The Breakdown EP 44: What Is a Certified Veteran-Owned Business with Keith King
All, right what's up guys welcome to a special 10, a.m.. 10. A.m. central, breakdown. We're. Doing it a little early today we have Keith King joining us here from the National Veterans business, development, council so. The. Description here is is, like what what, does it mean to be veteran like, a certified, veteran owned business, what does that mean. You. Know, what is the value in doing that some. That you've dedicated years, to so I think, we should, just dive right into this and and what, is the natural veterans, Business Development Council. Okay, well thank you well I appreciate it and appreciate being, here and seeing you again actually. What it breaks down to is. First. And foremost establishing. The fact that you are a veteran, and, that may seem obvious, it's. Not the. Terms. In, a sense of the length of time that you've served active-duty. Service, where. You served what you served many. Of these things all in, a sense of, determining. What as a veteran, is where, we always start and. What. We make sure is is that you. Are in fact a veteran, according, to federal, law, alright, so that's the first place we start. Second. To that the, easiest. Way. To look, at this in, the sense of the. Veteran business and the actual certification of, your business what I'm looking for what we're looking for do. You own a minimum, of 51%. Mmm, and. Then that's what we call operational. Control, and authority. And. I, can tell you we turn down a lot of, businesses. Over the authority. There's a deal you actually got to show up and run the company ok you have the authority to hire and fire people write, checks and. I will tell you the term that we use which is called print, of that. We turn down people, all the time because again, one, of the things that we've learned and you can use whatever language you want but rod fakes fronts, all. Of those terms are the same as rent of that but, here's the bottom line you. Have, people. Who put up money you have people who have said oh well you're a veteran let me make you the. President mm-hmm, but they control the company in the backside. Now. People. Get people. Being the veterans in the veteran business owners, get a little touchy sometimes when, we say look I need. To see your IRS, records I need to see your personal information I, need to see a lot, of documents. But. The point is very simple I can, prove that you actually are in in, charge of running the company buy the documents. That you provide us if. You don't provide it I can't prove it if, I can't prove it I'm not going to certify you right, it's, really simple and. We are finding, that unfortunately. We. Have a lot of people. Who. Either. Deliberately. Chasing. The money want. To basically. Get. Over in. The fact that they're. Not really in charge that's. The number one thing that we see constantly. The. Other thing is it's frankly and, sometimes we're not sure if it's simply the confusion. About. What is the better we, talked about Guard and Reserve issues, those. Are issues that frankly, unless you have been on active, duty. In. Our County training and or you've gone on active, duty and gone overseas and, then the combat zone, there, are issues, in fact of the establishing. Are you a veteran. So. Those, issues are got to be addressed upfront right so Keith how, do, you prepare, the reservists, are the National Guardsmen, who just, got their 20-year letter but, they've never deployed and they want the certification, they have a business, revenue. They meet the qualifications. No. Yeah if you're, starting a small business, there. Is an opportunity, for you to certify. Yourself as a veteran, owned business, or a service-disabled. Veteran-owned, business, and there are, incentives. For. Federal, contracts, and things like that is accurate, that like being. Certified, veteran, owned business there. Are. Opportunities. For veterans, that are, not. Necessarily, open to just civilians. Let. Me come back to you and answer your question, what has just recently happened is as the law was changed. That. Says if you were in the Guard or reserve and, you retired, after 20, years of honorable service. The. Government, will now recognize you. As a veteran. That. Is new that. Was never the case I had a guy who retired, out of a 32 years and he wasn't a veteran, but. That was changed, so now if. You, have your retirement, letter after 20 years we, will then consider you a veteran, in process, use the same way now. To go back to your, issue, yes. What. We. Created the, National veteran business to vote counsel um v PDC yes was. Because. Of. The corporations. Their, willingness to, accept. Veteran-owned. And service-disabled.
