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.

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 marketechconference.com. 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.

New Partnerships Help to Launch Training Tip Tuesdays!

New Partnerships Help to Launch Training Tip Tuesdays!

New Partnerships Help to Launch Training Tip Tuesdays!

 

Entrepreneurs seeking a little inspiration and education are encouraged to visit GROW Nebraska’s Instagram page each Tuesday at noon for Training Tips Tuesday.

Umeda Islamova, director of business consulting at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Center for Entrepreneurship, leads Training Tips Tuesday by giving quick 10-minute lessons each week on how to grow a business. The UNL center where she works offers mentorships, workshops, competition and funding opportunities to help businesses grow.

Umeda said she contacted GROW Nebraska to see what support she could offer the GROW community. From that conversation, the idea was born to create short videos on strategies to grow businesses.

 

“The goal is to give business owners short tidbits without having to take too much of their time and without overwhelming them with lots of action items,” Umeda said. “We want to give business owners just one or two things to do so they continue to develop their businesses without putting in too much effort. Slow and steady wins the race.”

The trainings, which started in late August, cover topics such as branding, finding clients, and understanding profit and loss statements. Umeda instructs all of the classes.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to speak to everyone,” Umeda said. “Developing Nebraska businesses is my passion, and I’m happy to be working with other organizations who support this mission.”

Jessie Harris, GROW’s marketing and business development director, said the new training videos are also part of an overall strategy to increase Instagram use among GROW businesses.

“We want to grow our Instagram platform and promote Instagram take-overs, so using the live feature helps people to keep checking our page and promotes staying active and being an engaged follower of GROW Nebraska,” Jessie said. “We are super excited about this collaboration, and look to host more Instagram take-overs from other businesses.”

If you happen to miss Training Tips Tuesdays, the videos are recorded and can be viewed anytime by clicking on GROW’s Instagram page on the IGtv link. Business owners who want to ask questions must attend the live Instagram training.

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.

Corporate Gift Baskets are Making Their Way Across the Nation

Corporate Gift Baskets are Making Their Way Across the Nation

Corporate Gift Boxes are Making Their Way Across the Nation

 

The popularity of GROW Nebraska gift baskets is growing, and they aren’t just for holiday giving.

GROW Nebraska gift baskets make it easy for businesses to thank board members, employees, customers or donors. Companies are ordering GROW Nebraska gift baskets for retirement gifts, work anniversaries, birthdays and appreciation events all year long.

September 13-19 is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, and some companies ordered GROW Nebraska gift baskets for truckers.

Grand Island Express, a family-owned trucking company in Grand Island, ordered 75 GROW Nebraska gift baskets for its truckers and families. The baskets are themed as a “family snack box” and will include Sue’s Confection’s homemade marshmallows, Gold Dust kettle corn, Baker’s Candies, Lucky’s Teriyaki Jerky, chokecherry jelly, Ely Farm’s Pickled Asparagus and Mystic Rhoads Jamaican Spice.

Tammie Dimmitt, leader of human resources/benefits and driver retention for GIX, said the gift baskets benefit the company’s drivers and Nebraska businesses.

“We wanted to show appreciation for our drivers’ families for allowing their loved ones to be away from home to work at Grand Island Express,” Dimmitt said. “We wanted to share Nebraska items to allow them to see the great things that come straight from Nebraska and support the local businesses.”

Janell Anderson Ehrke, CEO for GROW Nebraska, said the trucker appreciation basket orders were the result of a GROW board member reaching out and presenting the idea to companies. She encourages all GROW Nebraska supporters and members to think of promoting the gift baskets in their every-day work.

Holiday GROW Nebraska gift basket orders are already starting to come in, so any anyone considering large quantities of holiday gift baskets is encouraged to order early, there are quantity discounts available.

Janell said GROW Nebraska staff work with members to determine wholesale and retail pricing, and that gift baskets are a great way to do a cost analysis. She also encouraged members to consider creating smaller packages or sample-sized products.

“If you normally sell a 7-ounce jelly, a 2-ounce jelly would be less expensive to ship,” she said.

Gift baskets can be ordered in any size or price range. The purchaser can select certain GROW products and themes or leave it up to the GROW staff to create. Pre-packaged gift baskets can be ordered on GROW’s Buy Nebraska site https://buynebraska.com/collections/gift-baskets

For more information about GROW gift baskets or corporate giving opportunities, contact info@grownebraska.org.

 

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.

Nutt Family Jams and Jellies Now Sold in Scheels

Nutt Family Jams and Jellies Now Sold in Scheels

Nutt Family Jams and Jellies Now Sold in Scheels

As a child, Danelle Nutt ate her mom’s homemade plum and chokecherry jelly on warm biscuits or toast for breakfast nearly every morning. Danelle is now sharing the flavors of her childhood with the world through her family’s thriving business, Nutt Family Jams and Jellies.

For the past decade, Danelle and her family have been selling jellies and jams made mainly from wild berries handpicked on their farm near Ravenna. The jams and jellies are sold in stores across Nebraska, including at the Buy Nebraska store in Kearney. The spreads most recently earned a spot on the shelves of Scheels in Omaha. In 2018, Danelle received the 2018 REAP Women’s Entrepreneurship Award.

The company produces 23 flavors that boost the goodness of more than just toast and biscuits. Nutt Family Jalapeño Jelly or Razapeño Jam over a pulled pork sandwich or on a block of cream cheese with Ritz crackers is decadent. The Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, Peach Jam or Caramel Apple Jam is delicious as a Kolache filling or can be warmed and served over ice cream. A little Peach Habanero over appetizer meatballs makes a perfect tailgate appetizer.

Danelle said the company’s membership in GROW Nebraska has helped expand her business through increased marketing opportunities, such as the Nebraska State Fair store, and training opportunities, such as the MarkeTech conference.

“GROW Nebraska has helped our business in so many ways from helping to market our products, helping with our business label questions, sending us updates on any marketing opportunities, and giving us access to trainings that might benefit us,” she said.

Nutt Family Jams and Jellies will continue to work with GROW in its next phase of growth.

“Our hopes and dreams for our business for the next few years are to be expanded into more stores, have five more flavors added along with our pancake and syrup line, a salsa line, our elderberry supplement line, and a facility built on our farm to process and handle everything right there,” Danelle said. “We have lots of goals and are always up for a challenge!”

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.