delivered online for a total of 10 weeks. The costs will be covered by 10,000 Small Businesses.

“When you give small businesses owners the tools they need to grow their businesses, they create jobs and strengthen both the local and national economy,” said Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs. “We are pleased to be able to expand the reach of this program to help small businesses grow in every community in the country.”

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a $500 million program that aims to unlock the growth and job-creation potential of 10,000 small businesses across the United States through greater access to business education, financial capital and business support services. The program is based on the broadly held view of leading experts that greater access to this combination of education, capital and support services best addresses barriers to growth for small businesses.  10,000 Small Businesses is guided by an Advisory Council co-chaired by Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein, Warren Buffett, and Dr. Michael Porter of Harvard Business School. The National Urban League, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Babson College are also represented on the Advisory Council, among other groups.

“Babson is proud to extend the innovative entrepreneurship curriculum we designed for 10,000 Small Businesses to small businesses across the country,” said Babson President Kerry Healey. “The model we have created brings together Babson’s unique methodology, our experience working around the world with people growing businesses and our knowledge of how best to deliver effective blended learning programs. This educational experience is tailor-made for small businesses seeking to grow and create much needed jobs.”

The program is designed for small business owners with limited resources who have a business poised for growth. Business owners interested in applying must demonstrate a commitment to growing their business and creating jobs in their community. Businesses must be in operation for at least two years, have revenues of at least $150,000 in the most recent fiscal year and have a minimum of four employees.

Across the United States, initial results have seen that just six months after graduation approximately 63% of participants reported an increase in revenues, 47% have reported creating net new jobs and 76% are doing business with each other. The program also has a 99% completion rate.

Identification and selection of qualified businesses is led by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC).

“The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program provides the training, tools, and relationships to help local entrepreneurs and their businesses grow and create a self-reinforcing cycle of economic opportunity,” said Michael E. Porter, founder of ICIC and Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School.

The program currently offers education and capital in nine sites including Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia and Salt Lake City. Business owners based in, or near, one of these cities may be referred to the local program. Capital is also provided by local nonprofit lenders to businesses in six additional sites: Kentucky, Montana, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington.

Applications to participate in 10,000 Small Businesses at Babson College are due October 18, 2013 and can be found at http://www.10ksbapply.com/.

SBA offers workshops on government contracting topics

July 26, 2013 by

The Georgia District Office of the Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering several workshops in the coming months to help small businesses understand how to take advantage of SBA programs that can enhance their ability to pursue government contracts.

Below is the latest listing of SBA workshops, along with registration links:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to the above workshops, the SBA also provides a number of on-line short courses to acquaint small businesses with government contracting.  You can find these resources at: http://www.sba.gov/gcclassroom.

 

 

 

Free seminars on certification, registration, GSA Schedules, subcontracting, marketing to the government, and more scheduled state-wide

July 8, 2013 by

The Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) is offering dozens of seminars, in locations across the state of Georgia, designed to help your business navigate the government marketplace.

Not only are these seminars conducted by experienced subject-matter-experts, but each of them are offered at no cost to you!

Some GTPAC seminars are offered as webinars — so you don’t even have to travel.

Here is just a sampling of training sessions currently scheduled:

Understanding the GSA Schedule Process

  • July 9 – Carrollton
  • July 16 – Augusta
  • August 16 – Atlanta
  • September 12 – Savannah
  • October 10 – Augusta

Subcontracting with Large Prime Contractors

  • July 18 – Savannah
  • July 19 – Atlanta
  • July 24 – Warner Robins
  • September 3 – WEBINAR
  • September 3 – Albany
  • December 10 – Carrollton

Woman-Owned Small Business Program

  • October 23 – Warner Robins

Using Your Computer To Win Government Contracts

  • July 26 – Athens
  • September 16 – Atlanta
  • October 17 – Savannah
  • November 5 – WEBINAR
  • November 5 – Albany

Marketing to State & Local Governments

  • July 31 – Albany
  • August 5 – Atlanta
  • August 13 – Carrollton
  • September 26 – Albany
  • October 12 – WEBINAR

Remember, this is just a sampling of the training seminars that are scheduled right now.  Visit http://gtpac.ecenterdirect.com/Conferences.action to search for all GTPAC training seminars.  When you find one on a topic that interests you – in a location and at a time that are convenient – just click on the “Sign Up” button to register.

Make it a habit to attend GTPAC classes regularly.   Education is a key to success in the government marketplace!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customer discovery is topic of new 6-session course offered by Georgia Tech

July 5, 2013 by

How often does your team leave the office to talk to customers and potential customers about their overall product and service needs?

Reports provide good data, but customers provide great insight.

Beginning August 14, 2013, the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is kicking-off a series of six educational sessions designed to help you discover new customers and grow your business.

This intensive program will challenge you to ask the tough questions and provide you with real direction to organically grow your business before you invest excessive time and money.

By participating, you will learn how to:

  • Use rapid discovery learning cycles, and interact with several current and potential customers a week.
  • Gauge new customers, understand their problems, and learn about their needs.
  • Find new customers for your existing products or services.
  • Determine how to position your company to new customer markets.
  • Report your findings to the group and learn through real exercises.
  • Gain feedback from Georgia Tech coaches that can be applied to the next learning cycle.

For location, contact information, and cost, please click here: http://tinyurl.com/q4j9lo9