May 20: Making Sense of Digital Marketing | GROW Nebraska’s Free Monthly Webinar Series

May 20: Making Sense of Digital Marketing | GROW Nebraska’s Free Monthly Webinar Series

GROW Nebraska’s® FREE Online Training

Making Sense of Digital Marketing

How to Livestream Your Business to New Customers

This webinar will improve your understanding of the different aspects of digital marketing, including definitions and examples of key terms like SEO, SEM, content marketing and analytics. We will look at examples of campaigns that utilize a variety of tactics and talk about how you can implement digital marketing in your marketing mix.


You will learn:

  • The number of digital marketing options can be overwhelming, but understanding the different types is the first step in building digital marketing into your marketing plan.
  • Choosing the tactics that fit your marketing goals, budget, audience and timeline is key to effective digital marketing campaigns.
  • Tracking your campaign effectiveness will help make sure you build smarter campaigns in the future and make the most of your budget.

This training is presented by Marketing Coach Amanda Buzzell. With nearly 20 years of marketing and communications experience in for-profit, non-profit and education sectors, Amanda brings a well-rounded approach to strategic communication planning. Her imaginative, yet realistic, approach to marketing campaigns is what sets her apart from other communication professionals.

She’s the first to tell you that The Marketing Studio is not a typical agency, but rather a collaborative, with Amanda serving as the coach, facilitator and connector. She works with clients to really understand their business and culture so she can work with them to develop a communication plan that is sustainable, scalable and tailored to their business and culture. Clients work directly with Amanda to develop well thought out and researched strategies, but also benefit from her network of graphic designers, producers/directors, social media experts and digital analysts to draw on resources that rival a large agency.

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.”

March 25: How to Build a Marketing Plan – GROW Nebraska’s Free Monthly Webinar Series

March 25: How to Build a Marketing Plan – GROW Nebraska’s Free Monthly Webinar Series

GROW Nebraska’s® FREE Online Training

How to Build a Marketing Plan

Steps to starting a small business

This training will show you how to build a marketing plan for your small business that’s built on a foundation of numbers. Be confident that your marketing efforts are aligned with your business goals and will provide a positive return on investment. 

  • Learn how to build your marketing plan based on your business goals
  • Learn how to identify your target audience
  • Tailor your marketing strategies to be in alignment with your business goals and reach your target audience

Katlynn Pyatt, owner of Authentic Branding & Marketing, is professionally certified in Marketing Management by the American Marketing Association and holds two certifications from Cornell University; one in business strategy, the other in marketing analytics. After twelve years of corporate marketing, she began her own business as a marketing coach for female entrepreneurs to help them brand, market and grow their business. She believes in being brave, not perfect and in community over competition.

Basics of Bookkeeping: Loving Your Balance Sheet | GROW Nebraska’s® FREE Online Training

Basics of Bookkeeping: Loving Your Balance Sheet | GROW Nebraska’s® FREE Online Training

GROW Nebraska’s® FREE Online Training

Basics of Book Keeping: Loving Your Balance Sheet

Steps to starting a small business
The presentation is about the balance sheet, why it matters, and how to use it.
  • The balance sheet is your scorecard
  • The balance sheet is an early warning system
  • Check your balance sheet regularly

DATE: March 18th

TIME: Noon – 1:00 p.m. CST

LOCATION: Live Stream

COST: Free, must register to receive call-in details and recording

Cory Morris has loved budgeting for as long as he can remember, and even convinced several budget-haters to love it too! That passion has grown into loving the numbers of business, and how those numbers tell us the health of the business. From 400 unit apartment complexes to start up vehicle sanitation companies, the books can be a source of fear and frustration, or a source of peace and direction.

GROW Nebraska’s® FREE Online Training | Cash Flows: The Ins And Outs

GROW Nebraska’s® FREE Online Training | Cash Flows: The Ins And Outs

GROW Nebraska’s® FREE Online Training

Cash Flows: The Ins And Outs

Cash flows tracks how funds come into the business and how it goes out. It is helpful for financing matters and tax matters. During this training we will cover:

  • How cash flow will show how funds were received and spent in the past.
  • How cash flow will project how funds will be received and spent in the future.
  • How to plan a strategy with tax preparer using actual data

John Ecklund has forty years experience in family owned businesses. He has supervised the installation of new accounting software and has developed cost accounting procedures and reports. Ecklund has developed procedures that measured improved efficiency in production, that resulted in increased profitability.

