Starting a business can be a long and challenging process.
Members of the business community received a few tips in Manassas on Thursday.
The Prince William Chamber of Commerce hosted a Veterans Council meeting that focused on how veterans can work with the federal government.
Veterans Business Outreach Center Assistant Director Maribel Feliciano described requirements and gave suggestions to listeners.
The government purchases numerous products and services.
“They buy everything from landscaping services to lightbulbs to event planning to massage therapy,” Feliciano said. “Whatever you think, they buy, because they don’t produce anything. So, whatever you are offering, they might need it.”
Veterans should start by creating a business plan
They should consider agencies and contracting opportunities that are available, as well.
Feliciano explained that the government is required to spend 23 percent of its funds with small businesses.
Contracting dollars are set aside for various types of small businesses, including woman-owned organizations and those run by veterans.
“If I am a veteran and I am a woman, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to be able to get more contracts,” Feliciano said. “It means that I am available to actually bid for more contracts.”
Listeners also learned the difference between verification and self-certification.
To work with the Veteran Administration (VA), individuals must go through a verification process. Those looking to do business with the government — but not the VA — must be self-certified.
“We advise people to just get the self-certification first and then work toward their verification,” Feliciano said.
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