Your Small Biz Update
From Clark County Purchasing
Assistant Director - Administrative Services
SBOP Administrator
Wednesday, January 1, 2020 ---------------- ----- ----- ----------------

Hope you have had a wonderful holiday season and that your New Year's Day is off to a perfect start.

In this issue of the Small Biz Update you will find some food for thought on how to connect with more of the people you want to work with this year. You will also meet a County small business training graduate who is helping DBEs land new opportunities, and find a link where you can apply to showcase your company free of charge at the 2020 Clark County Small Business Expo.

Here's wishing you a very prosperous year!

To your success,

Adleen B. Stidhum

Adleen B. Stidhum
Assistant Director - Administrative Services
Purchasing & Contracts Division
SBOP Administrator
Adleen B. Stidhum
SBOP Administrator
Get to Know Your Customers
More Connections to Grow Your Business This Year
If you met with a few government purchasing agents in 2019 and gave up because new business didn’t come pouring in as hoped, chances are you could benefit from making deeper connections with the people you want to serve. Of course, the number one rule of marketing is to know thy customer. This year you can resolve to learn more about who uses what you are selling, who makes the decisions to buy, and more. Better connections with more prospects can only help to increase your odds of landing new opportunities.

If you have met only with key purchasing agents you may be missing out on opportunities to sell your goods or services to the countless end users who regularly buy for departments and offices throughout the organization’s territory. 

When you Need Help
From the public library, to SCORE, Small Business Administration, and the Small Business Development Center, there are a variety of resources that can point you in the right direction to learn more about your market. The internet can also yield information that helps you find the people you need to meet.

On Your Own
You can often identify buy decision-makers online, where you can gather initial details about them through their websites or LinkedIn profiles. LinkedIn provides some options for account-holders who want to conduct targeted searches for potential customers by business category. Using characteristics such as industry, job title, geographic location, and company size, enables users to build a list of potential leads. When you can not find a prospect directly on LinkedIn, you may find that you already are connected directly or indirectly with other LinkedIn users who can make an introduction to the person you would like to know.

If the customers you seek are on social media try to connect there. Not to make a sale, but rather to get acquainted as a first step toward building a relationship. Many government entities, including Clark County, can provide a list of key Purchasing agents and the types of goods and services each is responsible for buying. Agents are often open to meeting in person with potential suppliers when time allows. When you have the good fortune to meet face-to-face, be sure to ask good questions and make listening a priority. 

What to Listen For and Why
Active listening will enable you to identify what challenges the agency most wants to overcome, what makes purchasers buy the type of product or service you offer, when those purchases are made, how, and who makes the final call on which suppliers to use. All of these details are critical to your ability to speak directly to the needs of the organizations both in person, in all of your marketing activities, and every quote or proposal you submit for consideration.

In many instances, your category of product or service may be purchased directly by countless end users throughout the jurisdiction you are seeking to work with. For example, Clark County encompasses multiple cities and each routinely makes a variety of purchases of all sizes, from toilet paper, to office supplies, janitorial and maintenance services. 

Relationships to Facilitate Sales
One of the best ways to turn off almost any human being is to call and announce you are selling something. A better approach is to make your initial contact a fact-finding mission to gather information. For example, if you provide family counseling services you might ask a contact at a family services agency how the organization ensures that children with behavioral problems get the help they need. Ask about the challenges your contact deals with when outsourcing services to strengthen families. You will also want to find out who makes the decisions about where families should go for therapy, and how those decisions are made. 

The questions you ask will vary depending upon the type of business you are in. Here is a partial list of entities to explore as you seek to pursue new business opportunities this year.

Identify agencies that might be a good fit for you to work with, add them to your list of prospects, and get started on what we hope will be your best year yet. Use your new connections to help prospects understand the problems you can help them solve, the results you can help them achieve, and why your company is the best supplier to consider when the time comes to buy.
Preparation and Partnership
MYS Project Management Facilitates DBE Opportunities
In December of 2014, after years of building teams and processes for other companies, Myisha Williams decided to branch out on her own and launched MYS Project Management (MYS) in southern Nevada. In 2015 she welcomed business partner Laura Silva and the company has established a reputation for helping local small Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) land contracts with corporate and government entities. The organization has expanded to a 10-member team, and a growing client base that includes some long-term, multi-year contract awards.
Myisha Williams & Laura Silva
MYS Project Management
Williams said her first two years in business taught her a lot of lessons. For example, she learned the power that partnerships bring. 

“In my experience, proof of performance is the gateway to people making buy decisions. It is rare that one lands the first opportunity without a partner who has already worked in the space and brought you along,” Williams explained. “Our first contract was with the State of Nevada and we partnered with another small business to win a competitive RFP (Request for Proposal).” 

With work for the State under her belt, Williams felt the next logical step was to learn how to do business with other entities in the public sector. She enrolled in Clark County’s small business training program.

“We wanted to build relationships in the County and ended up building relationships with other small businesses in the program. We didn’t realize how much we could help each other by sharing business resources, such as services I didn’t know about,” Williams explained. 

“[Program administrator] Adleen Stidhum brought in information from years of knowledge on how to get involved, pre-bid conferences, and becoming part of the political process. I learned about small business certification and got an understanding of what it means to be a business owner and part of an emerging business network,” she added.

Today Williams works tirelessly in business, and as a volunteer, in the diversity space helping small and diverse businesses find what she refers to as real opportunities. Among the volunteer efforts, she serves as a member of the Nevada Commission on Minority Affairs. 

On the business side, MYS is a partner in the Ceasars design and construction program Arrive and Thrive , which promotes opportunities for diverse certified disadvantaged small businesses to participate in the construction phase of the Caesars Forum Meeting Center Project--a $375-million, 550,000 square-foot conference center in Las Vegas.

“We identify and validate that businesses are in fact small and diverse, and give that to powers-that-be who can make the decisions to procure them,” said Williams. “Our goal is to make sure the ones that do qualify get a chance to do business.”

Williams said the Arrive and Thrive program has led to other opportunities for her company and a lot of the small and diverse businesses she works with. She emphasizes that preparedness and partnership are key to anyone seeking to enjoy similar success. It also pays to take advantage of opportunities to make new connections.

“Three years ago we actually met a Purchasing representative at the Clark County Small Business Expo and it led to an ongoing opportunity that we still have today,” she said.

Does your small business want training
on how to do business with Clark County?
To become an SBOP partner or mentor:
Contact Adleen Stidhum at or call (702) 455-3163. 

Opportunity Knocks
Spring Mountain Youth Camp: Water Tank Restoration

Clark County invites qualified firms to bid on a project to perform water tank restoration at Spring Mountain Youth Camp, 2400 Angel Peak Place, Las Vegas, NV 89124.

A Pre-bid Conference and site visit for this project were held on October 1, 2019.

Bids for this project will be accepted on January 9, 2020 at 2:15:00 pm  based on the time clock at the Purchasing and Contracts Division front desk on the fourth floor of Clark County Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89155.

To review the specifications for this project and related documents visit the Current Opportunities page of the Clark County website and click on Bid #605452-19.
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Business-Building Events
Save the Date
March 26, 2020

Women's HERstory Month Event 
All proceeds benefit the Nevada Women's Business Center .
Selling to government?
Simplify the process.
Free resources available from
The Nevada Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and Procurement Outreach Program (POP) provide free services to simplify the process of selling goods and services to government. These programs from the Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development provide services free of charge.

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