Veteran-owned, Businesses. As a, entity. As a class, just to work. Within what, they call their supplier diversity. Area. The. Minority-owned. Businesses. Have. Had, their. Certification. Process, I wouldn't be myself, the, certification, process now, for almost 45. Years the. Women have been certifying, women-owned. Businesses, for. 25. Years okay. Those two the women and minorities, those have, been the. Basic. Two. Entities. Identification. Processes. Within, what, it's called supplier diversity. We. Don't have veterans now to, answer your question, about the federal government, quick, history. What. I call my friends. Who. Were involved in writing the law back in 1990. Well we wrote at 97. Got a mass in, 1999. Which. Is, the, law, 106. 50 which, is the law that established. Veterans. And, service disabled, veterans, as. Entities. To, have, a preference. In federal. Contract, so. That was passed in 1999. Now. What. That law, did. Is provided. Veteran. Owned and Services able veteran owned businesses. An opportunity, to do, business with the federal government and. Had certain, preferences given. To them. Between. 1999. In, 2008. That. Was again, so, much fraud, that. The, government, came back and said to the, VA in essence, you. Have to create a program that. In. Essence, verifies. That these people truly are veterans if. We notice the CBE, okay. The. CBE is, you, can, you just say. Well. It used to be the senator for. Evaluation. And now. It's, going through about four or five different names. So. It's the Center for verification. And. Enterprise, or whatever it is today, doesn't. Matter it's the same thing unfortunately. And. That was through the VA that. Was, adopts the issue and I think it's a clarification. That needs to be made, first. That. Verification. And. I keep I want to be clear about this is more than semantics. There's. A difference between a verification, and, a certification, the. VA never, claimed to do a certification, ever, they. Call it a verification, there. Was a reason for that, now. Having, said that it. Is only applicable to the VA, so. Unless, you into intended. To do business with the VA, there. Was little, to, no incentive. To, go through that process to become verified. By. The VA. But. If you were doing this to be, area you wanted to then I encourage. People to get that certification, or, verification. My. Company, is. Literally, one of the first 20, or 25, companies ever verified, by the VA, in. 2008. One, of the first 20:25, ever so. I. Know this process intimately. You. Know excuse me. But. Again being, verified, in, 2008. 10 12 and 14. I also, spent, 14, years of doing federal, contracting. With my company, yeah, what. Happened. Yes. I had just finished a. Rather. Large national, contract. And. It. Really angered me that. I couldn't get corporations. To. Talk to me alone. Hire me and. This. Whole idea that, it was a small company, or. That I couldn't do the work because it wasn't big enough or, I couldn't scale up mm-hmm, we're, all too mean just excuses, yeah. Okay. But. It wasn't until some of the corporations. What. I call were kind enough to. Explain. This to you. What. They explained, was as they were not going, to risk, their. Names their. Reputations. Their company's names by. Hiring people that, may. Or may not one, be a veteran, mm-hmm or secondly, control. Because. Here's what they knew. The. Women into minorities, have. Been through this all these years you, know the cliche. Was as she was a housewife one, day next day she's the president, of the company sure doesn't even know where the office is the, minority. Is a janitor one day next day the president, of the company. Quick. Context, yeah so. We. Bank does the women business international, certification. And. What, happens is when the women send in there just give you context, when they send in their applications. So much fun was certification, team actually goes out and like. Trust. But verify so, I trust that you did this paperwork if I'm gonna verify that everything this paperwork is actually you that you answer these questions, and so that's, where what he's saying when the house wiper suddenly put out as a front-runner wait. A second, yeah it's, called on-site, assessment, yeah we do that as well the. Thing. That happened with us, being. In DMV BDC. Is. Once the corporation's, laid it out. That's. Not okay but so was that mean yeah. You're. Not gonna hire me until I get certified, and there is no certification, for patterns that you accept because most corporations, didn't accept the VA doesn't.
Meet Their corporate standards, there. Was all these issues you. Know go. Build it. So. You ran with that. You. Know when you were a kid no way of standing in line now for volunteers. And everybody stepped back but you I gotta felt like I was only guys still standing I have there's only one dumb enough to step back. You. Know I'm talking. To myself called, friends. Saying. Hey you guys gotta go do this and they kept saying no no you do it and we'll help you. So. That's, why I'm sitting here five years later but. The fact of the matter is is is that we. Bank in particular and, the National, minority, organizations. My corporations. I should say - should say the corporation's. Ok. Become. My mentors my trainers, not mine ours. My. Vice president, is retired Brigadier, General dick. Miller he, commanded. Our troops in Afghanistan I'm. A Vietnam that I'm an in-country combat, but some. Of my other officers, as well Iraq, Afghanistan. Vietnam. In, between, Persian. Gulf we. Have a full array of wars. Join. Me in a. Sense we. Took the entire year of 2013. Off I basically. Shot my company, down. And. The, women and the minorities, became our Mentors, I joke, about they took pity on us and said yeah come here we'll teach you and. They did and. We learned the on-site we learned all the processes, we learned all the procedures, we actually learned what it is to actually meet those qualifications so, certification. And issues, we were talking about control, and authority. Explain. Supplier diversity for, anybody out there. Our. Viewers. And those interested, participants, understand. Well. Thank you because, actually that was the worst advice I had, gotten from. A fellow veteran frankly, who told me to avoid supplier, diversity and, go directly to purchasing. That. Really actually hurt us. It, wasn't until somebody actually grabbed me and set me down said, let me explain to you what you're doing and. Why you're taking off a lot of people. Here. If, you look in the corporate world in, the sense of the structure if you look at purchasing. As the, collective, body that buys all, their, products and all of their services, okay, if. You look under purchasing, or we in purchasing. There is usually a group inside, that called the supplier diversity. Unit. Or supplier, diversity professionals. Or supplier diversity unit, whatever Department, you know now. What, they are responsible for the supplier diversity professional. Is, to take a look, at literally. The, supply base who, are they hiring. To. Do, business with the corporation. Corporations. Are. Very. Conscientious. About, the. Community, that they live work.
