Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Interview with Amy Canales, RoyalKinetic’s Chief Executive Officer

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1- Hello, Amy, can you please tell us a bit about you and how you got started in your company?

Sure, I always knew I was a pretty good writer, and learned early on how to use that to help other people articulate their value propositions using the “Four C’s”: (1) “Captivate” your audience; (2) Keep it “Concise;” (3) Make it “Compelling” and (4) Be “Compliant.”, These Four C’s are the starting point to being able to close deals, but I never imagined I would one day build a business around them.

To give you a bit more history, I started out working for the Federal Government as a Procurement Policy Writer for the Navy, authoring a lot of instructional manuals and procurement policy regulations.  This really allowed me to hone my craft, especially as it relates to being able to understand the nuances of Federal Procurements. Eventually, I became a Contracting Officer where I was responsible for issuing solicitations, buying goods and services on behalf of the government and evaluating vendor proposals. I did that for about six years, then branched out and held several C-suite leadership positions with large defense companies for another five years or so.

I found that what I really wanted to do was to be more hands-on with small businesses and started doing independent consultant work, taking on clients, and I began to see a pattern—you know, a recurring theme.  Across all these different companies, they were all at the stage where they were facing the exact same set of challenges: lack of infrastructure strained or dwindling staffing resources, poor capture planning, or an inefficient bid management process. The sales people seemed to think it was okay to just start throwing darts at everything with no calculated return on investment or even a chance of winning. This is absolutely not the right way to hit your target—unless you get in front of the requirement, you’re going to waste a lot of time and money chasing it.

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I also noticed a lot of my clients didn’t really understand the procurement process and were struggling with writing their proposals in response to RFPs/RFQs.  So this quickly became my niche market and that’s when I founded RoyalKinetic LLC.

2- Tell us more about RoyalKinetic?

Well, RoyalKinetic is a business strategy advisory firm that was launched in 2001 as an answer to the needs I described earlier. Our core capabilities are business development, strategic consulting, capture planning, bid management, and proposal technical writing services.  We’re able to identify what’s holding businesses back and help organizations of all sizes increase their government contract win rates. We work in—well, you name it, everywhere— IT, cyber, construction, healthcare, acquisition support. We’ve been fortunate enough to have served customers in every vertical. It helps that we’re located within commuting distance of the nation’s capital, which is the home base of not only the large, established defense contractors but also the innovative 8(a) start-ups, which have driven a lot of our success.

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3- What influences your work? What makes you want to wake up every morning?

Honestly, I am driven by success!  My mom always said I was a bit of an overachiever, but I definitely love to tackle challenges and get a lot of personal joy when I can help our clients succeed.

I am also fueled by the support of my husband, employees, and fellow business owners I have helped along the way.

4- How do you describe RoyalKinetic’s values?

We are a company that cares about our clients and our boutique size allows us to remain agile and flexible. Though many small businesses are experiencing the same set of challenges, you have to dive in deep to really understand the nuances of *how* they’re experiencing them, and work collaboratively with them to develop and implement solutions that fit.

5- Where do you think you are making an impact?

Although we work with large corporations, we have the biggest impact when we work with small and mid-market companies—it’s really exciting to have a hand in guiding them and seeing their revenues grow. We also know we are doing something right because we have a phenomenal win rate. Currently, it’s 87% of grants and 91% of federal proposals—that’s more than $2.9 billion dollars of awarded contracts to date.

6- Where do you see “RoyalKinetic” in the next 5 years?

We’re going to continue our mainstay commercial business of assisting companies to win more Federal, local and state business, but we are expanding our footprint to focus more on Federal pursuits. In the first quarter of 2018, we will officially launch RoyalKinetic Federal Solutions.

7- What are you most excited about at the moment?

Definitely how far I have come and how my business has taken off. I’m backed by a lot of phenomenal people who have never faltered in their support and encouragement.

8- What does “Women in Business” mean to you?

For me, the term means empowerment, breaking through barriers, and leading and guiding the next generation of leaders—both men and women—but women historically haven’t had the same level of institutional support, so hopefully, we’re helping to change that.

9- What can you tell woman entrepreneurs who are pursuing their dreams?

I’ve always said, you can’t be a passive participant. If you want to succeed you have to be active, engaged, strategically positioned, and professionally connected.  Follow that roadmap and you can break through any ceiling.

10- The last word or final thoughts?

Thank you, Sara, for contacting me and sharing my company’s story. I’m grateful for my clients for their confidence in RoyalKinetic and continued loyalty—it’s really amazing since we launched we haven’t really done any marketing and yet we have an abundance of work, primarily due to our active referrals and repeat business.  I’d ask all your readers to follow us on social media and to take the time to visit our website (www.royalkinetic.com) for more exciting updates and learn more about our amazing team.

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Noelle Elia
Noelle Elia
is a Financial analyst at PSPC. Graduated from Telfer School of Management, Finance/Accounting with interest to Entrepreneurship and New Media.
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