Speed Dating Challenge
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There, a small business procurement officer waits to hear their pitch. The next bell will be in 20 minutes -- a brief window of time, but long enough to potentially kick off a lucrative business relationship.
On Wednesday, hundreds of entrepreneurs in the New York area gathered at a business event intended to demystify the process.
It's like looking for needle in haystack. Even before Barreto arrived in Washington, he saw the difficulties business owners had in finding contracting opportunities, so he began organizing networking activities to introduce large corporations to small businesses. Once at the SBA, he expanded on the idea and brought government agencies into the mix.
Now, six years later, the nonprofit organization Business Matchmaking holds events around the country to educate small business owners and help them network with potential customers, speed-dating style. At this week's gathering in Secaucus, N. While the event is free, it's not a free-for-all. Participating small businesses have to meet eligibility requirements, including having a DUNS number and registering with Central Contractor Registrationthe government's primary vendor database.
Event organizers pair small businesses with buyers based on the services offered and needed on each side of the table.
Hẹn hò tốc độ
When they sign up, they get prepped so they can take advantage of every minute of face time. But even if the match isn't good, we can suggest where to go at another agency. Michael Nicholas, a repeat visitor who flew in from Denver to attend this week's event, has received a Speed Dating Ngh A La Gi share over the years.
It was a pilot program at the time -- I had heard about it through the local Denver SBA office and decided to go because it was targeting minority-owned businesses," he recalls. That was this web page Though he didn't leave with any contracts that first time, he took away information that helped him better prepare for the next event.
I learned through the people I met -- Speed Dating Ngh A La Gi are straightforward and responsive to the 'how-to' questions. Some of the buyers, new to the event, were learning as well. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration attended because some of the agency's programs are switching from grant-based projects to contracts.
Looking down her day's agenda, Abdelrahim remarked, "I'm meeting 13 businesses today and they are more varied than I expected. But I see, for instance, an aluminum producer that can perhaps provide us with instrumentation to do research.
And even if they can't serve my programs, it's a huge agency and I can direct them. That's all some entrepreneurs expected. But I can make direct contacts to follow up with who have tangible leads," said Diane Paparo, who runs Diane Paparo Associatesa space planning and interior design firm in Manhattan.
Paparo started her company in the early '80s, focusing Speed Dating Ngh A La Gi large-scale space planning for corporations. But the CEOs started bringing her into their homes in the wealthy suburbs of New York, and her business model shifted more toward interior design. Unfortunately, that aspect of her business has been hit hardest by the recession, as clients reconsider the price they're willing to pay for luxury items. People have realized they can live in 8, square feet rather than 15, square feet," she said.
So now I'm seeking government contracting to even out the business model. That's a smart move -- while corporations cut back, many government agencies are investing in new initiatives. They buy fighter jets, but also security guard services and janitorial services. Business Matchmaking's next event will be held in San Francisco on July The organization will also hold events in Chicago and Boston in the fall. Diane Paparo at right pitches her interior design company to a representative from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
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Sarah Abdelrahim of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, reviews the list of small companies she'll meet throughout the day. By the end of the year. How to survive How to profit when buyers are broke Turning customers into repeat buyers. Would you attend a business networking event? Have you networked your way to contracts? Tell us about it. Speed-dating for businesses Procure your piece of the bailout The saga of the SBA and set-asides Start bidding for government contracts.
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