Linda Rawson: Country Girl turned CEO
Known as the Country Girl turned CEO, Linda Rawson shares her story on how she navigates the federal arena as a small business while also experiencing various roadblocks along the way.
Linda Rawson had been in the industry for over 35 year and started as a software engineer and computer program analyst to various companies.
Currently, Rawson is a successful inventor, technology entrepreneur, and C-level executive of her own company, DynaGrace Enterprises, Inc., providing intelligent automation through AI Solutions.
She is also operating 2Bizchicks, together with her daughter Jennifer Remund, wherein they provide branding insights and responsive website hosting.
Rawson is also an author of the book entitled, “The Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Guide to Government Contracts,” as well as other books on topics about Blockchain, weather science, and grief. She has also been a contributing author of the book, “Game Changers for Government Contractors.”
EXPERIENCE IN THE FEDERAL MARKETPLACE
Rawson started in the federal marketplace without having enough resources to fund her business but she found a way to sustain for almost 15 years.
“I didn’t have cash. So, these people that tell me they need all this money to start a business, in my mind, it’s just an excuse.”
Although she knew that normally banks usually deny loan applications from new small businesses, she believed that there are tons of methods to search for funds as well as there are a ton of programs that are meant for small businesses.
The first method that helped Rawson in getting more contracts is being part of the 8a program. It helped her focus on government customers that needed their niche and was able to get to know them.
Apart from that, she was also called by a larger company that she had worked with in the past and asked if she would be interested to join into the mentor-protege program.
Although, there is a commotion wherein some contractors felt like they were just being forgotten by the mentor, Rawson believed that it is best to get a mentor but first make sure that you are a good fit.
“I lucked out. I had a mentor that showed me how to write a proposal, how to set up my accounting system. Introduced me to their customers. We did work for many many many years together.”
Most importantly, in doing business with the government, she learned that the competition in this marketplace is really fierce and she needs to stand out.
“So I came back to what am I really passionate about doing? And that’s where I’m taking my company. I’m passionate about air quality, I’m passionate about making sure people can breathe clean air. And so I have been pivoting since January 1. And it has been joyful, it has been challenging, I have yet to really get that first sell. But I’m working on it. And so I think you have to really like what you do.”
ADVICE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Rawson believed that managing people might be the hardest part of your job as a small business owner but you need to build a relationship with these people.
This goes the same way with other small businesses. If you’re part of the 8a program, you need to build relationships with the other members and use the program as much as its worth.
“You need to be friendly and nice and show and also follow up. So, if they give you their information… make sure you have them on some kind of drip, you know, where you talk to them 30 days, 60 days, 90 days. Because if you’re an 8a, they may all of a sudden have money and they remember you and they’re gonna direct an award.”
Apart from that, you also need to be pretty strong in making sure that everything that you want will happen.
“You can’t say, I want to start a business and then never do it or you’re gonna really beat yourself up for that decision. So, if you say, you’re going to start a business, you figure out how to do it, you figure out you know when to do it, if it’s at nights and weekends, for the first little while but somehow you make your dream come true.”
Remember, it’s normal to experience fear and anxiety but believe that you can get past through it.
If you want to watch the full video of the interview with Linda Rawson as she shares her story on how she navigates the federal arena as a small business, then be sure to click the link down below.
003: Linda Rawson – Country Girl turned CEO Technology Entrepreneur
What are the advantages of 8a for a new business? – Eric Coffie
8a Facts and Fiction, Q&A with Eric Coffie and Linda Rawson