In 2012 U.S. microbreweries were on the rise.
For Justin “Gus” Bays, chef at the Grand Central Hotel in Cottonwood Falls, this was the right time to explore an opportunity. He approached his friend and nascent brewer Jeremy “J.J.” Johns about the idea to open a brewpub in historic downtown Emporia, Kansas. Emporia, the county seat of Lyon County and home to Emporia State University was undergoing a renaissance.
Bays and Johns began putting out feelers to learn if the Emporia, Kansas, market was ready for a microbrewery. Together they sought out the local Kansas SBDC at Emporia State University (ESU) and began meeting with SBDC regional director, Lisa Brumbaugh, to talk about their plans. Brumbaugh pulled in SBDC business advisor, Jim Stephens, to help with the process.
Since a brewpub was a relatively new business model for the area, it took some creative funding to get the business started. Bays and Johns worked not only with the SBDC, but also with Emporia Main Street and NetWork Kansas, to secure loans they needed. To ensure the business model would thrive, the team crowdsourced a critical piece of the funding. Bays and Johns put out a call for private investors willing to lend $5,000 with creative terms: The principal is repaid in full in cash after seven years, and interest is paid in the form of $30 monthly food credits at Radius Brewing Company, LLC.
The funding model worked.
Radius began producing beer in January 2014, and began selling it for off-site consumption in February while construction of the restaurant wrapped up. Radius completed their team towards the end of construction by adding Chad Swift to the team. Swift had just graduated from Wichita State with a business degree and filled the role of General Manager, adding some much needed business knowledge, and “Front of House” aka bar experience.
On April 24th of 2014 they opened their doors for full restaurant and bar service. More than 4,500 customers were served in the pub’s first 10 days according to Johns.
Swift became a co-owner in 2015 joining Johns and Bays to complete the Radius team.
Since their start, Radius has drawn in numerous customers from outside the area with a few famous customers visiting as well. In June of 2015 William Shatner (aka Captain Kirk/Star Trek aka Denny Crane/Boston Legal) stopped in with a film group to taste the local fare.
More about Radius Brewing Company
Kansas SBDC Advisors
Jim Stephens, ESU
Lisa Brumbaugh. ESU
From Jim Stephens, SBDC business advisor: For me as a business advisor, I believe a business plan is a living instrument that creates success.
Sometimes creating a business plan can be a grueling process for startups as they want to ‘just get it done.’ Most have an idea of a plan in their head. The key is to get it out and make it concrete in order to follow it. With Radius we worked together to dig deeper and deeper into what became a working plan. The guys persisted and ended up with a plan that gave them a road map to success. That road map, according to Justin and J.J. was still used a year ago rather than sitting on a shelf.
How Kansas SBDC helped Radius
As one business closes, does another open? For Lindsay Beyer the answer was, “Yes.”
In 2013 Lindsay Beyer noticed the local tanning salon was closing in Burlington, Kansas. She decided to purchase the business and open what would become Bella Rose Boutique and Tanning Salon LLC.
Lindsay knew that sales that were purely dependent upon the customers in a town of 2,600 would be challenging. So when she began developing her business model, she knew it would be critical to generate sales outside of the area. This would require a strong online store as well as a solid on the-ground store in Burlington.
To make this happen, Lindsay did her homework. “I knew that I wanted to run a business, but I also knew that it wouldn’t be easy for me, and that in order to do so, I needed to do my research and learn as much as I possibly could.” To get the ball rolling Lindsay attended a ‘SBDC Start Your Own Business Workshop’ taught by Lisa Brumbaugh, regional director for the Kansas SBDC at Emporia State University (ESU) and began meeting monthly with Tom Byler, who was at that time working as a business advisor with the Kansas SBDC at ESU. Tom is now the regional director for Kansas SBDC at Pittsburg State University (PSU).
At the workshop, Lindsay shared that she received a ton of information and admitted that she felt slightly overwhelmed. “I made a checklist, and completed the tasks I knew how to do. Tom helped me tremendously with the tasks I didn’t know how to do. He pointed me to the proper resources and made sure I got the information I needed to write an impressive business plan. I gathered information from bankers, insurance agents, accountants, and other helpful business owners. I learned how to research the market demographics, and one of the most important tools that I still use is the breakeven analysis.”
