This is part two of a two part series on being a Texas HUB. See part one.
There are many HUB vendors that do extremely well selling products and services to the State of Texas and all of the state universities. There are also businesses that work hard to become HUB vendors and never sell a product or service to any agency.
Their key to success relies on a few ingredients.
First become a HUB for a product or service that the state needs to buy. Professional services are in high demand. Commodity items for sale like office supplies have a great deal of competition among HUB vendors.
The more unique your product or service is, the greater your chance will be of success.
After you become a HUB, you need to make sure the products you offer are listed in the Centralized Master Bidder’s List (CMBL). This may take a little patience to determine the right codes to use for your products or services.
The next thing you need to do is make sure that all of the information you have entered in the CMBL and the HUB directory is up to date and accurate. In listening to representatives of the Comptroller’s office they, say the number one problem with buying from a business listed in either the HUB directory or CMBL is not having the correct contact information. Don’t let that happen to you.
Once you know you have your products and services in the two lists and they are correct you should start to market to state agencies that might want your services. Nearly every state agency has a HUB coordinator whose job it is to help HUB companies navigate their agency. The complete list of HUB coordinators by state agency is maintained by the comptroller’s office.
Here is a big piece of advice from one of the HUB coordinators I recently spoke with: Learn the state’s purchasing language and processes. Many publications that can help you learn the processes at various agencies can be found on that agencies HUB page. When you make contact with the HUB coordinator for an agency they will help you work through their agency. Knowing how your product will help the agency is very important, but also understand the basics of their purchasing process. Doing this will keep the HUB coordinators for that agency working with you to win some business.
The last piece of advice is to make sure you under promise and over deliver. Any state agency you do business with will fill out a review of your product or service so other agencies can benefit from their experiences.