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College of business growth images: Find new customers.

Growth Services for Iowa businesses

Every business plan is founded on a fundamental need to grow sales. If that doesn’t happen, there is eventually no business. Companies do everything they can think of to attract new customers. But how does a business ever truly know if they’ve tried everything?

CIRAS experts can offer Iowa companies a variety of new ideas for growth – from providing opportunities to network with other businesses and assistance with marketing strategy, to individualized exporting classes on seeking out new customers overseas. Government contracting specialists can also help companies find opportunities to sell to federal, state, and local government agencies. Experts can guide clients through the entire process, from submitting bids and government-focused marketing to managing relationships once the contract is awarded.

B2B Networking and Best Practice Sharing for Iowa Businesses

CIRAS B2B Networking programs are structured activities focused on helping Iowa companies develop relationships to improve their businesses. CIRAS and our partners can provide Iowa firms with the right connections at the right time to help them find new customers, new suppliers, and/or answers to important questions. We offer three types of B2B networking: Matchmaking … Continue reading B2B Networking and Best Practice Sharing for Iowa Businesses

Becoming Even More Competitive

Kirkland “Bubba” Davidson, owner of Des Moines-based Dirty 30 Trucking & Excavating, built his company from the ground up relying mostly on his own skills and research. He was successful in securing independent contracts as well as subcontracting jobs, both of which enabled him to grow his company to its current workforce of nine employees. … Continue reading Becoming Even More Competitive

Bringing Marketing In House

Jennifer Eden stepped into the marketing role at Original Saw knowing one thing for certain: she needed some help. Years spent as an elementary school teacher, stay-home mom, and a sort of “jack-of-all trades” at the company had prepared her for many things—but not for marketing. “I didn’t have any marketing experience and neither did … Continue reading Bringing Marketing In House

Businesses Connect at Matchmaking Events

  Companies use CIRAS matchmaking events to help secure government contracting work, connect with subcontractors, and meet potential suppliers. “Getting in front of a large manufacturer can be difficult for smaller companies, and sifting through thousands of company profiles for a subcontractor can be daunting for original equipment manufacturers,” said Melissa Burant, CIRAS project manager. … Continue reading Businesses Connect at Matchmaking Events

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing uses the internet and other digital communication tools to achieve the goals of your marketing strategy. A strong digital marketing strategy defines the target market, the messages that you want to be delivered (content) and the methodologies you will use to deliver those messages (tactics). CIRAS can help you develop and deploy the right … Continue reading Digital Marketing

ExporTech Accelerates Global Growth

TransAgra International expects to more than double its global sales in the next year, and strategies learned at ExporTech will help the Storm Lake company achieve that goal. “We learned a great deal about building our global presence and making contacts, as well as the details of exporting and registrations in each country,” said Dr. … Continue reading ExporTech Accelerates Global Growth

Exporting to Global Markets

CIRAS export growth services, including ExporTech, help Iowa companies develop a strategic business plan to significantly increase international sales. A statewide network of partners allows CIRAS to connect companies with experts and resources to address their unique business needs. Our approach at CIRAS means we: Engage with businesses to determine export needs Provide tailored education … Continue reading Exporting to Global Markets

How to Bid on Government Contracts

Preparing bids and proposals can be an overwhelming part of breaking into government contracting. Guidance from CIRAS specialists can help Iowa companies save time while learning how to bid on government contracts and increase the chances that businesses submit a winning bid. The CIRAS APEX program exists to serve as an advisor for any participating Iowa … Continue reading How to Bid on Government Contracts

How to Find and Understand Government Contracting Opportunities

Finding and understanding government contracting opportunities can be confusing. CIRAS APEX staff can help guide companies through this next step by: Providing education on the government solicitation process and the various contract types Explaining the difference between RFIs, RFQs, and RFPs Identifying internet-based and other electronic procurement opportunities that match a company’s products and services … Continue reading How to Find and Understand Government Contracting Opportunities

How to Get Started Selling to the Government

The CIRAS APEX Accelerator is the “go to” resource for any Iowa business seeking to sell products or services to the government – whether a company is a beginner in search of the basics or a more experienced company seeking to improve performance. We help de-mystify the process as a business gets started on (and … Continue reading How to Get Started Selling to the Government

How to Grow Business through Government Contracting

What happens after a company has mastered the bidding process and conquered the RFQ?  What if they are looking for other opportunities to grow? Experienced companies who understand the basics of selling products and services to the government sometimes decide to pursue more complex forms of business with federal agencies. CIRAS APEX specialists provide a … Continue reading How to Grow Business through Government Contracting

How to Market Products and Services to the Government

Focused marketing increases the likelihood of winning government contracts. It enables companies to know what their customers are looking for and where they are spending money. Marketing helps businesses understand their competitors and has the ability to create more opportunities for a business to engage, network, and win contracts. CIRAS APEX staff are ready to … Continue reading How to Market Products and Services to the Government

How to Perform on Awarded Government Contracts

What happens after a company is awarded a government contract plays a vital role in future contracting success. Government agencies prefer to work with reliable suppliers, so they’ll be watching closely. Companies that successfully perform on their awarded government contracts ensure excellent performance ratings and improve the likelihood that they’ll prosper in future sales opportunities. … Continue reading How to Perform on Awarded Government Contracts

Marketing Strategy

Many businesses struggle with turning product and market tactics to an actionable marketing strategy built on facts. CIRAS works alongside of you to analyze and describe your current state, diagnose key issues, pull in resources from Iowa State University and our partners, and deploy a strategic marketing plan that meets your business objectives. Iowa businesses … Continue reading Marketing Strategy

Recruiting More Women into Manufacturing

Women make up nearly half of the working population, but they remain underrepresented in manufacturing. According to recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women account for more than 57% of the overall workforce but only about 29% of the manufacturing workforce, a statistic that’s been largely unchanged for years. Addressing this gender disparity can benefit … Continue reading Recruiting More Women into Manufacturing