In Plants, and we're, they're making their living and. Who their customers, are sir, one. Of the things that they found very early on especially. Going, back to - one - minorities, because, they couldn't have been doing 45 years is. They're saying we'll wait a minute you know we have a lot, of people in the minority you. Know community, who are buying our product so we're working for us they're our employees, and. Yet we don't have, any. Recognition. Of them in our, suppliers. Right. And. So what they did is they consciously. Looked. For, companies. That were owned by minorities, who. Could in fact do. The work that they look, for, they, understand. Into, this day they understand, the. Innovation. They, understand. It's, good business they, understand, it's good community, businesses, community. Service, they, understood, that. When. The woman business. Idea, came along they start looking at I mean, if, you look at the automotive it's probably. The most, classic example, because. So many went out and did the study and said you know something, like 65 percent of every automotive. Purchase. Made is. Influenced. By a woman. You. Know the guy might have been buying the car but it was the wife who said hey I don't like this one I like that one okay. Hmm. Maybe we, working. With women and, they brought into women businesses, as well because again the whole idea was. You. Know it was a good business but, they had a lot of good ideas. Again, stating the automotive you look at a lot of things we take for granted cup holders. Sees. How the seats adjust, those, were women ideas. Completely. Change. Let. Me come to where we are today we're, talking to you we're talking about veterans yes let, me tell you what I have I. Have. What I call open-to-buy I, have. Adam and. I'm. Hesitating, to name the corporation, so let's just say they're the largest corporations, in the world who came to me and said you know Keith Veterans. The. Military, veteran, has the highest, level. Training, of cyber security of, anybody in the world, yeah. You. Got any of those guys they're. Running. Their own cybersecurity companies. Is. That well yeah I do. Well. Once they're certified I need to talk to them, yeah. That's, the one example drones. Take. About the military, we buy them all right we build them we fly them we control drone. Technology. It's. Applicable. To the, autonomous, vehicle. Okay. I. Have.
Like Eight, major, corporations. Who have called me and said you have anybody it's coming out of military who knows about the job the technology. Okay. Now. I know it may seem a little odd. But. The energy companies. Said. Keep, any. Veterans, who've been trained to do killer power plants. So. You know there's all these Navy guys around, been doing nuclear submarines. There, are people I know I mean I'm sure there's something the other branches. Probably. Running companies I said, I got two of them oh my, god I want him now I got into a bidding war with these guys, think. About the technology think, about the information think, of the different things that you did as a veteran, that you have knowledge and possession, of. Basically. Civilians, don't have okay. Now. Think. Of that in the same sense, of the application. To corporations. Who are always looking for innovation, always looking for the next big thing. We. Have that demand yeah, the demand, is, funneled. Through. The. Company okay. So, the sense, of the value of what. We talk about in. A sense of our. Certification. What. Happened, in. Those days. When. We were building this the. Corporations, who said to us build. This and we'll, help you okay. Where. In your life, people. Said oh yeah I'll help you. I'm. Proud to say that the five corporations, who, said we will help you in fact helped us a gentleman touched their name they let their reputation, they give us money to help us support us to get us up and running because, here's, what happened. April. 2014. We. Had. Found. And, worked with three. Veteran, businesses, that we felt met, the certification. Standards, that, the women and the minorities, taught us and. We presented, that to a group of 14. Different companies, and entities the women to minorities, Ford. Chrysler General, Motors Kellogg's, AT&T. The SBA the VA all kinds of B. The. Good news was when. We were done with the presentation. Room. Said okay you got it you know what you do go, build it yeah. So. If you ask me you know even though I actually started do this in late 2012. What, I call knocking on doors and then we. Launched, in April of 2014. So, we've, been doing this for solid. Four and a half till around five years now. And. We continue to grow we continue, to add, normally. The corporations, but. What. I love about what you guys do okay. In the sense of helping these veterans get. A company, get it establish get to networking. To. Be we're. Almost a natural extension, of you, because. What happens, after that company is up and running they may have a consideration, for certification, they, may didn't know more about supplier, diversity right. Exactly. Because here's the thing you, know and I know like. I mentioned to you before you, know we started I've owned three companies ok. My. Last one the one I'm doing currently. Have I call it on hiatus. You. Know I've been running for 20 years. And. There's even 14. Of those years I was very heavy, involved, in federal, contracting. And of course having a lot of civilian accounts as well. But. Here's the facts we, know that 80 some percent of, every new business fans. So. The success, rate is not, very good no, no, what. Do you know him. Okay with. Our certification. If. You have an opportunity, that. Simply, did not exist. Four. Years ago when I just started all this when we started all this, let. Me give you this scope a lot. My veterans say I have to be, quit, being quite so PC, about, opportunity. Yes. I talked about money and, I never mentioned money but here's what we did because. Of the goodwill of the corporations, and because of that supplier, diversity. Commitment. They. Have committed, and opened that eighty billion. Dollar, market, to. Our veteran businesses, eighty, billion. You. Know just, like a telephone telephone, has no value if somebody's, trying to call you and you don't pick up the phone if you don't answer the phone word value was about sometimes. Right yeah. We. Kicked open an eighty billion dollar market, where. Are you because. Here's the deal the. Corporations. As. You as, you to know tomorrow. We're hosting event here in Chicago.