Along with Tom Byler, Lindsay now has support from Lisa Brumbaugh, regional director at the Kansas SBDC at ESU. “I can’t imagine opening a business without their assistance. We wouldn’t have made it very long.” Lindsay still uses breakeven analysis to make decisions on what she can spend and if/when/how she can pay herself.
Her experience with the Kansas SBDC put her in a position to succeed from the start. “You can’t start a business overnight. I was not prepared for how much research/ planning went in to opening our doors.”
What would Lindsay share with other businesses? “It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and tasks were much more manageable with the help of the Kansas SBDC. I felt like I had direction and always knew what needed to be done next in our planning period.”
With customers from across the U.S. from the online store, Bella Rose has found a model that works in small town Kansas and keeps the doors open.
In 2014 Lindsay opened Bella Rose. In October of 2016 she was recognized at the Young Entrepreneur of the Year by Kansas Department of Commerce at the 32nd Annual Minority and Women Business Awards.
More About Bella Rose Boutique and Tanning Salon
Kansas SBDC Advisors
Lisa Brumbaugh, ESU
Tom Byler, PSU
How Kansas SBDC helped Bella Rose Boutique
KANSAS SBDC BUSINESS PLANNING Our clients are often challenged to find all of the pieces they need including market research and benchmarks to develop business plans that can be successfully funded.
We help business owners that are expanding, reorganizing, or just starting. For Kansas SBDC business clients, we help them develop business plans that make sense – simple, succinct, to-the-point plans that help businesses reach their goals.
THEY WANT help to develop or modify a business plan often with the goal of obtaining financing
WE PROVIDE cash flow projections, benchmark evaluation, market research, and financial analysis
THEY BENEFIT We help them cut through the extras, dive deeper into the analysis, and focus on what they really need to develop a workable plan.
Do you need help developing a solid plan? We invite you to contact a location near you when you are ready for assistance.
Business advising is confidential and at no cost to the owner. SBDC services are made available to you and your business by funding from the U.S. SBA, Kansas Department of Commerce, and university hosts and other partners. Curious? Read our FAQs.
So, how does this work?
First, to become a client, you sign up online. Next, a center representative near you will contact you to cover your next steps. Next steps may include an online assessment, training, or it may be a one-on-one meeting with a business advisor.
When you meet with a business advisor the advisor’s role is to listen to you and learn about your business challenges in a judgement-free environment. The advisor will ask about your goals, your needs, and your expectations. They’ll ask about the implications of meeting or exceeding your plan. We’ll help you work through what-if scenarios that can guide your current and future decisions.
When you and your advisor agree on a plan of action, we’ll proceed.
What you might discover when working on a business plan with the Kansas SBDC
You might find that we work best as objective outsider that can be there to talk through ideas or to serve as a sounding board. Or you may need us to dig in and help you prepare or revise a business plan. Or you may find that you need us to get deep into the details and work together to develop strategies and tactics to test for a specific product or for your overall brand. Whatever approach works best for you, we’re here to assist.
If we discover that what you need is beyond our scope, we can refer you to great outside resources operating as other small businesses in Kansas. Even if we refer you to outside resources, you’ll find that we willing to be there to work with you as you implement new programs in your business.
Want to get started? Sign up online.
Businesses interested in business planning were often also interested in
Kansas SBDC FAQ: Here are a few of our more popular Frequently Asked Questions to get you started.
How can you help my business?
We can help in a variety of ways. The primary way we help is by working with you to find out what your needs are and helping you develop a strategy to reach your goals.
Some of the key reasons clients contact us for help include:
-Business plan assistance
-Financial projection development
-Cash flow analysis
-Marketing plan development
-Sources of capital and financing
-Product cost analysis and pricing
-Market research assistance
-Selling to the government/procurement
-Buying or selling a business
How do I use your services?
Start by contacting the center nearest you. A map can be found next to this post or on our home page. Or signup online at https://ksbdc.ecenterdirect.com/signup.
Is there a charge for Kansas SBDC services?
No and Yes. No, Kansas SBDC advising services are provided at no cost to our clients. Workshops, seminars, and online training are offered at low-cost or no-cost to clients as well.
Yes, we do offer specialized fee-based consulting if you need something beyond general advising. We offer different levels of business valuations and continuity plans. To learn more contact your locale center.
Why do you provide advising at no cost? Why don’t you charge?
