The Best Secrets and Science Behind Growing Your Business | GROW Nebraska’s FREE Online Training

The Best Secrets and Science Behind Growing Your Business | GROW Nebraska’s FREE Online Training

GROW Nebraska’s® FREE Online Training

The Best Secrets and Science Behind Growing Your Business

How to Livestream Your Business to New Customers

What would happen if you could gather the most effective intelligence behind growing a wildly successful business alongside the strategies to put them into place and how to maintain them?

Lindsay Thomsen plans to share the most valuable, proven and relevant business insights that can directly impact your business, team and you as a leader. She will share examples of how these insights relate to her as an entrepreneur, her businesses and more than 20 years’ worth of clients.

During this webinar, Lindsay will cover the three things she sees that the best business insights are related to:

-How you perceive and operate your business,

-How you perceive and develop your team,

-How you perceive and conduct yourself as a leader.

This webinar is presented by Lindsay Thomsen. A Business Psychologist, her passion in life is inspiring, supporting and teaching others. She shared with GROW Nebraska:

“I love watching people grow; it encourages me to learn from every opportunity as well. This has led to a purpose-filled career journey as a therapist, psychologist, business coach, professor, and entrepreneur. I was inspired by my grandfathers who each pursued entrepreneurial opportunities, encountered and overcame multiple speed bumps, and left legacies that have outlived them both. I credit them for inspiring each of my entrepreneurial journeys and persevering through the challenges along the way. I am proud to have built businesses from the ground-up, resurrected a business in need, contribute to our multi-generational family business, support my husband as an owner and help business owners along the way. Since I love learning and helping others, earning a Master’s degree in Counseling and a PhD in Business Psychology provided additional education to enable the best knowledge I can share.

This training is brought to you in part by the Center for Rural Affairs. Its mission is to “Establish strong rural communities, social and economic justice, environmental stewardship, and genuine opportunity for all while engaging people in decisions that affect the quality of their lives and the future of their communities.”

Doing Business On Amazon | GROW Nebraska’s FREE Monthly Webinar Series

Doing Business On Amazon | GROW Nebraska’s FREE Monthly Webinar Series

GROW Nebraska’s® FREE Online Training

 Doing Business on Amazon

How to Livestream Your Business to New Customers

What is it like for a business to be on Amazon? How much does it cost? How much can you grow? What does it take to be successful?

You’ll find out in this webinar!

Almost every consumer product business should be on Amazon. Amazon can handle shipping in a way that allows a business to scale without extra time from the owner. It takes time to be successful, but the best time to start is now.

This training is presented by Wesley Gizel. Wesley is the co-owner of Hometown Industries of Lincoln, NE. He has been working with Amazon for four years, and along with his partner has built their business on managing Amazon accounts. They currently manage the accounts of more than 30 businesses. Wesley also has a background in economics and accounting. 

This training is brought to you in part by the Center for Rural Affairs. Its mission is to “Establish strong rural communities, social and economic justice, environmental stewardship, and genuine opportunity for all while engaging people in decisions that affect the quality of their lives and the future of their communities.”

NE Game & Parks Commission partners with GROW Nebraska members to create special centennial merchandise

NE Game & Parks Commission partners with GROW Nebraska members to create special centennial merchandise

NE Game & Parks Commission partners with GROW Nebraska members to create special centennial merchandise

 

Baker's Candies Nebraska box

When the Nebraska Game & Parks needed to find vendors to create promotional items for its 100th anniversary celebration, GROW Nebraska provided solutions.

“GROW Nebraska’s experience has helped us make connections with Nebraska-based businesses,” said Margot DesRocher, Nebraska Game and Parks reservation program manager and volunteer coordinator. “We know any vendors they refer us to meet GROW Nebraska’s high standards, which has been a real benefit to us.”

In 2021, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is celebrating 100 years of inspiring outdoor adventures at its state park system. As part of the celebration, the commission wanted to order branded bottle openers and t-shirts for consumers to purchase.

“When looking for resale vendors, the Nebraska Game and Parks strives to support Nebraska businesses whenever possible,” DesRocher said.

She contacted GROW Nebraska’s product marketing coordinator and was referred to RCK Creations & More of Alda for the bottle openers.

“After Clarissa put us in touch with RCK Creations, they were able to provide several great options for what we were looking for with a quick turnaround time,” DesRocher said.

