5/1/2017 | 2 MINUTE READ

Women-Owned Businesses: Create Marketing Advantages

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Women of moldmaking, take note: If you own majority shares in your company and you run that company, consider having it certified as a Women Business Enterprise (WBE).


A shareholder since the company's founding in 2000, Coleen Felstow became majority shareholder of Imlay City, Michigan-based injection molding company Imlay City Molded Products Inc. She immediately began the process of earning Women's Business Enterprise certification to expand opportunities for the company.


In an increasingly competitive marketplace, mold manufacturing companies must find ways to distinguish themselves from the pack. Finding niche markets helps, as does working to market one’s capabilities through trade event participation, advertising, speaking engagements and more. But women of moldmaking, take note: If you own majority shares in your company and you run that company, you may want to consider having your company certified as a Women Business Enterprise (WBE). It can open doors to new business, including government contracts.

Why am I thinking about women business owners in an industry that’s still dominated by men? There are more women leaders in our industry than you may think, and even more women who are working their way into leadership and ownership positions, I’m sure. Becoming certified as women-owned gives your company a proverbial foot-in-the-door with more than 1,000 corporations across the U.S.

For example, I received an announcement about Imlay City Molded Products Inc. (ICMP), a manufacturer and supplier of injection molded plastic parts for a wide range of industries, including automotive, recreational vehicle, defense, dunnage and consumer products. The company recently earned national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council (GLWBC), a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

“As a company that views quality and customer satisfaction as the cornerstone of our business, we are proud to be recognized by the WBENC as a Women’s Business Enterprise,” said Coleen Felstow, president and general manager, ICMP. “We recognize the commitment to supplier diversity that is embraced by corporations and government agencies today. With this certification, ICMP can help add to the diversity represented in the supply chain.”

The press announcement further states, “By including women-owned businesses among their suppliers, corporations and government agencies demonstrate their commitment to fostering diversity and the continued development of their supplier diversity programs.”

Mind you, becoming certified doesn’t guarantee your company will garner new business, but it’s one more tool in your marketing arsenal that can help get your company noticed by prospective customers who may not have given you a hard look previously.

WBENC’s national standard of certification implemented by the GLWBC is a meticulous process including an in-depth review of the business and site inspection. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51 percent owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women.

Another reason I’m fixed on women in moldmaking? This month MMT is featuring some impressive women in leadership roles, including owners. Check out our feature here, and be looking for another installment in June.


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