In a bid to boost the small businesses that provide job opportunities to Americans, Congress mandated that at least 23 percent of federal government contracts be awarded to small businesses. Under this mandate, Small Disadvantage Businesses, Women-Owned Small Businesses, HUBZone Small Businesses and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses would all get a piece of the potentially lucrative government contracts. For many people working in federal contracting, including Susan M. Taylor, recognizing small businesses is a positive way to ensure their growth and contribution to the American economy continues.

The Small Business Administration makes it a priority every year to make sure that federal agencies meet and exceed the procurement goals. Small businesses winning government contracts results in a win-win scenario. The businesses get the financial resources they need to expand and create more jobs while the federal government gets to work with some of the most creative business minds in the nation.

Encouraging small business participation in government contracting has been a priority for every administration. The Obama administration worked hard to ensure that during his first term in office, the federal government awarded contracts worth more than $300 billion to small businesses. It's a marked improvement over decades past and represents a positive shift in attitudes towards what small businesses can bring to the table.

There are challenges for the SBA to overcome in its mandate to promote small businesses, particularly the instability caused by an erratic budget climate. Still, the agency is working to ensure that small businesses can find a stable environment to make a difference.

Susan M. Taylor has nearly 30 years of experience in the federal government, most of which are in senior acquisition management positions in both the Department of Defense and civilian agencies.


Creating a talented workforce starts by hiring the right people. Next, you have to figure out how to keep them. Conventionally, it was thought that all employees cared about was taking home a steady paycheck. But with changing work culture and millennials taking over the workplace, good pay might not be the only thing that keeps an employee motivated. For many employees, it's about the relationships gained at work that make a difference. Susan M. Taylor, an experienced executive in procurement, has done a lot of research in the strategies that help organizations retain employees.

To keep employees happy, some organizations come up with benefits packages that fit individual needs. Such packages include perks such as health insurance, retirement savings plans, and life insurance. Also, some organizations allow workers to work from home and plan their schedules. Such gestures go a long way to communicate that the company is flexible in its approach to work.

As mentioned, it’s no longer enough for employees to offer financial benefits. Workers want to feel that the organization is committed to solving issues they can relate to and also working to make lives better. They want to see how the organization is moving forward and how corporate policies impact the community. For business leadership, this means making employees feel they are a part of something bigger; a compelling vision that inspires them to go the extra mile.

When employees can relate to the company’s message, they become its biggest ambassadors because they believe the organization’s goals make a difference.

Susan M. Taylor has previously worked in a task force charged with coming up with strategies on employee retention in the procurement industry. This task force was formed by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP).


Organizations that have established strong contracting frameworks see this aspect of the business as a core competency. When the contracting process is well planned, it has the ability to bring savings and other operational efficiencies to the business, all of which serve to provide a competitive advantage to the business. A respected and accomplished executive in business procurement and contracting, Susan M. Taylor can attest to the advantages of having an established procurement/contracting process.

The process begins where the business acknowledges that it has needs that are best met by external parties. At this point, the business has to determine the what, how, and when of procurement. After these questions have been answered, the business can move towards preparing the documents required to support the process. At this point, the business has to identify the most appropriate procurement method, develop a solicitation document, and come up with a suitable contract.
With the required documents ready, the procuring personnel will go on to solicit interest parties to present their bids and proposals. The most suitable bids are chosen depending on how they meet the solicitation criteria, after which successful parties are invited to negotiate with the business. The purpose of a consultation is to ensure both parties reach a satisfactory understanding.

Once the parties put pen to paper, it falls on the business to closely monitor the performance of its contractors and ensure that they meet the set standards. Continuous evaluation helps to identify any loopholes or challenges that require remedying.
Susan M. Taylor has worked in procurement for nearly three decades. She’s written numerous articles on the subject that were published in Business Horizons magazine and in the Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology magazine.


As a decorated senior executive in federal procurement and contracting, Susan M. Taylor is regularly invited to speak at conferences, forums and professional meetings nationwide. While it may come naturally for her to speak in front of large crowds, it takes a while to get used to giving good speeches. Professionals who aspire to be respected for their knowledge and skills can build a name for themselves by being good speakers.

Here’s how you can give inspirational speeches that leave everyone wanting to hear more.

Read from a script

Unless you can memorize everything you want to say, it’s a good idea to have a script to read from. Having a speech prepared enables you to stay on point and articulate the main issues clearly. And since you might not see any errors in your work, have a trusted friend, colleague or family member proofread your speech.

Short and simple

While you might want to elaborate on the key points in your speech, try not to go on and on about a particular subject. Prepare an interesting point that brings out the key theme and isn’t full of filler material.

Let your passion show

A lot of professionals would love to be in a position to address their peers on the big stage, so show you appreciate the opportunity by letting the audience see you are passionate about the subject. Sometimes, it doesn’t really matter what you say, but rather how you say it.

Susan M. Taylor is an executive leader in federal government procurement who works well with both acquisition and program management staff. She has 29 years of experience working in the federal government, 22 of which were in senior acquisition management positions in both DoD and civilian agencies.