When the SBDC was established in 1983 the federal government decided that they would not charge for advising. Essentially since our government is funded by the taxpayer, they decided that taxpayers had really already paid for the service.
Can I see a business advisor without an appointment?
We would suggest scheduling an appointment to meet with us. As a first time client there are some helpful forms you can complete before you meet with an advisor to make the most of your time together. Learn about how to become a Kansas SBDC client here.
Do I have to become a client to attend one of your online or in-person classes?
No, you don’t. Online classes as well as on-the-ground classes, workshops, and seminars are open to anyone that is interested in improving their business performance, starting a business or exploring a business idea.
However, we encourage you to take advantage of working with our team as a Kansas SBDC client.
How do I learn more about a class I might be interested in taking?
Visit our training site for a list of classes or visit the website of the center in your area.
Why don’t more people know about your services?
Because we’re a confidential service (Las Vegas rules apply) and we don’t talk about our clients without their permission, you won’t hear a lot about us. Plus, since we operate using taxpayer dollars we don’t spend money on advertising. We put all of our effort into delivering our service.
I already own a business. Can I still use the Kansas SBDC?
Yes. We encourage it. As of 2017, approximately half of the businesses we serve are already in business when they seek out our help. Our Kansas SBDC advisors have extensive experience and knowledge in many areas of business operations across a variety of industries. We can help with marketing, management, operations, expansion, cash flow analysis, inventory control, strategic planning, and pricing your products and services.
If your business meets the size standards of the SBA (typically less than 500 employees and less than $50 million in annual revenue), you’ll be able to access the no-cost and confidential business advising offered by the Kansas SBDC.
If your issue is outside the scope of your Kansas SBDC advisor’s expertise, he/she will tap into a large network of business experts across the country to assist your company.
What if I’m interested in selling my business? Can you help with that?
Yes, we can. We have advisors that are certified in business valuation as well as advisors that can help you prepare to sell your business. We’ve helped many small businesses with successful transition and succession plans.
What if I’m interested in buying a business? Can you help with that?
Yes. We have advisors that can help you evaluate the existing business, your ideas, and the market so you can make an informed decision. Certified consultants can assist with a business valuation as well.
Does the Kansas SBDC loan money for my business startup?
The Kansas SBDC does not provide loan or grant money. However, we will assist you in developing your business plan and financial projections and identifying potential sources of capital. This is often the key to help you obtain additional capital. Additionally, Kansas SBDC advisors can often identify various non-traditional sources of capital to help your business.
Will a Kansas SBDC advisor help me write a business plan?
The Kansas SBDC will provide resources and guidance in the process of writing your business plan. Many centers have accelerated business plan training courses that can help as well.
I can’t get away from work. Do you have any online help?
Yes. The Kansas SBDC can consult with you via email, phone, or video conferencing. Several online training classes are available for anyone that needs help in your business.
I’m concerned that people will know that I am working with the SBDC and lose confidence in my leadership. How confidential are your services?
Our services are highly confidential. ‘Las Vegas’ rules apply here. We can’t even confirm with your business partners if you are our client without your written permission.
How good are you?
Each year we survey our clients to find out if we’ve made a difference in their business. For 2016, our clients said we helped them do the following:
-Secure $79,303,029 in new capital
-Increase year-over-year sales by $117,898,869
-Create or retain 3,240 jobs
-Start 316 new businesses
According to the Kansas Dept of Revenue, Kansas SBDC clients consistently grow average annual sales at a pace much faster than all of Kansas businesses. In 2016 our clients increased their annual sales by 30.9% while all Kansas businesses reported a sales increase of 6.6%.
According to the Kansas Dept of Labor, Kansas SBDC clients consistently grow average annual jobs at a pace much faster than all of Kansas businesses. In 2016 our clients increased their annual jobs by 21.4% versus all of Kansas businesses of 0.5%.
How do I find a center in my area?
Use the locator map on our home page or adjacent to this post.
How many Kansas SBDC locations are there?
At the time of publication there were eight regional centers and four outreach centers. Our locations and interactive map are found on this page. You can work with an advisor in your area or you may work with a team from across the state. Your primary advisor will help coordinate our team to best meet your needs.
How many businesses do you help each year?
We work with approximately 2,500 small business clients each year.
