Taking The Confusion Out of Applying for Government Contracts – Carroll Bernard Introduces Us to Govology
In This Episode
As entrepreneurs, we seem to have a built-in fear of the big, scary, complex government procurement process. Carroll Bernard is using his knowledge gained while being a purchaser and his background as an entrepreneur to help small businesses learn how to not only build a relationship with government procurement but to do it in a way that ensures growth and opportunity. He introduces us to his training based service company, Govology.
1:17 Dave and Greg discuss how they’ve been having a great few weeks of interviews!
2:00 Greg discusses how he met Carroll Bernard through his interest in Jeff Walker’s session in Phoenix.
3:28 Carroll introduces himself and explains how he broke his neck at a previous entrepreneurship conference.
4:52 Greg introduces the idea of Carroll’s business, Govology, which helps businesses who want to grow their business through government contracts.
5:22 Carroll explains his background is in purchasing and has worked many roles in government procurement.
6:15 Carroll had a vision of having an online platform where small businesses could get the training they needed all through an online portal and access the education they need.
8:10 Dave remarks how he has found it difficult to work with governments and how he himself has been frustrated by the process.
9:09 Carroll says how during and at the end of recession he saw two different worlds, small businesses who were going under because they weren’t involved in government contracts before and those that had been doing government business and had more work than they could handle.
9:55 Carroll remarks how you must have a relationship before hand and it’s not something you can jump into.
10:15 Dave asks what are the myths that people have around getting involved with government and the road blocks that hold people back from doing it.
10:24 Carroll says some myths are I’m too small, the process is too complex or I can’t make any money working with government.
10:46 Carroll says a lot of times it’s about figuring out where their fit is, which might be being a sub-contractor or finding where the flow down is for that government money.
11:28 For some low-bid contracts, Carroll says you need to think about that as an opportunity to build a relationship and then coming back with a unique offer only you can provide.
12:15 Carroll explains the micro purchases threshold where some things do not have to go through the competition process and be charged to a credit card.
13:00 Carroll says creating an offer under the micro purchase level to get your foot in the door is how you can open more opportunities unique to you.
14:35 Dave asks how Carroll was introduce to Jeff Walker
14:48 Carroll explains how he purchased and was interested in the how to launch side of the business and how he enjoyed the most the idea of partnering with other entrepreneurs for a launch.
15:30 Carroll says you always have to be ready to learn.
16:30 Greg asks where the drive to create the training came from.
16:45 Carroll explains how he’s been an entrepreneur all his life, including selling digarydoo’s, and says he’s faced his share of struggles.
18:24 Carroll says when he came into the government and how the small businesses could perform well and watching the two differences at the end of the last recession, it showed him how there was a gap that could be addressed.
19:08 Carroll says the government can be a good source of growth with small businesses.
19:45 Carroll explains how in the US the government sets aside 23% of their yearly budget for specifically small businesses which means you don’t have to compete with larger businesses if you don’t feel you can.
20:31 Greg speaks how in Canada we do have a support system for small businesses, but feels like we have more social networks that will help you get back on your feet. He asks what Dave thinks?
21:08 Dave agrees there’s a lot of support for small businesses, but not for working with governments and a lot is region dependent.
21:30 Dave asks the reception that Carroll is getting for Govology.
21:55 Carroll explains that they partner with procurement technical assistance centres that are throughout the states and connecting with small businesses through those channels and that helps to connect.
22:14 These centres grew out of the assessment in the 1980s of why they were paying higher prices for things and the issue was because it was difficult for people to become a supplier.
23:05 Carroll Bernard says that the federal spend in the US is large, but if you added up all the state and city level spending, it is much larger.
23:38 Carroll highlights how every level/agency does their purchasing so it’s important to learn about their process.
24:17 Carroll says you need to get people to like you, trust you and want to do business with you.
24:47 Greg asks what product people are purchasing when they buy the course.
25:17 Carroll explains how you can buy a subscription monthly to get access to all training or you can buy individually.
25:40 Carroll says they are putting together a launch program of how to make sure your launch into the government goes well. www.govology.com/launch
26:23 Carroll says the idea is to give you training, but also make sure you have done the little things you need to like getting certifications and registered properly.
27:15 Dave says he loves the way they’re positioning that launch program.
28:00 Greg says he’s looking forward to spending time with Carroll on the beach in Greece (See this workshop:https://www.markhemmings.com/greece-photo-video-workshop)
28:36 Greg has said we need to stop making excuses about working with government and he appreciates Carroll’s perspectives.
29:06 Greg and Dave’s take aways.
Carroll Bernard is the co-founder of Govology.com and brings a unique 360-degree perspective to federal contracting, coaching, and training. For over a decade Carroll has worked on all sides of the acquisition community.
During his career, he served as a Supply Officer in the U.S. Navy, a Procurement Specialist at the City of Vancouver Washington, and Contracting Officer at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He has also provided mentorship, counselling, coaching, and training to thousands of small businesses seeking government contracts as a counsellor in the Procurement Technical Assistance Program as well as the U.S. Small Business Administration where he served as a Business Development Specialist for the 8(a) program, Veterans Business Development Officer, and Primary HUBZone Liaison.
Carroll is also an entrepreneur at heart, passionate about the government marketplace, and leverages government market opportunities to fuel the growth of his own small business.