Gwendolyn F. Turner

Supplier Diversity 101: What’s In It for Women?

As a supply chain executive at Pfizer, a leading pharmaceutical company, I am impressed with the efforts of large corporations to diversify their supply chains. I have had the pleasure of meeting dynamic women entrepreneurs with businesses that are cost competitive, innovative and offer strategic value to large organizations. While women-owned businesses have heard of Supplier Diversity, many aren’t quite sure what’s in it for large corporations.

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Perfecting your follow-up

As a business owner you attend many conferences, tradeshows, and networking events. It’s difficult to keep up with everyone you meet and finding time to follow up and managing your client base is stressful for most business leaders. Here three simple tips to perfecting your follow up

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Game On! Five Tips for a Successful Conference

Conferences can be intimidating places for Small Business owners. They are often overwhelming in size and heavy on content. Although conferences can be difficult to master they are a great investment for business owners.  This is your opportunity to create relationships in person with key leaders and decision makers. It’s your time to shine. Your time at conferences is only as valuable as you make it. Your attitude plus preparation will determine success. Here are five tips that will insure a successful conference that will deliver a great return on your investment.

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A Fresh Start for Small Business Owners

It’s a New Year!  For so many Small Businesses it’s business as unusual.  Another year means they are picking up where they left off before the holiday rush.  They have set goals and have big ambitions for the year.  Does this sound like your business?  Well, I admire enthusiastic entrepreneurs that jump right into the New Year but this year let’s try something different.

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Increasing your Small Business Profile with Corporations Before the End of 2015

Can you believe it?  The year is coming to a close, in just a few months we will be entering another calendar year.  Now is the time to think about positioning your Small Business for big opportunities in 2016 with large corporations.  A good strategy for Small Business Owners is, to strike now!  This is the perfect time to reengage with corporate decision makers on buying plans and strategies for next year.  Many corporate procurement leaders have insight into what will be procured next year as they complete the budget planning process for 2016.

Take this time to revisit conversations and enhance your visibility with those that can assist your company.  Choose a small number of companies and focus on reconnecting with those companies.  Over the next three months you should focus on these 2 methods to increase your Small Business profile before the end of 2015.

1 Ask Bold Questions

This is not the time to be passive!  Reach out to your prospective clients with the intent of understanding their business.  Ask probing questions about how the year has gone, what would have made the year better, and how can current and prospective suppliers position themselves to make 2016 a success for their company.  This will help you position your proposals and give you a leg up on opportunities in the supply chain pipeline.  Listen, take notes and be prepared to drill down on challenges, successes and key milestones.

2 Make Bold Requests

Your company wants the opportunity to bid and win!  Say THAT!  Yes, you must say that!  You don’t want corporate leaders questioning your authenticity.  If you are ready to become a supplier talk about how you can deliver value and help the company capitalize on the success they have achieved in 2015.  You will want to know who is managing RFP’s and the timeline for bids.  In addition to receiving the bid you want to give every indication that your firm is ready and well positioned to become the supplier of choice. Discuss your current client portfolio and your track record of solving problems, saving money and delivering innovation to the supply chain.

Small Businesses win bids when they are aggressively participating in the RFP process. Position your company now by reaching out to potential clients and position your Small Business for opportunity in 2016.