Big Jobs for Small Business, University of Missouri Extension, MOPTAC


THE WATER WON’T BE HERE FOR A FEW YEARS, BUT
IN SULLIVAN COUNTY, THE ECONOMIC RIPPLE EFFECT OF THE EAST LOCUST RESERVOIR PROJECT HAS BEGUN. AN IMMEDIATE BENEFICIARY IS A SMALL CONSTRUCTION
BUSINESS BASED IN BROOKFIELD, MO. LOIS RODRIGUEZ, PRESIDENT OF BETTER BY DESIGN,
RECENTLY EARNED A CONTRACT FROM THE NORTH CENTRAL MISSOURI REGIONAL WATER COMMISSION
TO CLEAN UP A PORTION OF THE FUTURE LAKE BED. THAT CONTRACT HAS LEAD TO MORE JOBS. (Lois Rodriguez) We hit the ground running,
and since October, we went from two full time employees, and several part-time employees,
to five full-time employees and at times thirteen part-time employees. LOIS AND HER MOTHER DARLENE PHILLIPS STARTED
THEIR LANDSCAPING COMPANY WITH A FOCUS ON GROWING SELLING TREES. AS THE HOUSING MARKET CRASHED, IT WAS TIME
TO DIVERSIFY THEIR BUSINESS AND SEEK OUT NEW CLIENTS. TO NAVIGATE THE GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING MAZE
LOIS SOUGHT HELP FROM THE MISSOURI PROCUREMENT TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTERS, OR P-TAC. SINCE THEN, LOIS HAS SEEN HER BUSINESS GROW. (Lois Rodriguez) If I was going to tell someone
going into a small business it was gaining that knowledge, getting that information from
your PTAC person. And quit spinning your wheels trying to break
in by yourself because it’s almost impossible if you don’t have someone helping you who
knows the environment, knows the culture, and knows what it takes to get in. SOME OF HER EARLY PROJECTS SUCH AS
RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL LANDSCAPING LED TO HEAVY CIVIL PROJECTS WITH THE HELP OF P-TAC
COUNSELOR JANA WEITKEMPER. (Jana Weitkemper) We’re here to keep them
informed of what’s going on, what opportunities are out there, what agencies are looking to
do procuring and what they provide. We’re here to help build the economy, make
Missouri better. LOIS’S GOVERNMENT CLIENTS HAVE INCLUDED THE
MISSOURI DEPARTMENTS OF TRANSPORTATION AND CONSERVATION, THE U.S. AIR FORCE, AND THE
USDA. (Jana Weitkemper) And every client is different,
every client situation is different, but it’s definitely rewarding to see them succeed,
and to see them grow, and to see them accomplish. LOIS BELIEVES HER MISSOURI P-TAC COUNSELORS
HAVE PLAYED A BIG PART IN THE GROWTH OF HER BUSINESS. (Lois Rodriguez) I think that is one of the
most invaluable relationships that I’ve ever formed. Instead of just saying you need to do X, Y
and Z, you learn why you need to do X, Y and Z. The amount of services, trainings, contacts,
almost hold your hand to get you to the next step services that they provide is invaluable
to you. FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI, I’M JON LAMB.

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