Linda Rawson and Tamara Tran open the podcast with some discussion about the Mentor/Protégé program with the Small Business Administration.
Linda and Tamara get approached often to help other companies with advice. Sometimes you just need to say no.
Linda talks about her Mentor/Protégé relationship with Select Engineering Services in Utah. They showed Linda how to do Technical Proposals, Cost Proposals, and how to get prepared for DCAA audits. NOTE: We have a Chart of Accounts on 2BizChicks for you to download to help you with your DCAA audit.
So many companies want to be a protégé but how does a company go about that?
Find a company you know and develop that relationship. It was a great way for SES to be able to have an avenue for socioeconomic contracts and let’s face it, 49% is better than 0%. It is great to have a prior relationship with the company you choose as a mentor.
Develop the relationship first. Everything is about relationships.
For Linda and Tamara, choosing a protégé or a someone to mentor involves looking for particular things in a company. When a company comes to them and wants help, they want to help. They always want to help but the protégé needs to be prepared with exactly the kind of help they need and any documentation to back that up. Nobody gets a free ride, and the mentor will always say…what is it in for me.
We have lots of opportunities to help people with advice. Approach the mentor prepared.
Both Linda and Tamara have a problem saying no because they like to help people. Tamara says her enthusiasm does not rub onto the person wanting help. Tamara says sometimes she is too helpful which can come across as pushy. But our expectations are high because we have a limited amount of time.
Linda talks about people who do not do what they say they are going to do, also known as flakes. She says that she has a three-strike rule and if they cannot contribute to the project by the third thing they promised to do then she is done. She does not want to waste her time if they are not going to produce.
At the end of the day, it is all about time.
Tamara talks about why she started her business. Her and Ly combined their talents to create their own business. Linda talks a little bit about starting her business. Tamara and Linda talk about being an entrepreneur. Sometimes you must say no to family when they request your time.
Make yourself a priority and then everyone else will also.