RCK created magnetic wooden bottle openers that are etched with the Nebraska State Parks centennial logo.

“This unique, limited edition item is light, compact, and will be right at home in your kitchen or with your camping gear,” DesRocher said.

So far, the commission ordered 150 of the bottle openers, which are sold through Buy Nebraska and at select park locations across the state throughout 2021.

The parks commission also partnered with another GROW Nebraska member, Lou’s Sporting Goods (Nebraska Sports Ind. Inc.), to create the “I Heart Nebraska State Parks” t-shirts. 

Lou’s Sporting Goods/Nebraska Sports is based in Fremont and has six locations across Nebraska (Lincoln, Omaha, Columbus and two in Fremont) and one in Wichita, Kan.

“The ‘I Heart Nebraska State Parks’ shirts are being sold through Buy Nebraska so that Nebraska’s park lovers, whether they are here in the state or are abroad and looking for a reminder of home, can show their park pride,” DesRocher said.

Some Nebraska State Park locations are also using the pine green shirts as uniforms for their seasonal staff.

“Both RCK and Lou’s Sporting Goods have been phenomenal to work with,” DesRocher said. They have great products, outstanding service, and a real knowledge of their customer base that helps us make informed choices on ordering product designs and quantities.”

The Nebraska Game & Parks is also selling ceramic mugs, tumblers, outdoor waist packs, stickers, t-shirts, iron-on patches and commemorative challenge coins through Buy Nebraska.

“We are always looking for a good collaboration,” DesRocher said. “Parks are the gateway to the outdoors, and we cherish the responsibility of being stewards of the outdoors and leaving a legacy for others to build upon. If there is a company whose product can help us share that passion, we’d love to join forces!”

 

Story by Kristine Jacobson, GROW Nebraska member and owner of KRJ Public Relations, a business that helps non-profits and businesses tell their stories and gain momentum through blogs, newsletters, annual reports, social media and other publications.

GROW Nebraska, partnership with The Rustic Patch help young entrepreneur grow her business, Perfectly Pampered by Alyssa

GROW Nebraska, partnership with The Rustic Patch help young entrepreneur grow her business, Perfectly Pampered by Alyssa

GROW Nebraska, partnership with The Rustic Patch help young entrepreneur grow her business, Perfectly Pampered by Alyssa

Baker's Candies Nebraska box

GROW Nebraska has helped some of the state’s youngest entrepreneurs launch or grow their businesses. From Gracie’s Candles, started by 13-year-old Maddison Grace Brown of Morrill, to JR Lures, which was started by Justin Hoeft of Kearney when he was just 10-years old, GROW supports entrepreneurs of all ages.

GROW Nebraska and one of its longtime members are now helping young Alyssa Onnen of Kearney expand her business, Perfectly Pampered by Alyssa.

Alyssa started her business when she was 11 years old after attending Biz Kidz Camp at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She makes and sells a variety of edible lip scrubs and hydrating body scrubs in scents like Zesty Lemon, Vanilla Brown Sugar and Wedding Mint.

She first sold her products at Kearney’s Night Market, a summer evening event featuring vendors, food and live music. She earned enough money from her sales to repay her parents for sending her to gymnastics camp.

“My previous way of paying for gymnastics camp was mowing the lawn,” Alyssa said. “But I didn’t really enjoy it.”

After that Night Market season ended, Alyssa’s customers still wanted to purchase her products. And, she wanted to continue selling and growing her business. So, Alyssa (with some help from her mom) approached Sonya Griffith, owner of the Rustic Patch in downtown Kearney, about selling her products at the store.  Sonya agreed.

“Sonya has taught me so many things throughout our partnership, but a few of them include the importance of packaging, how to price products, and overall just the mindset of a good entrepreneur,” Alyssa said. “As a young business owner, Sonya has done so much for me, but one of the biggest things she has helped me do is get my business’s name out there.

On several occasions, Sonya invited Alyssa to personally promote her products to customers at the store, which Alyssa enjoyed because she loves visiting with shoppers.

Her most popular product at the Rustic Patch is the Vanilla Brown Sugar body scrub.

Sonya is a long-time GROW Nebraska member and is also a lifelong friend of Alyssa’s mom. She wanted to help her friend’s daughter because she could see the entrepreneurial potential in her.

