30 Aug Is Diversity Certification Right for You? 4 Tips to Help You Decide
If there were ever a loaded question, this might be it: is it worth becoming a Diversity Certified supplier? The answer depends a lot on your privacy needs, the size of the operation you run, your long-term goals and whether your company fits the diversity certification criteria.
If you meet the criteria, and bid on bigger contracts or work with larger partners, the certification process is definitely worth it.
Not every business meets the criteria required by the two certifying organizations in Canada – WBE Canada and WEConnect International. I took a quick look at what is involved in the process in an earlier blog – Certifying Your Company for Diversity Opportunities.
If you meet the criteria, and your company is looking to grow and bid on bigger contracts or work with larger partners (including government) then the certification process is definitely worth it to help open doors that might otherwise remain closed. After that, you need to be sure you have the right product or service; you still need to be competitive as you won’t get the contract just because you’re diverse-certified.
Is Certification Right for You?
The big question? Is certification right for you and your company? Let’s explore a few ideas to help you determine whether it is the right route for you.
- Are you willing to share in-depth information about your company? Certifying with WBE Canada or WeConnect International requires that you reveal your tax returns, financial statements, shareholders and incorporation documents. There will be an inspection of your business premises. Some business owners might not want this information shared with an outside organization.
- Are you really in a go big or go home situation? Maybe you don’t want to pursue contracts with larger partners or do a greater volume of business. It’s okay to keep your operation right-sized for you. If you’re not comfortable pushing your business to the next level, or you don’t feel your organization is easily scalable, then certification may not be right for you. But, if you’re ready to grow, go for it. Remember – this is a long process of building relationships with diversity managers in large corporations and then filtering these to the organizations who need your product or service.
- Do you want to develop mentoring relationships and access training workshops to help your business move to the next level? Then that’s probably a tick in the yes column. Both organizations offer opportunities to develop coaching and mentoring relationships with other certified women-owned businesses to help you maximize opportunities around implementing marketing plans and gaining supply-chain access. Additionally you can access webinars and forums aimed at helping you prepare to respond to requests for proposals and submit professional bids.
- Do you want to attend networking events with other like-minded women? Membership includes access to webinars and in-person networking events. This allows you to meet with other certified firms and create valuable partnerships. How exciting would it be to work with other women who know and understand the challenges you face? Women who have been there and done that, and are willing to share their knowledge and offer you guidance to help you maximize your potential?
Both organizations offer opportunities coaching and mentoring with other certified women-owned businesses
These are just a few questions to get you thinking about whether pursuing diversity certification is right for you. While certification won’t guarantee success, it does help you maximize the potential to grow your business, and it is a powerful marketing tool to support the promotion and development of your business in a global marketplace.
Sales Beacon is passionate about empowering women and developing opportunities in rural communities across Canada. Sales Beacon is proud to hold diversity certification with WBE Canada and WEConnect International.