BY: RACHEL SMITH
Have you ever thought of an amazing idea for a new business in town? Or ever looked around our community and longed for a certain type of business?
Ideas are a dime a dozen, really. Concepts floating through our subconscious as the ‘what if’ or ‘wishes’ that seem so far out of reach. It is the individuals who take the initiative to put those ideas into motion that need to consider learning from the experts.
The NIACC Pappajohn Center (JPEC) has designed a class to help people turn these concepts into a reality. The ten-week Launch & Grow Program is designed to help you maximize the likelihood of success. Using the Business Model Canvas, this program will take you through every aspect of starting a business from conceptualization to your grand opening.
Bob Rolling, owner of Lake Time Brewery, took the class four years ago. For him, it was just what he needed to get his business up and running. “It forced me to take all of my scattered thoughts and ideas,” Rolling said, “and funnel them into something that made sense.” This year, he will be the guest speaker at one of the classes, offering his expertise and guidance to others.
The Launch & Grow program isn’t just for those wanting to start a new business, but also as a tool to grow within your industry. This proved helpful for Dave & Mary Hopper when they took over as owner of the already established Natural Plus Nursery. You would think stepping into an established company it would be easy to simply take over and run with it, but the Hopper’s had a lot to learn. “We had no idea what it meant to buy and own a business,” Dave recalled, “so we reached out to the NIACC Pappajohn Center for help.”
The ten-week course, led by Michael Brown, teaches the ins and outs of every business aspect. The classes set for this fall consist of: customer focus, brand promise, relationships, financial concepts, channel resources, startup costs, operating costs, revenue streams and next steps. Some of the most influential business leaders within our community will speak at each class, offering their personal experience as guidance to the students.
You don’t want to miss such an incredible opportunity to learn from these people. Some have been through the class, like Rolling, and some are simply experts in their field of finance and business. Mark Peterson of Underwater Solutions will be the guest speaker for a class on relationships and marketing. He has recently introduced his company, Underwater Solutions, to Clear Lake. Already established in Okoboji, he found this market as a great place to grow his business.
The Launch and Grow program kicks off on September 14th, and will be held every Thursday from 6-9:30pm for ten weeks at CL Tel in Clear Lake. Cost is $199, and if you plan to share materials with a business partner or spouse, it is only $100 for the additional person. To register call 641-422-4358.