The Power of Participation……

Astra Board at Trade Mission

(Left to Right) Suchi Gupta, Caroline Gladding, Diane McClelland, Consul-General Cassie Doyle, Suzanne Lackman, Marcella Mandeville, Mary Anderson, Arlene Inch, Sandra James and Olsa Martini.

Participating in events is the key way to cement relationships. Whether you are connecting with people for the first time or touching base with people you already know, there is no replacement for face-to-face meetings. On March 1st, 2012, Astra and WEConnect Canada joined forces to hold their first in-person trade mission with Canada. Pictured above are delegates from the Astra Board, the Consulate of Canada-San Francisco & Palo Alto, CA &  WEConnect Canada who participated in the Trade Mission. Download the program.

Astra WBENC WBE, Pam Young, Pam Young Company, attended the event & wrote “It’s been a week since the event, and I am still so glad that I had this opportunity to meet other people who are working just like me building their businesses in meaningful and rewarding ways. I find it amazing, at least on most days, that I have the privilege of owning a business, and this in itself keeps me inspired and motivated to find ways to grow and to keep the business strong. It has been very difficult in the past two years to accomplish this, but I have to say that meeting so many women that are staying focused on their core values, believing in their services and or products, well it really was what I needed to keep moving forward. And interestingly enough, while initially I wasn’t sure that there would be new business opportunities, it is turning out that I definitely have some potential prospects to develop, with people that seem excited about working with me! That is exciting! So thank you for encouraging me to attend, and also for all your hard work in putting together a great event…….” 

Join Astra on March 29th for a 30 minute Webinar & find out more about the Power of Participation.

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WOSB – What Next?

MaryJo Juarez, Government Contracting Expert, Consultant at NAPTAC & Astra Board Member sees an increasing volume  of opportunities, especially with Prime Contractors, for WBEs.  Here are  MaryJo’s top action items using your WOSB Certification for success:

  • Learn the language – Government contracting is different. Start with the SBA website as a resource & learn the different acronyms. Present your marketing materials with the information the Contracting Officers need on your business cards, Capability Statements (Services) & on your Line Cards (products).
  • Research who buys what you sell – All agencies are different but most put together a buying forecast each September that lists everything the agency will be buying. If you don’t see these posted online ask the agency representatives for a copy when you see them at events. PTACs are a good resource  and offer assistance to small businesses at low/no cost including “Bid Match” that matches you with opportunities as they are posted online.
  • Go to events -Find out where the Primes are going to be. Often times they list their outreach events on their websites. Follow Astra’s Events & plan to attend the partner outreach events that they are attending.
  • Ask for help & build relationships – The only unanswered question is the one that is not asked. Build your network & use it. Reach out to Astra Leaders.

Thank you to Astra Corporate Member URS for sponsoring Astra’s webinar on February 20,2012: “WOSB – What Next?” For more information about URS’ supplier diversity program visit their website.

> Webinar Slides: WOSB- What Next? (PDF)