UF SBVDR Blog

Office of Supplier Diversity Presents the Inaugural Gainesville Supplier Diversity Exchange

~ Free event helps small businesses connect with state and local government buyers ~

Gainesville, FL – The Florida Office of Supplier Diversity (OSD), in collaboration with the University of Florida’s (UF) Division of Small Business & Vendor Diversity Relations, announces the inaugural Gainesville Supplier Diversity Exchange on March 8 at the Reitz Union. This free event aims to help area small business owners better understand and secure state and local government procurement opportunities. The Supplier Diversity Exchange includes presentations from government buyers and MyFloridaMarketPlace and also provides an opportunity for small businesses to network. During the event’s Business Exchange, small business owners can market their goods and services directly to local and state buyers during scheduled one-on-one interviews.

“We are thrilled to bring this event to Gainesville as it provides an excellent opportunity for small businesses to gain insight on how to do business with government entities and become actively engaged in government buying,” said OSD Executive Director Hue Reynolds.

“We are excited to partner with the Florida Office of Supplier Diversity to present this event in Gainesville and expose small businesses to the multitude of opportunities that exist throughout Florida,” said Kathey Porter, Director of UF’s Division of Small Business and Vendor Diversity Relations.

March 8, 2018
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
University of Florida – Reitz Union
655 Reitz Union Drive
Gainesville, FL 32611

More information is available on the event’s website.

The Office of Supplier Diversity certifies and assists Florida-based woman, veteran, and minority small business owners in better understanding and securing state government procurement opportunities. For more information about OSD, visit www.dms.myflorida.com/osd.

 

Gainesville Supplier Diversity Exchange

The Office of Supplier Diversity and the University of Florida’s Small Business & Vendor Diversity Relations Division are proud to present the 2018 Gainesville Supplier Diversity Exchange on March 8.

The Gainesville Supplier Diversity Exchange will include a panel discussion, networking opportunities, and one-on-one interviews. During the Business Exchange portion, small business owners can market their goods and services directly with local and state buyers at scheduled one-on-one interviews.

University of Florida Reitz Union
655 Reitz Union Drive
Gainesville, FL 32611

For More Details, click HERE.

 

The Cost of Managing People

Can your business survive three, six or nine months with one or two key employees absent? What about a lawsuit? Can your organization handle the expense and emotionally exhaustive, time-consuming process of an employment investigation into your organization’s workplace practices? If you are like most small businesses, the answer is no. For small to medium-sized organizations, such events can potentially devastate the business. Now, with multiple generations in the workforce, the likelihood of such challenges occurring is nearly triple what it has been in previous years.

Rather than focusing on accomplishing the organization’s goals and objectives, leaders are spending more time responding to employee disputes and complaints — and it is costing organizations big dollars. According to a recent study on Workplace Conflict by PP INC (publishers of the Myers-Briggs Assessment and the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument), U.S. employers spend nearly three hours per week dealing with conflict in the workplace, which equates to two weeks per year of lost productivity. For US companies, this translates to a loss of $385 million and $359 million in working days and paid hours, respectively.

The study further indicates that 70% of employees identify managing conflict as one of the most crucial skills a leader must have, but only 46% feel their leaders effectively address such challenges. Respondents also indicate that they do not feel that their leaders effectively manage their multi-generational workforce, often avoiding addressing issues when they surface. Many managers admit to being ill-equipped to handle such conflict or feel they are too close to the employee to resolve the matter in an objective manner. Some leaders admit to delaying taking action until the last minute, which is often too late for corrective action, resulting in voluntary or forced employment separation.

Conservative numbers indicate that it costs $20,000 to replace a millennial employee and as much as $70,000 to replace a mid-level employee. These expenses include not just recruiting costs but training the new hire, the investment lost from the previous hire including their organizational knowledge, as well as the wages of other employees involved in the training and hiring process. Other experts estimate replacing one employee can cost an organization 150% to 200% more than the employee’s benefits and salary. If you are a small to medium-sized business, this expense (and loss) can be even greater as employees are often tasked with performing multiple functions.

