By Sara Webb, CEO, InTandem Promotions
Every time InTandem attends a WBENC or a GWBC event, we make a connection, grow stronger as an organization, and build on our future.
InTandem was thrilled at the opportunity to sponsor the recent Atlanta Tables of 8 event. The Georgia Power Team was engaging and enlightening. They not only provided the attendees with key insights in how to do business with them but also were active in what was needed to do business with Georgia Power.
We are so thankful for their continued promotion of WBE’s and their investment in time, energy, and resources. Definitely a worthwhile investment to attend, participate, and show up!!”
About InTandem Promotions: We are able to supply your company with every possible promotional product from over 3,000 suppliers. With so many ad specialties available there is a huge opportunity for professionals like you to boost ROI and leave a lasting impression with your customers. Our mission is to help you create long-lasting relationships with your clients through the power of promotional products.
It’s hard to say how long a business must invest before there is a return. In the federal government sector, the SBA usually quotes 20-24 months. In private sector it is usually much shorter. For EMI, the investment in Greater Women’s Business Council membership has been a win from day one!
Evolution Management, Inc. (EMI) has been a certified GWBC member for almost 10 years. I was first drawn to the organization as a result of experiencing the energy, commitment, and exposure Roz Lewis and her team demonstrate in their work for the collective “us” – woman-owned, small businesses!! Not only does EMI participate in as many networking and educational events as we can, but I also have volunteered on GWBC committees to “give back”, as well as continue networking and relationship- building.
EMI has seen many wins come from our GWBC engagements. First and foremost, are the relationships we’ve been able to make as we explore partnerships and get to know colleagues with whom we can brainstorm and discuss challenges. Second, we’ve had doors opened for us as a result of being certified by such a credible organization. For example, over the years, EMI attended several GWBC events hosted by the Delta, Georgia Power and Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Through those events, which also offered an opportunity to build a relationship with Supplier Diversity Program Managers, we positioned our firm to qualify for a procurement and recently were awarded a multi-year contract to support training needs for a large Atlanta-based organization. You know it’s a sweet feeling when all your efforts are finally noticed, and you’re given a chance to show what you can do.
EMI has also participated in several of the annual WBENC conferences. These events are HUGE — totally focused on companies and federal agencies serious about working with woman-owned, small businesses. Several years ago, at the Austin, TX conference, EMI had the chance to meet a Small Business Advocate from a federal agency. Through that brief conversation, assisted by the credibility of our WBENC certification, we had the opportunity to make an impression about how we could take on and support an upcoming need. Fast forward two+ years and many follow- up calls later –EMI recently won an award to assist with a large Human Resource consulting project.
EMI is grateful for GWBC opening the doors to make these connections and opportunities possible. We’re also excited and look forward to seeing what other seeds will sprout through other relationships we are cultivating. Finally, we’re grateful that we were prepared and ready with internal systems, resources and financial capabilities to successfully respond to these opportunities. I thank Roz and her team for creating professional and extremely fun events where business, learning, and networking can occur.
My advice to my colleagues – yes, there are those occasions when you meet someone and walk away with a contract – but those situations are rare. Instead of that approach, I suggest you declare yourself SUPER:
- Seen – Actively participating in GWBC, industry and networking events;
- Upbeat – Projecting a positive “Can-do” Image;
- Persistent – It takes time and effort to be successful;
- Educated – Knowledgeable about your industry and your target clients; and
- Ready – With people, finance and business system processes.
With over two decades of experience, Evolution Management, Inc. is a trusted partner to federal, private and academic clients focused on developing more efficient and effective organizations. We assist organizations to address and leverage changes associated with business needs, societal expectations, and technology advancements. We focus our consulting engagements in the areas of Organizational Effectiveness, Human Resources Management, Leadership and Staff Development, and Training (including eLearning). Visit our website at www.evolutionmgt.com.
Arriving to Palisades, New York in late September I cannot help but reminisce about the days when I started back to school. Even if you were not a school lover or a retreat lover, the Tuck-WBENC Executive Program is a MUST. Why? It allowed me a week away – away from the business and away from personal life to be with a small group of like minded women business owners.
Of course their businesses were all shapes and sizes, lengths of operations, and industry types; however, all very intelligent women. We were all different to some degree, but that was on purpose. The program allowed time to focus not only on your own business issues, but also provide a safe place for others to share theirs.
I really struggle to put words on this experience and perhaps that is why I sell nuts versus write blogs. I can say that without a doubt though that I would recommend it and do it all over again. When you go to any WBENC event and you witness people acting like they’re at a school reunion vs a business meeting, it will be because they were graduates of a Tuck program. It forms a unique class of women business owners each year that are bound together from then on.
Angela Bauer is an owner at Tropical Foods.
Tropical Foods is a second-generation family owned business founded in 1977. We start by sourcing the highest quality ingredients and then create snacks and mixes bursting with the bold flavors you love. With more than 3,000 snacks in our product line, Tropical Foods is the ideal snack partner for your business. To learn more, visit www.tropicalfoods.com.
By Keely L. Herrick, Trademark Attorney, KHerrick LLC
If you avoid going to the dentist, would that save you from ever having a cavity? Certainly not, and if you do have a cavity, waiting to seek help can make the final resolution more painful and expensive. Well, many business owners approach brand protection the same way: they wait until they actually have a problem to reach out to a trademark lawyer. If you contact a trademark attorney to help you with the search and registration of your brand name early in the process, you can avoid wasting huge amounts of time, energy, and money in the long run.
1. Order a trademark search before you start using the mark. Once you have gotten used to a new product or service name, you can become emotionally attached, and if you learn that someone else has rights in the trademark, it can be difficult to resolve yourself to moving on to a different name. It also can be very expensive if you have to take products off the selling floor (or even a website) and to redesign packaging. Receiving a cease and desist letter is stressful for even the most seasoned businesswoman, and having a trademark search conducted by an experienced attorney can help to avoid that unpleasant surprise.
2. Give the attorney the benefit of your expertise. You know your industry better than your attorney, so give her a heads up if one of the terms in your chosen brand name has a special meaning within the industry, or if it is commonly used. Obviously, we all know what a sock or a t-shirt is, but if your company offers financial services or a specialized form of consulting, for example, the meaning behind your mark may not be obvious to someone outside of your industry. Also, if you know of others using similar marks, this information is helpful to allow your attorney to offer the most informed opinion.
3. Secure rights to any logos or graphic elements. You know your industry better than your attorney, so give her a heads up if one of the terms in your chosen brand name has a special meaning within the industry, or if it is commonly used. Obviously, we all know what a sock or a t-shirt is, but if your company offers financial services or a specialized form of consulting, for example, the meaning behind your mark may not be obvious to someone outside of your industry. Also, if you know of others using similar marks, this information is helpful to allow your attorney to offer the most informed opinion.
GWBC members should know that a little bit of time spent with a trademark attorney at the beginning of the brand selection process can result in big savings in the long run. And it’s generally more fun than visiting the dentist!
Keely Herrick, Managing Partner, KHerrick LLC focuses her practice on intellectual property law, including domestic and global trademark prosecution, clearance, opposition and cancellation actions, enforcement, and licensing as well as domain name disputes and copyright matters. Prior to her current position, she worked in the intellectual property department of Katten Muchin Rosenman in New York City and at a boutique intellectual property firm in Atlanta.
Keely L. Herrick