You have worked hard in the last two to three years serving your usual market and have built your reputation as a reliable provider of product or service. You feel you are now ready to knock at the doors of big companies. But as soon as you start inquiring you realize that the door is shut and the key to open it is called accreditation.
If you are dealing with an ISO 9001:2008 compliant or certified organization, the qualification / accreditation process will be stricter. Other companies like Ayala Corporation and PLDT employ a third party vendor accreditation service.
Some accreditations may require you to pay an annual fee. Whatever the set-up maybe, one thing is certain: unless you hurdle this process your plans of expanding your business may be delayed. Here are the four (4) keys you need to start selling to big companies (and no, product brochures are not one of them).
4 Keys You Need to Start Selling to Big Companies
Key # 1: Legal Documents
Legal documents are your DTI or SEC Certificates and Mayor’s Permit. Check if your DTI registration is for national, regional, city or barangay. Some companies (and certainly government agencies) will disqualify you for bidding or accreditation unless your DTI scope is national.
Check if your Mayor’s Permit is still valid. You may have applied the permit in January on a quarterly basis to lower your upfront registration cost (that’s the 1/4, 2/4, 3/4 and the full year validity is 4/4) but that would mean that by April, you will have to re-register the permit or else it would have been rendered invalid.
Other legal documents include your SSS, Philhealth and Pag-ibig registration certificates.
Key # 2: Financial Documents
Financial documents will include your latest income tax returns and returns on other taxes like your monthly and quarterly VAT remittances and expanded withholding tax returns (yes you pay that many taxes). Do not forget to save a copy of your EFPS registration.
One of the more challenging financial documents to acquire is the BIR tax clearance; this despite being a consistent tax payer and more so if you do not pay your taxes. In lay man’s term this certificate states that you do not have any outstanding tax obligations with the government and that you have been generally good at paying taxes.
This certification is only good for six months so expect to get another one within the year. There have been countless instances when projects were not awarded to bidders simply because they cannot provide the tax clearance.
Of course, this goes without saying that you start paying proper business taxes at year one of your businesses.
Productivity Tip: Scan your business documents and insert them in one word file.
Key # 3: Write Down Your Experiences and Prepare Supporting Documents
Consolidate all your projects (or deliveries) into one excel table. Essential details include name of client, nature of contract or service provided, duration, date started and finished and total contract price.
Most accreditation requires at least a list of projects / services conducted in the last twelve months (government agencies sometimes require five to ten years). Expect to spend some considerable time in doing this if you have not been diligent in recording your projects through the years.
Next is to collate the contracts, notice to precede, approved proposals, receipts and certificates of completion related to the list you just made. You might realize that you’ve done several projects without getting certificates of completion from the clients. Now is the time to request your former clients for such documents.
Do you need to include small value projects? I would suggest do not. The purpose of the list is to show capability and what better way to show this by making sure your biggest value projects are easily identified from the list.
Productivity tip: Too many small value projects on the list? Just put a note: “Projects below Php 100,000.00 not included.”
Key # 4: Updated CV
And you thought running your own business would not require writing a CV ever?
For self-employed professionals and consultants (engineers, architects, doctors, etc.) the CV and its content will usually make or break you during quality cost based evaluation (an evaluation where the experience and capability of the consultant is taken into greater consideration over price).
Be sure to include all the projects you have managed and the seminars and trainings you attended. The best CV’s I have seen include project completion certifications from past clients and training certificates. Do not forget your list of speaking engagements (paid or unpaid) and papers published.
Productivity tip: What about those convention certificates, should I include them? No, unless the topics you attended during the conventions are written on the certificate.
To sum it up, here are the four keys you need to start selling to big companies.
- Legal Documents
- Financial Documents
- Experience & Supporting Documents
- Updated Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Preparing these four important set of documents will help you hurdle accreditation and open the doors of big corporations to your business. These documents will also allow you to assess your strengths as a bidder or vendor. So do not forget: register your business annually, pay your taxes diligently and update your business and personal profile – then start selling to big companies.
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