Also, let us not underestimate the role and power social media plays in managing personnel. A decline in customer service standards, employee morale, or the reputation of the company due to employees sharing problems on social media sites such as Facebook or Glassdoor, can negatively impact sales or damage recruitment efforts, thus causing irreparable harm.

Employees are the lifeblood of any organization, but managing them is an inherent entrepreneurial challenge. Regardless of size, businesses should not wait until a problem arises to utilize subject matter experts in managing a multi-generational workforce and resolving conflict in the workplace. Below are tactics that small businesses can implement to effectively develop and manage their people. If engaged early enough, these small steps can yield a substantial return on the “human capital investment” for your organization and go a long way to increase employee morale, keep staff motivated and increase confidence of managers and leaders, saving the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run.

  • Be proactive. Hire an expert to train your leaders. If you are unable to hire an HR professional full-time, consider a contract HR professional or consultant.
  • Develop a process. Have a process and operation procedures for dealing with employee issues. Do not wait until issues arise to develop a plan of action.
  • Invest in E.I. – Emotional Intelligence. Adding this component to an employee’s overall development plan can potentially sustain them much longer than just training in their specific job function.

 

Kathey Porter, MBA, CPSD is the Director of Small Business and Vendor Diversity Relations for the University of Florida. She was recently appointed to the Florida Advisory Council on Small and Minority Business Development by the State of Florida Department of Management Services.

Krishna Powell is CEO of HR 4 Your Small Biz, LLC and is a subject matter expert on multi-generational workforce talent management.  She provides human resources consulting, has mediated numerous employment related cases for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and works extensively with leaders and their employees in universities, corporations, job placement and career development programs. She has managed the HR and talent management function for various Fortune 500 companies throughout the United States, France, China and Singapore.

SBA Boots to Business

Are you a Veteran interested in starting or growing your business?
If so, you don’t want to miss out on this “Boots to Business Reboot Training“.

This is a 2 part training program that provides participants an overview of business ownership as a career vocation, an outline and knowledge on the components of a business plan, a practical exercise in opportunity recognition, and an introduction to available public and private sector resources.

Part one is a two-day introduction to Entrepreneurship course eligible to Veterans of all eras, Servicemembers, including members of the National Guard and Reserves, and their spouses. This course is instructed by SBA and its partners who are skilled business advisors.

For additional information about registering for the training, contact Natalie Hall at (904) 443-1902 or natalie.hall@sba.gov.
You must register in order to attend.
Click HERE to register.

 

 

Entrepreneurial Diversity Information Technology Program (EDIT)

The EDIT program will focus on supporting community members in launching business endeavors that have social missions. Throughout the program participants will be matched with industry partners who will serve as mentors, as well as computer science graduate students who will support the technical development of products.

 

For additional information, contact case@cise.ufl.edu or visit www.wedocase.org .

Women’s Business Mastermind Intensive

As a follow up to last year’s Women’s Business + Leadership Conference, we remain committed in our efforts to engage and develop women entrepreneurs. The Women’s Business Mastermind Intensive allows women to convene to identify challenges, evaluate solutions, strengthen networks and collaborate to find opportunities to move business forward with UF and beyond. We help women entrepreneurs win in business!

You must RSVP to attend. There is no cost to attend. Continental Breakfast & Lunch will be provided.

Please email Darlean Manning to RSVP. You may also call 352.392.0380 for additional information.

For small businesses, education and innovation go hand in hand

There used to be a time when creativity and innovation were only associated with artists, musicians, writers, and the like. It didn’t take much for an organization to stand out, as competition wasn’t so intense…as long as it was a little different, it was perceived as innovative, making it easy for someone to dominate the market. But with changing times, came a different mind-set. The need to ideate and innovate is pivotal now more than ever before. For businesses, it has become a game changer!

The 21st century innovation/technological revolution has changed the way we do business, becoming an integral part of every facet and detail of our personal lives and businesses – how we work, how we live, how we interact, how we conduct business, the types of businesses started, and more, making it vital for business owners to constantly learn new tools, skills, and techniques to maintain their competitive edge. But for small businesses who are short on time (and often, cash), how do you jumpstart your business education? Here are some education resources for every small business owner to get the information they need to help their team succeed.