“(Alyssa) is very outgoing and very driven,” Sonya said. “She designed a product that she knew was going to help individuals with extra dry hands and feet.”

The Rustic Patch sells products created by many area consignors, and Alyssa’s products have been a good fit for the store. They are most popular during the Christmas season and Mother’s Day.

Sonya shared with Alyssa her knowledge of social media marketing and about the basics of operating a business, such as setting up an LLC and paying sales and income taxes.

Alyssa’s connection with the Rustic Patch helped her gain another important connection. The Rustic Patch is a GROW Nebraska member, and Alyssa joined GROW in November 2020.

“Since joining Grow Nebraska, my business has been able to expand to the internet, enabling it to ship globally,” she said.

Through GROW, she also learned how to set up a Google My Business account and how to create a website.

Alyssa is now 13 and is a seventh-grader at Kearney Catholic. Her business is poised for success, and she’d like to expand her product lines to include other beauty/skincare products. She has her eyes set on hiring employees someday to help grow her business.

She also has some goals outside of the business – to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln or UCLA and to compete in college gymnastics.

After college, she hopes to use the lessons she is learning to start another business, possibly in interior design.

 

Story by Kristine Jacobson, GROW Nebraska member and owner of KRJ Public Relations (krjpr.com), a business that helps non-profits and businesses tell their stories and gain momentum through blogs, newsletters, annual reports, social media and other publications.

More than 100 different designs, handcrafted using corn

More than 100 different designs, handcrafted using corn

More than 100 different designs, handcrafted using corn

A seed was planted in Tammi Zentic’s mind one day as she walked past the vast cornfields near her Fremont home.

“I wonder if I could make jewelry out of corn?” she pondered.

Tammi’s creative mind once led her to a short stint as an interior designer followed by a 25-year teaching career. She recently learned computer programming and now teaches that subject to middle schoolers. Surely, she could figure out a way to make jewelry out of corn.

While researching the idea further, she stumbled upon the legend of the five kernels. Through overwhelming challenges of hunger, sickness and great danger, the settlers who founded the country practiced thankfulness by setting aside five kernels of corn, Tammi said. The kernels represented the beauty of nature and creation, freedom, family, friendships and God’s love and protection.

She realized she could provide hope and encouragement through jewelry.

“I think it’s just nice to be reminded that we are all going through something,” Tammi said. “If we just keep persevering, we will get through it.”

Tammi created a patent-pending process that binds corn together to make unique one-of-a-kind jewelry. In two short years, her jewelry is already being sold in more than 45 boutiques, tourist shops and retailers ranging from TC & More in Scottsbluff to the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha.

“As you wear and enjoy your five-kernel creation, our hope is that your grit, optimism, faith and love will carry you through your difficulties and trials,” the jewelry tags explain.

Tammi has created more than 100 different designs and hand crafts each necklace, earring, bracelet, key chain or other jewelry that she now creates in her business, Z. Harvest Gems. She can make jewelry out of yellow No. 2 corn, but she mainly uses ornamental corn to create designs with pinks, greens, blues, whites, browns and reds. She sometimes adds turquoise gems or black jet stones for even more color.

The Hastings Museum asked her to create a special set of jewelry using corn, beans and squash known as the three sisters plants. Those crops are always planted together, which sends a message that we are stronger together.

From May to October, Tammi enjoys selling her jewelry at farmer’s markets, where she can explain her unique jewelry and the meaning behind it to each customer.

Tammi continues to teach full time and enjoys the creative outlet of making jewelry each evening after her days of teaching 120 seventh and eighth-graders.

Tammi’s goals for the business include expanding the jewelry line, hiring some employees and seeing where it goes. Currently, Tammi does most of the work for Z.Harvest Gems with help from her mom, Becky Kerr, and her son and business partner, Zane, who has a degree in business.

For more information or to order Z.Harvest Gems jewelry, visit https://members.grownebraska.org/list/member/z-harvest-gems-9469

GROW Nebraska® Foundation is a statewide non-profit training and marketing organization. Serving over 400 Nebraska small businesses, the organization provides marketing opportunities, education, and training to launch and connect Nebraska businesses to the global marketplace. GROW Nebraska’s educational programs receive federal and state funding, along with generous support from foundations and individual donors.

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