Now more than ever, U.S. companies are motivated to work with a diverse range of suppliers, including veterans. While there are many factors that go into being evaluated for public and private sector contracts, here are three moves you can make right now to position yourself for new business.
Meet with a banker and get your financials in place. Now is the time to create a new – or revisit an old – business plan. Not only is it crucial to have a business strategy, sales projections, costs and cash flow mapped out, but it’s important to have a plan for managing your business’ cash flow, receivables, payables, and spending habits. Whether your new customer is the U.S. government or a mid-sized corporation in your hometown, they will want to know that you are financially sound before awarding you any business.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) created the Vets First Contracting Program for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses and has expanded its service-disabled veteran contracting program. While this verification program applies only to the VA, it’s one of the largest procurement organizations in the federal government. Annually, this department spends over $3 billion with eligible Veteran-Owned Small Businesses. That’s a lot of contracts – and some of them may be a great fit for your business. You can apply at vip.vetbiz.gov. Just make sure you meet the requirements first. You can learn more about requirements and the verification process at va.gov/OSDBU/entrepreneur/vetsFirst.asp.
There are a lot of benefits to being a Veteran-Owned Small Business, like fee waivers and loan benefits, and you’ll want an expert to guide you through that process. If you need funding to maintain your existing business, a loan can help with expenses like building inventory to meet current customer orders, or being able to pay your employees even during down times. If you’re thinking about growing, loans can help you purchase or lease more space, hire more employees, and invest in new equipment.
It’s never too early to start the loan conversation. Even if you don’t think you need a loan right now, it’s a good idea to talk to your Business Banker about what’s in store for you financially over the next 12 to 18 months.
PNC Business Bankers can look at your broad financial situation – from checking accounts to loan options – and everything beyond, suggesting a series of financial solutions that work for you. Stop in your nearest branch for more information on managing your business finances and to schedule time with a Business Banker.
Whether the flexibility of a Line of Credit will help you best prepare for the changing needs of your business, or you're looking for a Term Loan to provide a specific amount of credit to purchase assets or meet specific financing need, PNC has a variety of borrowing options to meet your needs.
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