Books and Podcasts
Access to practically anything that we want to know is available at the touch of a button. If you have the time, reading a book or listening to a podcast is a quick and easy way to brush up on a specific business topic.

Degree Programs
If you have the time to commit (and a few thousand dollars to spend), most college programs offer undergraduate and graduate majors in entrepreneurship. This provides the formal business education and training that potential partners, investors, employees, etc. find valuable. Additionally, many programs are incorporating opportunities to develop an actual business as part of the curriculum, combining business principles with applied, real-world experience.

Continuing Education Programs and Workshops
There are a number of free online courses that can be completed in a few hours a week, including those through edX, Coursera, US Small Business Administration, to name a few. If you need face time with instructors and classmates, check local programs for free seminars and guest speaking sessions sponsored by local small-business alliances.

Mastermind Groups
These groups, whether online or in person, allow you to be surrounded by like-minded individuals and trusted advisors who meet regularly with the goal of improving each other’s lives or businesses. The collective brainpower of the group, the “mastermind,” can solve problems and take advantage of opportunities in a way that an individual person may not be able to (think, two or more heads are better than one).

Incubators and Accelerators
Incubators tend to focus on startups and usually work best when focused in a specific field or industry. Accelerators provide that next step for a business to transition from start-up to full-fledge operation. These options tend to provide the close network, collaborative support and access to mentors, which have been proven to be successful elements for long-term business success.

In the hustle and bustle of entrepreneurship, it is not always easy to make time to take a class or do. But if you are to solidify your business’ competitive edge and demonstrate your position as an expert or thought, it is no longer a luxury but an imperative to develop a mindset receptive to new ideas and open to continual learning.

The University of Florida Small Business and Vendor Diversity Relations offers a wide array of learning opportunities for small businesses. For more information on the University of Florida’s program, go to https://sbvdr.admin.ufl.edu/. Follow them on Twitter @UFSmallBusiness and Facebook @UFSmallBusiness.

By Kathey Porter, MBA, CPSD, Director UF Small Business & Vendor Diversity Relations

UF Director for Small Business and Vendor Diversity Relations appointed to state small business advisory board

The University of Florida Director for Small Business and Vendor Diversity Relations Kathey Porter, MBA, CPSD, has been appointed to the Florida Advisory Council on Small and Minority Business Development by the secretary for the Department of Management Services, Erin Rock.

This group consists of small businesses, supplier diversity professionals and stakeholders from across the state of Florida to provide insight and expertise to the state regarding small and minority business development and provide recommendations on how to improve engagement of and support for Florida’s small and minority business community.

Porter is a nationally recognized expert on supplier diversity, small business development and entrepreneurship, and has led supplier diversity programs and acted as business consultant for higher education, municipalities the federal government for more than 10 years. She is a frequent speaker/panelist at conferences and events focusing on supplier diversity, small business development/entrepreneurship, women’s entrepreneurship and empowerment and diversity and inclusion and has been an adjunct business instructor for over 10 years at several colleges and universities.

Porter is the author of 50 Billion Dollar Boss: African American Women Sharing Stories of Success in Entrepreneurship and Leadership (Palgrave Macmillan) and a business contributor to several local and national publications and platforms including the Gainesville Business Report, OPEN Forum (American Express), ESSENCE Magazine and more. In 2017, she was recognized as a 2017 Fierce Woman by Business in Greater Gainesville magazine and a Florida Woman on The Move by ONYX Magazine. Porter’s second book, on supplier diversity, is scheduled to be released in fall, 2018. Porter received her CPSD (Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity) through the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) in 2015.

“I am excited to have the work that we are doing with small businesses here at UF get recognized. I look forward to the opportunity to collaborate and create opportunities for small and minority businesses throughout the state of Florida,” says Porter.

UF’s Office of Small Business and Vendor Diversity Relations seeks to identify and utilize a diverse supply of qualified vendors interested in providing the many services and products required by the university.

SBVDR is responsible for the university’s Supplier Diversity Program, which focuses on providing equal access for small, HUBZone, minority, small-disadvantaged, veteran, service-disabled veteran, and women-owned businesses by providing them equal opportunity to compete for procurement and contracting opportunities at UF.