A mother and daughter business team is taking advantage of opportunities in the government market after receiving guidance from the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) and its Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC).
Laurel McLane and her daughter, Kristin Bolden, formed Take Charge Meetings and Conferences, LLC, in March of 2017. McLane serves as the company’s president; Bolden is its vice president. The Omaha-based business offers full-service meeting, conference and convention planning.
McLane has significant experience. She co-owns a conference management company that specializes in planning, coordinating and producing corporate and multi-level marketing (MLM) events worldwide. As a certified meeting planner and certified marketing director, she has been working in the industry for more than 25 years, founding her first event company in 1990.
“Kristin and I created Take Charge Meetings and Conferences and became business partners in order to focus on procuring government business opportunities,” McLane says. “We were looking for ways to expand our business, so we did some research.”
At a Small Business Administration (SBA) meeting, McLane and Bolden were introduced to NBDC services. After deciding to pursue federal event and conference opportunities, they scheduled a meeting with Taylor Law, NBDC PTAC contracting consultant.
Law says that since becoming clients, McLane and Bolden have created a Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) profile. DSBS is a database created by the SBA where purchasing officers can search for small businesses registered in the federal System for Award Management (SAM).
“NBDC gave us the confidence to move forward,” McLane says. “Seeking out government business can be overwhelming. They helped us hone in on where we were going.”
Law also helped set up the company’s BidMatch profile and finalize a capability statement, provided market research, and reviewed their solicitations and proposals. He provided assistance in submitting invoices to the Department of Defense through the iRAPT – Invoicing, Receipt, Acceptance and Property Transfer (formerly Wide Area Workflow) invoicing platform. “When it came time to submit our first invoice, we sat with Taylor and he went through the whole process with us,” Bolden says. “The second time, he had been so thorough that we did it on our own.”
To date, Take Charge Meetings and Conferences has obtained four government contracts according to McLane.
She says NBDC PTAC consultants “are lifesavers as well as advisors. I think if anyone is going to pursue government business, they should contact their local PTAC first.”
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The Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) helps Nebraska businesses start, grow and develop, by strengthening Nebraska businesses for a healthy economy and prosperous communities. NBDC is a University of Nebraska at Omaha center that provides confidential consulting business development services across Nebraska to entrepreneurs and business owners for the life cycle of their business. NBDC partners with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Wayne State College, and Chadron State College to deliver its services statewide. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the U.S. Department of Commerce (EDA), and other federal, state and private organizations support NBDC. Visit nbdc.unomaha.edu for more information.
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