WIPP National Partner of the Month – June 2016
Karen Caruso, President/CEO of Mind Your Business Inc. – Hendersonville, NC
We sat down with Karen to hear a little bit more about her business and her relationship with WIPP.
Tell us a little about your company and its mission.
My Company’s mission to provide accurate background screening information that empowers employers in making informed hiring decisions.
Have you always been an entrepreneur? If not, what inspired you to take the leap?
No, I didn’t leap into the entrepreneurship until my late 20’s. The “Oprah Winfery Show” inspired me to start my business. After watching episode on “Nightmare Nannies” The episode opened my eyes and my heart to the fact that families/working mothers were not conducting background checks on the centers or the individuals they were entrusting the safety of their children with. Having a work history in security and protection, I had my “Aha” moment watching a mother sharing her gut wrenching story of how her 10 month old was just murdered by the nanny she hired to care for her son. I founded my business, Mind Your Business, Inc. two month later with $2000 a personal computer and a passion in my soul to stand up and be the voice for the groups in our society that can’t speak for themselves, our babies and our children. We are celebrating our 20th year in business this year! We have grown from providing background checks to families and nanny agencies to providing background checks to the large corporations, local, State and Federal Government Agencies.
What is your biggest lesson learned working with the Federal Government?
The biggest lesson learned for me was: Not being afraid to ask for a contract! A company can have years of past performance in the commercial space, have all the government certifications that give them a competitive advantage, but you have to ask for the contract! If you want Federal Contracts “you have to get up and get them yourself”.
Do you have a success story that you are particularly proud of? Tell us about it!
I have many, but I’ll take a more resent one to share. My company was recently selected for a background-screening contract with ARMY. This particular contract was passed over by several members of my procurement staff as “not in our wheelhouse of capabilities”. I took the RFP (Request for proposal) home with me and stayed up all night reading and re-reading the contract. I admit it was a bit confusing but certainly in our capabilities! Along with my technical writers I decided to spearhead this contract response myself. Every spare second I had was spent writing the response. Were we awarded the contract with the ARMY, additionally I asked the contracting officer to consider setting the contract aside as an 8a direct award contract to our company and she did.
Tell us about your experience as a WIPP member? What resources/value has WIPP provided that has been helpful to you and your company?
Being a member of WIPP has provided me with a vast network of like-minded women. The Webinars have given me the opportunity to take my Federal Government Contracting knowledge to the next level proving me with direct information I can and do use in my company. The value of up to date is easy to access Federal Procurement information is invaluable for me and my limited time available to keep updated.