Not that it wasn’t a real thing before, but the end of last week saw me doing more registrations, more paperwork, and generally more getting everything in gear to run a full-on business. We have two more writers/instructional designers excited to join in when we have our first contract, and we are looking to subcontract with some larger companies. We are registered in SAM, which is the federal government’s System for Award Management, and once we are active in SAM, we can FINALLY connect LP&G Cyber Communications to the SBA’s system to register as a Small, Woman-Owned business for purposes of contract awards.
It’s a lot of work. Kyle says that if I had not had so much experience in role playing games I probably could not have figured it all out. The SBA’s web site does give some information, but there are definitely some “side quests.” For example, when registering with SAM, you first have to register with login.gov, which has its own unexpected rules for crating a login account. That’s just a small one. Everything reaches back and checks with the database prior to it, so you have to do everything in order and wait for verification before you can move on. There is a complexity there that I think is more than just caused by confusing documentation. It comes, I think, from silo’d divisions of the government establishing their systems in a vacuum, and then needing to find a way to make them work together. To fix it, we’d have to untangle the bureaucracy and streamline the systems, but that would take more than one small business’s experience to do. (In the case of login.gov logins being used for SAM, I thing this is supposed to be part of the streamlining, but for people just getting started, it seems like an extra hurdle.)
On the agenda for Week 2: putting together a capabilities slick, making appointments with business development people from other small and large businesses, holding as many of those as I can, hitting “refresh” in SAM a few times each day, and networking everywhere. I have also reached out to another small business that prepares benefits packages for small businesses, so that once I have employees, I have a package to offer.
Meanwhile, enjoy this photo of me, in my favorite spot, drinking coffee while I decide what to blog about. That is, in fact, a 12″ Star Wars Cantina musician by Kenner in its original box on the shelf behind me, so now you know a little more about me, too.