Client Success Story: Unspoken Language Services, Inc.

Amanda Martin is the President and CEO of Unspoken Language Services, an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting service agency that provides onsite and virtual ASL interpretation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. Amanda started the business as a sole proprietor, solely interpreting for as many deaf individuals as possible. After working full-time as an ASL interpreter, she thought, “how can I help more deaf people on a greater scale?” With what seemed impossible, she soon transitioned her sole prop to a corporation. Amanda described her business journey, “I took the unbelievable leap of faith and took a risk. I quit my full-time job, started Unspoken, and I haven’t looked back since. I began sharing our mission with more and more interpreters, who wanted to join a company with the same values and passion as them within the industry. Our primary focus at Unspoken is supplying effective communication to an underserved community. Because of the belief of our interpreters in us and keeping the Deaf community at the forefront, we’ve grown into the company we are today.”

After getting an invitation to a conference in San Diego, Amanda quickly registered and set out on her journey. “I drove in the rain, on bald tires, and all I thought was ‘I am just going to go to this meeting and check it out,” Amanda recounted. “When I arrived, I was overwhelmed, in a good way, with information on how you all (SBDCs) to help businesses connect with contract opportunities. You weren’t just sharing how businesses can do it, you SHOWED us how to do it,” Amanda continued. Amanda contacted her local SBDC: the University of La Verne SBDC, the next day and was connected with Rene Cota for a consulting session.

Unspoken Language Services didn’t know how to start doing business with the state or federal government. “We didn’t know how to start or how businesses were getting contract opportunities. That was one of the first questions I had for Rene: Where do we start? How do we get our name and business known for services, and how do we get connected with the state? How do we know what services they need so that we can supply those services for them?” Amanda explained.

“If anyone is  interested in  pursuing government contracts,  or more specifically, state contracts, and unsure of where to start,  please contact your local SBDC! They really  put small businesses foot in the door  with understanding the process of selling to the government through contracting opportunities and gives you the support you  need, especially when you  don’t  know where to begin to turn for that support.”

Rene consulted on how contracting with the government worked, the process involved, and the chances of winning contracts in the competitive market of the interpreting industry. “He prepared us for what to expect and walked us through the entire process, step by step, as we were faced with challenging and frustrating moments within the procurement process”, Amanda further emphasized. “Once we understood how the process worked, we registered our business, became a Certified Small Business, and completed the preliminary steps with everything we needed to qualify for the submitted opportunities,” Amanda said. “One of the things I really appreciated was that he (Rene) provided us with templates: showing us how to write our introduction letter and construct our technical response or approach for the services we provided. The templates not only expressed the services we provide but guided us on detailing how we provide them,” she continued.

Unspoken Language Services has won three (3) contracts in excess of $500,000, since working with the University of La Verne SBDC in a little under a year. The first contract award came from the Department of Transportation: Caltrans. “It was originally for a one-off opportunity. They were looking for a quote to see how much our services cost. They sent that out to different contractors and vendors, and we won! After successfully supplying services once, they became a repeat client: eventually requesting services each month,” Amanda explained. Unspoken Language Services then received an email request for a one-year contract, which they were later awarded. The second award was a two-year contract with the State of Colorado Department of Health and Human Services. Amanda also shared an update, “Our proudest award is the recently awarded California State Public Utilities Commission contract, which is also for a two-year contract.”

View the original story here.

Unspoken Language Services, Inc.

La Verne Chamber of Commerce

2332 D Street, Unit E

La Verne, CA 91750

(909) 593-5265

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