That's. Right we have no a federal, agencies, who now recognize, our certification. But we have thirty corporations. That will be there, good. Question Keith are these from your roundtable, these corporations. If. I'm. Starting a company. That, is doing like, some sort of construction, why there wasn't reading roads in Illinois, like that. How. Do i where, do I go to get. Verification. That. I'm a veteran owned business or, what is like the process look like for that. Okay. Where, I come in is is, we are the National, certifying, body we. Aren't a veteran's what the national, minorities are divine orders but we bank are to women yeah okay, so it's very simple you simply go to my website envy, BDC. Org. You'll. Click on the tab, that says certification. And everything's, there, yeah very simple, we tell you what you are to, be what the criteria, is we have a checklist, will. You tell you download, and print that checklist and get your documents together so once you're ready then click the application. Pay, your fee and then, go ahead and do the process. The. Fee is a scale, if you're under a million dollars it's only five hundred bucks if you're over one hundred million that's five grand, okay and you, know here's the thing. We. Lose money every. $500. Better in business, we certify. But. Again. Thanks, to the corporation's who. Said okay, because, I kept saying to him if I keep jacking this price up I can't. The guy say I can't. Afford it, are. You okay that you're actually helping to subsidize, the veterans with your annual, fee to us and, they said yeah thankfully. Because, otherwise I couldn't do it okay. I love, my CPA my treasurer, but because you're not very good at this. We. Certify. All, sizes, of veteran businesses. We. Do not punish, you for, being new okay. So, if you're a startup. Yeah. It's still going to cost you five hundred bucks okay. But. If you don't have 500 bucks to be certified you're probably not ready to be certified I mean it's just that simple, but the fact of the matter is, is that our policies. Doesn't. Preclude. You, from becoming. Certified. Now. To come to your issue I think it's where you were really heavy. There's. Probably. Now. 20. 25. States, that. Have some form of. A. Certification. Or, verification within. That state. Unfortunately. There, isn't one that, I know of that, meets. The, corporate standard, said I'm talking about and that we were taught. Just. They, don't do it. Because. It takes too much time too much energy effort and all the things that actually takes a lot of work to use it yeah okay. But, if you only intend, to do business with your state or your local I know Cook County I know Chicago. And I know Illinois, all have their own various, forms, of some kind of verification for, veterans IV BP. Again. Depending on how many people are tuned in today in what country or country. What state they're in and they don't have a country. Wow that's, another seven we don't have time to. Call. Me you can bring me back and I'll tell you a whole another story about being international, anyway. The point is this. What. I tell every, one of our veterans. Is. You first need to identify, who. Your. Customer, is or, who you want it to be. Again. Because of my personal, background because, of my company, of running my company in doing federal contracting, I, tell. Anybody who really. Is interested, I didn't. Really give the VA very, much credit, for my success I, gave the GSA credit, for my success but. You got to be in business for two years you got to pass all these Tufts you got to all getting. Your GSA, contract, it's not easy okay. You. Know I got very good that's. Why, I survived. It. Helped me probably. It was it the main reason, absolutely, not okay. So identify, who your customer, is or who you want your customer, to be and I can tell you where you should go as. Far as verification and certification. But. Right, now you had mentioned the round table it, was a group called the billion dollar round table that is, currently. 27, or 28 corporations. That, have, spent, a billion. Dollars. Per year. With, women and minorities. August. 17th. 2017. They. Had the, national veteran business development, council in reference, to that spend, yeah, okay. So, what happened, if you look at that. Inclusion. Now. Of veterans. In. That. Group alone. The. True. Implicit. Impact. The, truly impact of this again. Kind. Of going back to supplier, diversity going. Back to corporations. I have. The. Major corporation, sitting here their major supplier. Is called Tier one, another. Level, of suppliers, are called tier two some, of them have Tier three. Do. You have a hack but you want to tell them about so. That they know how, to reach, out acts, any questions that they have or. Anything. Relevant to their small business journey that you think have to be impactful for your own yeah yeah there's two things one two phone numbers eight certified.
