Being a Supply Nation Registered business or Certified supplier does not entitle Indigenous businesses to win business without any effort. However, being a Supply Nation supplier provides you with an opportunity to be seen by a huge market of buyers to connect with. As an Indigenous business, we at Ngakkan Nyaagu (NGNY) have been a Supply Nation Certified supplier since 2015 and it literally took us two years before we won our first body of work that came through Supply Nation. What was evident from this was that we had to grow our business to become sufficient to win business independently of any of our memberships, and especially as a recognised 100% Aboriginal owned business.
There are two types of Supply Nation supplier categories for Indigenous businesses, the first is ‘Supply Nation Certified’ category and the second is ‘Supply Nation Registered’ category.
Here’s an image from the Supply Nation website which demonstrates the difference between a ‘Certified’ and ‘Registered’ business.
Whether you are a ‘Certified’ or ‘Registered’ Supply Nation business, you must put in the strategic and hard yards in as a business owner and sell the value of your business products and/or services being acquired Supply Nation members.
Here are some of the benefits of being a Registered or Certified Supply Nation supplier:
- Access to a market of buyers from corporate and government Australia
- Having your business listed in the Supply Nation business directory to be seen by a large network of buyers and other Indigenous businesses
- Connecting with a large community of Indigenous owned businesses and being able to collaborate and procure services from one another
- Forming strong relationships, partnerships and alliances with other Indigenous businesses
- The ability to identify and work with an Indigenous supply chain
- The one that most people want to see is that, yes, you do win work being on the Supply Nation business directory. This, however, is not often overnight scenario or a ‘flick of the switch’. From our, as NGNY perspective it took us just over 2 years to win our first contract that came through Supply Nation
- The option to attend the annual Supply Nation Connect event and to showcase your products and/or services to Supply Nation Members (buyers) and other Indigenous businesses. Check out our Supply Nation Connect event articles where we talk about our experiences and getting the most out of the Knowledge Forum on day #1 and the Tradeshow on day #2 of the Supply Nation Connect event.
As Ngakkan Nyaagu (NGNY) we are advocates of Supply Nation and the work that they do because they provide an opportunity for Indigenous businesses to be seen by potential large buyers. But what we have been able to achieve as well is lifelong connections and relationships with other Indigenous business owners from all across the country. From these relationships we have been able to win more business and find ways of partnering with other Indigenous businesses.
The question that we always ask ourselves and that Indigenous business owners and those that aspire to be Indigenous business owners should ask themselves, ‘does your business exist tomorrow if the Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) ceases?’ Secondly, ‘are you able to promote, market and sell your business services without being recognised as an Indigenous business i.e. are you deliver quality services to the market that meets or goes beyond the standards set by your industry?’ The core component related to these two questions is based around independent sustainability and how you are building your business to deliver amazing products and/or services. Build your strengths and your reputation as a business and this will hold you in good stead to be recognised as a supplier that members will trust and engage when the time is right for them to engage you.