John has experience taking accounting departments that were in turmoil and turning them into a team.

This training is brought to you in part by REAP. The Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) is committed to strengthening rural communities through small, self-employed business development. We offer four essential services: financing (microloans), business training, technical assistance, and networking.   

Hughes Strives to Make Road to Success Easier For Entrepreneurs

Hughes Strives to Make Road to Success Easier For Entrepreneurs

Hughes Strives to Make Road to Success Easier For Entrepreneurs

When Cheryl Hughes began HR Poppin’ Snacks more than 20 years ago, she encountered a steep learning curve. Not only was she learning how to make the best quality popcorn, but she also had to learn all aspects of snack food manufacturing and wholesale.

At about the same time, GROW Nebraska also started with the intent to help educate and promote businesses just like hers. Cheryl joined as one of GROW’s first members.

“There was always a learning experience, good exposure and good advertising,” Cheryl said of GROW. “They have done a great job for me.”

HR Poppin’ Snacks grew into a successful business that now pops more than 20,000 pounds of popcorn seeds annually from its store in Gibbon and sells popcorn in more than 135 flavors in stores around the county.

Cheryl has maintained her GROW membership the entire time, and she continues to give back to GROW through mentoring and giving advice to other members. And her giving doesn’t just stop with members.

Entrepreneurs have traveled to Gibbon from as far away as Brazil, Paris and Nigeria to visit HR Poppin’ Snacks to learn how to produce quality popcorn for their business ventures. Cheryl gladly shares her knowledge with anyone who asks without charging consulting fees.

“If I can help somebody with a leg up, then I do,” she said. “I learned the hard way because I didn’t have someone in the know to mentor me. Now, I have the benefit of the knowledge so I want to share with others to make their road to success a little easier.”

Cheryl and her husband, Gary, are adamant about using their business to help others. That philosophy started with the naming of their business nearly 20 years ago. The HR in the name stands for ‘Heavenly Reason.’

At least 10 percent of their earnings go to charity or someone in need, whether it’s donating popcorn gift baskets to local fundraisers or giving popcorn away to those serving in the military.

“This has happened by the grace of God, and we need to give back,” Cheryl said.

GROW Nebraska CEO Janell Anderson-Ehrke said Cheryl donates all of her mentoring services to pay it forward, which makes a huge difference for many business owners.

“She’s easily touched more than 100 businesses we’ve worked with,” Janell said.

In the early days of GROW, Chery helped set up a retail store in Grand Island and later launched the UPC program to help GROW members sell their products on sites like Amazon. Members who sell just one or two products can save money by buying into GROW’s UPC numbers instead of spending hundreds of dollars to purchase their own UPC number.

When GROW members ask about product labeling, Cheryl is their source for answers.

New GROW Nebraska member Karen Ogelsby, owner of MoKa’s Kitchen, recently relied on help from Cheryl with labeling her popcorn for sale during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Karen thought her business would be “dead in the water” when COVID-19 hit. Her business previously provided artisan and gourmet popcorn for special events. When the special events stopped, so did her business. Chery helped Karen find a distributor to make her popcorn products available in stores, where shoppers were still flocking to buy snacks during the pandemic. MoKa’s Kitchen popcorn is now in 50 locations across the state.

Janell said she is grateful for members like Cheryl who give back and wants to celebrate her and others.

“I don’t want to forget where we came from,” Janell said. “It’s been GROW and a whole bunch of people and members who just kept giving back.”

Cheryl said she’s always lived with the philosophy that there’s always enough business to go around. She’s not worried about helping her potential competitors.

“If I continue to make a quality product and do my business well, I shouldn’t have any problems,” she said.

Cheryl encourages anyone who is considering starting a business or developing a product to contact GROW Nebraska.

“There are lots of ways that GROW Nebraska can help,” she said.

One of the biggest benefits, Cheryl said, is the annual MarkeTech conference, which she has attended every year it has been offered.

“It’s a great benefit, and any member that I work with I encourage them to attend MarkeTech,” she said. “It’s well-organized, provides good networking opportunities and education. I encourage anyone in the state, even if you aren’t a member of GROW Nebraska, to participate in MarkeTech.”

The 2021 MarkeTech conference is scheduled for Thursday, July 15, in Kearney. For more information, visit To sign up for the GROW newsletter to stay informed on upcoming trainings, visit here.

With holiday popcorn sales just wrapping up, Cheryl said she is preparing to launch new popcorn flavors soon.

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