As more talented individuals make the leap into entrepreneurship, it has become increasingly important to find innovative ways for business to stay at the top of their industry, conduct business development, marketing, operate more effectively and efficiently and expand into an ever-changing marketplace.

Developing key relationships has become an ever-increasingly more strategic way for business to grow. Strategic relationships allow businesses to cross-promote, build on each other’s strengths, fill in gaps in areas of growth, share intelligence, attract new customers and expand business offerings to existing customers.

A case study in how to partner and create a mutually beneficial relationship is the recent partnership between AtWork Systems and the District of Columbia Small Business Development Center (DCSBDC).

The DCSBDC is a public/private partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, and Howard University. For more than 30 years, the DCSBDC has supported entrepreneurs in starting, financing, growing and maintaining their businesses. The DCSBDC also provides consulting, training, and provides its clients with the tools to understand and implement best business practices, achieve profitability and sustainable growth.

AtWork Systems is a Herndon, Virginia based software development company, with decades of experience doing business with and working for federal, state and local government. When I, as the Executive Director of the DCSBDC and Ronald Lewis, CEO of AtWork Systems connected, we realized that we had the opportunity to partner, and offer significant benefits to both of our client bases.

Ronald, an entrepreneur with experience in IT and management consulting has worked for more than 20 years as a Principal and CTO at various firms. He co-founded his first company, Intelligent Technologies, Inc. ITI, a cyber security and operational consulting start-up that specializes in working with both commercial companies and government departments. Immediately following ITI’s initial success, Ron founded AtWork Systems. His experience implementing large scale ERP systems such as SAP and Deltek led him to him realize that there was an unserved market for these integrated back office systems for the non-fortune 500 companies, and the growing acceptance and pervasive use of several key technologies had provided an opportunity for an affordable platform that could fill that gap. Ron was eventually joined by his long-time technology partner, Jin Chun, as CTO, and his business technology innovation advocate, Victor Rhoder, as Product Manager in 2017.

They developed OneLynk as a configurable and scalable business operating platform that digitizes and optimizes processes while providing just-in-time business intelligence for decision making. OneLynk contains a suite of easily configurable web applications for automating and monitoring business transactions, including human capital management, finance, timekeeping and expense management, procurement, contracts and project management, payroll services and more.

As the Executive Director of the DCSBDC, which works directly with hundreds of entrepreneurs a year, many of which are entering or growing in the Federal Government contracting space, I recognizes that many of these entrepreneurs face significant risks, including non-compliance with Federal regulations, inability to scale, loss of revenue, and lack of automation of key business processes that hinders their growth. In addition, with cybersecurity becoming more complicated and an integrated part of every business, there were mutually beneficial opportunities to offer through a strategic partnership with AtWorks’ OneLynk, a Shared Services Online (SSO) solution that offers a suite of cloud-based software products that provide a comprehensive shared services back-office ecosystem to small and medium size professional service firms, such as, professional services firms or government contractors.

OneLynk offers clients the following:
• A standard library of reconfigurable default templates for automating and monitoring business transactions, supporting human capital management, finance, timekeeping and expense management, procure to pay, contracts and project managements, and payroll services.
• A mobile platform providing greater visibility & control over core business transactions
• Built-in analysis and auditing capabilities supporting regulatory compliance
• An integrated a marketplace where organizations scale their back-office support functions by leveraging consultants/partners in the network of professional resources.

In addition, OneLynk integrates with the emerging gig economy workforce. I am ecstatic about the potential benefits to the small business that come to the DCSBDC for support. Many of these businesses are at a critical point in their growth and need additional technology based resources to help them stay on the competitive edge, automate business decisions and streamline workflow with multiple partners. We work with all sizes of businesses, and with OneLynk’s ability to support businesses of all sizes, with a sweet spot for companies with 20 to 500 employees, it will offer a myriad of benefits to the clients we serve.

This partnership between the DCSBDC and AtWork Systems offers a great case study in how businesses can partner to enhance offerings to their clients. In addition to doing this, together, we can broaden our service offerings, expand our brand awareness and customer base through cross-marketing, are more competitive together than we are individually and there is the additional opportunity to expand to new markets as the partnership grows.

Small businesses working with the DCSBDC who want to learn more about how they can benefit from the OneLynk tool, and to learn more about how the partnership can benefit their business, email [email protected] You can learn more about the DCSBDC at and more about AtWork Systems at