Call. Us. Let. Me be honest about this, I have. Very highly trained, very. Specialized, people, who are working on our behalf who. Understand. This process and, there, are the people who would answer that phone second. To that is simply support. NB. B DC org. That. Is also the same support. Staff we. Have a full-blown committee, that does nothing other than, certification. That. Committee, and our, staff are, signed, up to do one thing here's, a help. Mr. the certification. Process, you. Know our job is to help you get certified yeah if, you don't meet the qualifications, we're. Gonna tell you we're gonna stop it right immediately I'm sorry. I'd love to help you but you don't qualify for whatever reason, okay, so those two things are the quickest and fastest way to get a hold of us okay. Trying, to get a hold of me is getting harder. Well. You. Know. No. Act today I think. It's, cos I talk to people in. Two, weeks we're gonna do a breakdown, from, amaha, which is a manufacturer, you know I thought it was it's a manufacturing. Incubator. Here in Chicago, for people who want to create prototype stuff is really really cool. Monday. Talking. With their, founder. About. Like. Toy manufacturing. And just physical, product manufacturing, and stuff and. He. Gave me he's really, really really easy logical. Inside that I just had it's weird I've never put. My mind around this before but he. Said a, physical, product. Online. Retail, is you. Know Amazon 50%. 49% of all online retailers through Amazon he said go. On Amazon, and find all of the. Whatever. You're thinking about building I'm sure somebody else is already built it go find that product on Amazon and just read the comments, and the, people are the reviews rather and the people in the reviews will tell you exactly. What. They're looking for in that product and if you can find something that has that moves a ton of volume so something that sells you know 15,000. Things on it but, also gets really bad reviews, that's when you know you found a really good product so. Fifteen. Years ago people used to spend a lot of time, like. Doing like, like. Product testing with like children like toys for examples what we were talking about he, said we, have all the data we know exactly what's gonna sound what's not gonna sell and if you ever have any like doubts just go look in the comments I'm like heard the reviews on like Ali Baba, and Amazon and the customers will tell you exactly what they want but. Do it quickly because there's. Seven, billion people on, this planet that are all you, know. We. Get together show, you some of the other advantages, of being certified. What.
You've Just done, stay well. Do you name to name that I'm not only working with but all of their competitors, and we all have the same idea yeah, we're. Still working on it so I'll leave it till next we got a be back in a couple weeks I guess and. Detroit. August 22nd, I will. Be a billion dollar. For. Those of you out there who, probably want, to dive a little bit deeper it's the small business program that's, where those set-asides come from some of the things that keep we're mentioning it, the. Hack is the a you dot. Mil that's the defense acquisition University, you, want to go to where, it says learn for free actually, we'll post it on Facebook and, there's. The free small business program, walk through and explain all of this how there is the 5% or went for. Better and then kind of like opens the door so, you're not just walking out there with like little foundation for, where, you're trying to go mm-hmm. Well, I'm a yeah. I know the time wrap up there, was a group called V, box. Okay. I. Was. Trying to be subtle but. The. V box are. Generally. People who, work, for the federal government, who can, help, you get your business up running, plug, you into a whole, array of, free. Services, okay. Score, B. Box all of P tax all of these. What. I'm trying to tell you if you're a veteran and you want, to start a business there. Is a tremendous. Amount of resources and, once you get your business up and running then come talk to me. Thank. You everybody for joining us on this Wednesday, morning I hope every has a great day we'll be back next Wednesday. At, 4:30 p.m. Central, have a good day okay. That's. A wrap Thanks.