Veterans, How much business do you want?
by Joseph R. Grossi
The federal government spends about $250 billion annually on products and services, so three percent of that would be about $7.5 billion. The Fortune 500 procurement figure, estimated at $2 trillion, dwarfs Uncle Sam’s total. The next largest 500 companies probably spend another $500 billion. If SDVOBs nabbed three percent of that there’d be a whole bunch of happy SDVOBs sharing a $75-billion pie. That’s a factor of ten above what most vets are going for now.
Why are the nation’s small businesses owned by veterans, disabled and able-bodied, focusing 90 percent of their attention on roughly 10 percent (federal procurement pie) of the opportunity? What’s keeping them from a potentially huge windfall (the 90 percent private sector procurement)?
Is the paperwork too complex? Is Corporate America indifferent to servicemembers who risked their lives and lost their limbs in service to their country? Are veteran owned businesses satisfied staying small and getting by on less than one-tenth of the procurement dollars possible? Is it just plain inertia?
What are you doing to diversify your business outreach?
About the Author: Joseph R. Grossi is a Veteran Business Advocate and Director of National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA)