Thursday, February 27, 2014

Diversifying Your Success with Heather Cox

Ask Heather: What documents/package do I need to create to best present my company and my services?

A: Creating an image for your company is a crucial step towards success. It goes without saying that a website and business cards are often the first images perspective clients have of your company. Once an introduction is made and a next contact has been scheduled, some Supplier Diversity or Commodity Managers will ask for a capability statement. A Capability Statement is a one page document describing a company's expertise and experience: also known as Statement of Qualifications. Here is a sample template available on the WBENC website. From there, the materials can range from a short deck to a comprehensive power point. I do not recommend e-mailing large decks or power points to any perspective client without a specific request. If you are a company that produces a product (versus a service) having samples available is always a plus, but do not assume that a corporate manger will want to shlep additional materials home with them. Ask them if you can mail them a sample once they have returned to their office.
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Heather Cox is Co-founder and COO of Certify My Company, a diversity consultancy. Certify My Company was born with the goal of inspiring and helping diverse businesses grow while having more fun and time doing it. 

Certify My Company provides help to business owners by getting their qualified businesses nationally certified, linking them with large corporations and each other to increase revenue, connecting them to events and sharing expert knowledge and motivation. 

Additionally, Certify My Company is the comprehensive resource for Corporate Diversity Managers to grow and reach their diversity goals. Heather and her team are in a unique position offering the opportunity to liaise between the corporations and their diversity vendors.

Have a question you want answered? Ask Heather here: socialmedia@mbemag.com

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Diversifying Your Success with Heather Cox

Keeping in Touch with Corporate Contacts

Ask Heather: How should I consistently stay in touch with the corporate contacts I make, add value, and not pester them?
A: Each supplier diversity manger is unique. Therefore, your approach to each supplier diversity manager should be customized to their preferences. The most effective way to understand how they prefer to be followed up with is to ask them. Not only will they know how often is the right amount, but they might be able to inform you on the timeliness for your industry (when they typically bid on your industry, if there is a contract coming up soon, etc). Most importantly, remember that they are human and like most of us do business with people they like, know and trust. Learning more about them will help you understand how to do business with them!
______________________________________________
Heather Cox is Co-founder and COO of Certify My Company, a diversity consultancy. Certify My Company was born with the goal of inspiring and helping diverse businesses grow while having more fun and time doing it. 

Certify My Company provides help to business owners by getting their qualified businesses nationally certified, linking them with large corporations and each other to increase revenue, connecting them to events and sharing expert knowledge and motivation. 

Additionally, Certify My Company is the comprehensive resource for Corporate Diversity Managers to grow and reach their diversity goals. Heather and her team are in a unique position offering the opportunity to liaise between the corporations and their diversity vendors.

Have a question you want answered? Ask Heather here: socialmedia@mbemag.com

Friday, February 14, 2014

Diversifying Your Success with Heather Cox

Ask Heather: What do I need to do to maintain my certification?


A: As a WBENC and NMSDC certified supplier, it is imperative that you re-certify annually. Both organizations will send you reminder emails approximately 90 days before your certification expires, however, we advise scheduling a reminder for yourself, or outsourcing the process, in order to begin at least a month before the 90 day mark. Additionally, if there are any changes to your company throughout the year, we recommend immediately updating that information and marking it for your re-certification application.

______________________________________________

Heather Cox is Co-founder and COO of Certify My Company, a diversity consultancy. Certify My Company was born with the goal of inspiring and helping diverse businesses grow while having more fun and time doing it. 

Certify My Company provides help to business owners by getting their qualified businesses nationally certified, linking them with large corporations and each other to increase revenue, connecting them to events and sharing expert knowledge and motivation. 

Additionally, Certify My Company is the comprehensive resource for Corporate Diversity Managers to grow and reach their diversity goals. Heather and her team are in a unique position offering the opportunity to liaise between the corporations and their diversity vendors.

Have a question you want answered? Ask Heather here: socialmedia@mbemag.com

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Diversifying Your Success with Heather Cox

Ask Heather - Choosing the Right Events to AttendQ: What events make the most sense for me to be at?





A: Choosing events to attend can be daunting. You could probably attend a diversity event almost every week of the year, but this does not seem like an efficient use of money or time. Creating a strategic outline of your companys diversity imitative will help identify which events will be most effective for you and your company. Here are a few methods we find helpful in creating your event strategy:


1.Clearly understand your target clientele, your geographical reach, as well as your budgetary allowance.


2.If you sell to the Fortune 1000 community, or are on the cusp of selling to the Fortune 1000 community, most of the National Conferences for WBENC, NMSDC and/or NGLCC are fantastic options.


3.Each region of the aforementioned organizations have regional programming. These events are great for everyone, whether you sell to the Fortune 1000, their prime suppliers, government agencies or other diverse businesses. They are usually very cost effective and less time intensive than the national events.


4.Know the events your clients, or target clients attend. This information can be available on their supplier diversity websites and once you create a relationship, the companies themselves might just share that information with you.


5.Industry events. While Diversity events are a great way to meet supplier diversity mangers, and occasionally commodity buyers, do not overlook your specific industry events. Most likely this is where you will meet the decision makers for your specific product or service, then you can let your friendly supplier diversity manager who you met allowing them to act as your internal advocate. Knowing two (or three or five) people within a company is better than only knowing one.


______________________________________________

Heather Cox is Co-founder and COO of Certify My Company, a diversity consultancy. Certify My Company was born with the goal of inspiring and helping diverse businesses grow while having more fun and time doing it. 

Certify My Company provides help to business owners by getting their qualified businesses nationally certified, linking them with large corporations and each other to increase revenue, connecting them to events and sharing expert knowledge and motivation. 

Additionally, Certify My Company is the comprehensive resource for Corporate Diversity Managers to grow and reach their diversity goals. Heather and her team are in a unique position offering the opportunity to liaise between the corporations and their diversity vendors.

Have a question you want answered? Ask Heather here: socialmedia@mbemag.com