The Evolution of the Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs officially began in 1776. Created by the Continental Congress to provide pensions to soldiers in the Revolutionary War, the Department traces its roots back to the Plymouth Colony in 1636, and has provided American veterans with an ever-expanding package of benefits and health care services.

After the US Congress expanded and consolidated veterans’ services in 1924 and in 1928, President Herbert Hoover signed into law Executive Order 5398 in 1930 and promoted the Veterans Bureau to a federal administration. This created the Veterans Administration, which was an even more consolidated and expansive veterans’ benefits program. Smaller parts of the Veterans Bureau, such as the National Homes and the Pension Bureau, also joined the Administration. Brigadier General Frank T. Hines became the first Administrator of the modern Department of Veterans Affairs.

World War II brought many more soldiers to Veterans Affairs, with Congress passing laws providing veterans with more services, the most famous of which was the GI Bill, which allowed returning soldiers to attend college tuition-free and receive federal home loans. The VA administered the benefits from the GI Bill, signed into law on June 22, 1944. Scholars now argue that the GI Bill has affected the American way of life more than any law since the Homestead Act of 1862.

Susan M. Taylor is proud to be a part of the history of the Department of Veterans Affairs. She was the Deputy Chief Procurement Officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, for four and a half years before she retired in November 2014.

Three Things That Will Deteriorate Your Historical Artifacts

Collecting and storing historical artifacts is a rewarding hobby. When storing artifacts, you need to be aware of certain variables that will cause your artifacts to deteriorate. You need to take great care and diligence when considering the environment where your artifacts are stored. Certain environments can foster agents of deterioration. Here are three things that could cause your artifacts to deteriorate.


·         Water damage is sometimes unavoidable as nature takes her course of action. However, there are certain prevention methods that you can use to do your best to avoid water damage. Keep your artifacts at least six inches off the ground or in cabinets. Make sure never to keep drinks or any liquid nearby. Flooding and leaking can cause water damage that is out of your control. Water damage will cause your artifacts to warp and develop water stains.


·         Pests like insects, rodents, and even microorganisms are attracted to paper and fabric because those artifacts are made out of plants and other animals. Never store your artifacts in cardboard boxes because pests easily and gladly rip their way through cardboard. Try to schedule a regular pest control inspection and use environmentally friendly pest control products because chemicals could damage your artifacts as well.


·         Light exposure could also cause damage to your artifacts. Overexposure to both natural and artificial light can cause artifacts to fade, thus decreasing the monetary value of the artifact. Minimize the amount of time that artifacts are exposed to light and store objects in dark and dry places if you can.


Susan M. Taylor is an experienced collector of Civil War art and artifacts.

Three Tips for Beginner Tennis Players to Consider

Tennis is a fun sport that is enjoyable to learn. It can be played competitively or leisurely, but either way it is a lot of fun to play. Taking lessons is a must for any tennis beginner that wants to get better. Tennis lessons are fun and relaxing depending on your instructor. Here are a few tips for and practice ideas for beginner tennis players.

  •          The best way to work on your forehand is by rallying. The forehand is the easiest stroke to learn because of the stance on the control you have. Rallying is when you play the ball back and forth with a partner. Practice your forehand by only using it while rallying. This will help you improve your technique but also teach how to read the flight path of a ball and move to get in proper position for a forehand.
  •           Now that you have rallied only using your forehand do the same using your backhand stroke. The backhand is a little tougher than the forehand stroke because you have a little less control, but the key is to keep your wrists even and straight.
  •           Playing mini tennis is a good way to master your strokes and to improve your movement. Mini tennis is a little match that you play only within the serve square closest to the nets. This is a great way to practice your strokes and technique without feeling like you need to place a lot of power in them.

Susan M. Taylor is an experienced tennis player who has been playing league tennis for 40 years.

Susan M Taylor

Two Important Rules for Housebreaking a Your Bearded Collie

Housebreaking is going to be the most important rule that your puppy learns when you first bring him or her home. It's important to remember that when you are training your dog housebreaking rules, your puppy wants to behave well and wants to please you. Also, remember that accidents will happen, and that puppies sometimes have difficulty controlling their bladders. Be patient with your puppy. Here are two rules that will speed up the housebreaking process.

The first rule is a tough rule to follow, but it is important that you do. Confine your dog to an area so that your puppy doesn't go to the bathroom in the wrong place. This means that you should gate off a section of the house, such as the kitchen or laundry room, for your puppy to stay in when you aren't at home or aren't watching him. You can take your puppy out of this area when you are playing with him or her, training him or her, or just sitting with him or her.

Give your dog regular access to the right area to go to the bathroom. Take your puppy outside every few hours and praise him or her for going to the bathroom when outside. You can also install a doggie door or leave the door open for your dog to in and out of the house as he or she pleases. This encourages your dog to go to the bathroom in the right area.

Susan M. Taylor is an experienced dog owner. In 2003 and 2004 her Bearded Collie was the No. 2 nationally ranked female Bearded Collie in the United States.