Beverly Kuykendall: Acclaimed Medical Supply Provider
An acclaimed expert and medical supply provider with the federal government, Beverly Kuykendall shares her success story and her advice on how to gain success in the government marketplace.
She is a graduate of Business Management in Cal Poly University in Pomona, California and had her Masters in Business Administration from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.
Kuykendall had worked with huge organizations including Procter & Gamble, American Hospital Supply, Xerox, and Herman Miller. She also had her own consulting firm, Federal and Commercial Contracts, Incorporated.
Due to all of these, she was recently recognized as one of South Florida’s 25 Most Influential and Prominent Women in Business and Leadership in 2015. She had also been acknowledged as one of the 50 Most Powerful Minority Women in Business, Entrepreneur of the Year by the Black Business Association of Los Angeles, and Advocate of the Year by the National Association of Minority Contractors of Southern California.
“The definition of bravery is not that you’re not afraid; it’s being afraid and doing it anyway.”
EXPERIENCE IN THE FEDERAL MARKETPLACE
Kuykendall had a background with the government market through her affiliations with the huge corporations and also through her consulting firm. She had also helped expand Management Healthcare Products and Services, a company established by her husband, Calvin Jones, and Ron Johnson.
Then, she worked with AMD after she was offered by her first consulting client, Sukrit and Akhil Agrawal, to work with them.
AMD started as an 8a company representing capital equipment companies to the federal government. Kuykendall knew it is a very attractive position to be in because they are eliminating other competitors and became a sole source in the federal marketplace.
“We will represent you to the federal government and now we’re going to provide resources to the relationship because we don’t believe in pass throughs that don’t serve anyone. And we will represent your products to the federal government.”
Currently, AMD positioned itself as one of the prime vendors in terms of medical and healthcare products and services in the government marketplace.
THREE THINGS TO DELIVER IN THE MARKETPLACE
The first thing that you should do is to demonstrate what is your customer’s return on investment when they work with you.
“So, they invest in you by paying you as a consultant or paying you as a small one or two man company, no matter what you’re doing, they want a return on that.”
Then, you have to be able to offer your customer something that they couldn’t get without you. Kuykendall called it a strategic market advantage.
For instance, AMD had four divisions: a government team doing calls to Department of Defense facilities, an alternative site time that called on clinics and physical offices, an inside sales team that calls different facilities, a prime vendor team that both have onsite and arena representatives, and a project sales group team.
All of these are targeted towards various markets and this is what makes AMD different from other healthcare and medical supply providers.
Lastly, you should provide them an incremental increase in market share.
ADVICE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Kuykendall believed in the importance of making a business visible for your target market and making it stand out from your competition.
“Make sure those local people know you right… It’s always good to go close to home. You don’t want to go too far away.”
She believes that by focusing on the area that is closest to you, you are not only gaining more capital, you are also helping shape the local economy in both direct and indirect manner.
“That’s what you really want to do. You’re going to be able to have to create jobs and you want that local federal agency by awarding you a contract to help you with that because there’s also their mission. And they’re lending resources to the small business community.”
Although, both local and national influence is key in the success of your growing business, you must first be visible in your locality first, then move forward to the bigger marketplace.
Most importantly, it is key to understand your customers and know exactly how you can meet their needs or at least have a recommendation for them.
Even if you already know some information, you should still ask them about it as they can surely put more information in your research. This way, you can use that information to gain a foothold on doing business with them or at least the next meeting.
If you want to watch the full video of the interview with Beverly Kuykendall as she shares her success story and her advice on how to gain success in the government marketplace, then be sure to click the links below:
014: Beverly Kuykendall – On Consulting, Being Intentional, Prime Contracts and Supplier Diversity