Since we began tracking impact in 2002, we have helped small businesses across the state. Through no cost one-on-one advising, training, and education, we have helped 36,732 clients:
-Start 4,408 small businesses
-Create 20,856 new jobs
-Retain more than 18,840 jobs
-Generate more than $956,000,000 in equity injection or debt financing to start and expand their businesses
-Increase year-over-year sales by more than $1,224,000,000
From 2002 – 2016 we helped small businesses through training:
-provided more than 225,177 hours of -training held 7,982 training events
-assisted more than 68,708 small business owners and others through workshops, seminars, and training events
What if I refer someone to you? How will I know that you’ve helped them?
You won’t unless they share that information with you. Our services are highly confidential. Confidentiality eliminates a big barrier for small businesses, entrepreneurs, startups, and innovators that want to test their ideas in a protected environment.
Who do you work with?
The Kansas SBDC network partners with many players across the economic landscape including Chambers of Commerce, economic development professionals, universities, community colleges, and lending institutions as well as federal, state, and local governments.
The goal of the Kansas SBDC is to work with all players interested in supporting entrepreneurship in our communities; because of this, we excel at providing a comprehensive service through many important partnerships.
You say that you help small businesses, and small businesses are important to the economy. What kind of impact do you have in Kansas?
A huge impact. For every $1 that was invested in 2016 by the state and federal governments as well as our local funding partners, we returned $25.20 to the tax base.
How? By helping our clients increase sales more sales tax was paid. By helping our clients grow to hire more employees more federal and state employment tax was paid.
We know this information is accurate because each year we measure our impact by asking our clients directly how we’ve helped their business through a third-party objective external survey firm.
Do your centers have contact information for local attorneys and accountants?
Yes, each office does their best to maintain a local list of contacts for attorneys and accountants and other for-profits that work with small business. We also keep a list of other resource contacts that you may need on hand.
What if I have more questions?
Inaugural Cyber Security Forum in Wichita Announced
New event will provide insight into digital defense and protection for regional businesses
TOPEKA, Kansas (Augest 31, 2017) – Registration is now open for the first, large-scale cyber security event in Kansas which will take place October 4, 2017 at the Wichita State University Hughes Metroplex, 5015 East 29th St North. The inaugural Cyber Security Forum will offer invaluable insight for business and security decision makers in small businesses, non-profits, and government, as well as provide a platform for students and educators to engage with industry professionals. The Forum also aims to raise the awareness of Kansas’ position as a leader in the cyber security field.
The daylong event which is free and open to the public will feature experts in cyber security from across the state, nationally recognized industry and government professionals, educators and researchers from higher education, and military personnel from McConnell Air Force Base. The detailed event program and complete list of speakers can be found on the event website at https://www.wichitacybersecurityforum.com/.
“The idea behind the event was generated by a conversation with a Wichita-based small business that wanted to raise the awareness level of cyber defense for other small businesses across our state,” said Lisa Roberts, Kansas SBDC associate state director. “That conversation led to reaching out to other organizations interested in achieving the same goals. Over time our work evolved into what we are sure will be an amazing day in October.”
The planning team, led by the Kansas Small Business Development Center (Kansas SBDC), is a collaboration of multiple community organizations, educational institutions, and private sector businesses, all who are involved in cyber security industry or cyber defense. The event is in line with the Blueprint for Regional Economic Growth, a 10-county regional cluster based economic development plan led by the Greater Wichita Partnership. “Cyber security is a growing field across the country and globe, and is significant to our local economy here in Wichita. The 184th Intelligence Wing at McConnell Air Force Base and expanding local educational and degree attainment programs are reinforcing the infrastructure to drive job creation in our region,” said Andrew Nave, Executive Vice President of Economic Development, Greater Wichita Partnership.
Kansas Small Business Development Center (Kansas SBDC)
In addition to the all-day forum on October 4, there will be closing reception from 4:30 – 6 p.m. at the Wichita State University Experiential Engineering Building 4110 E 17th St North, Wichita. Kansas Interim Secretary of Commerce Nick Jordan will address the group to start the evening networking event.
A full schedule, registration details and speaker list may be found on the event website at
About Kansas Small Business Development Center
We help business. We are small business advisors.
The Kansas Small Business Development Center (Kansas SBDC) is a statewide small business (typically less than 500 employees) advising, consulting, and training service funded by federal, state, and local partners. Funding through tax dollars allows the Kansas SBDC to provide advising and training (i.e. cash flow, marketing, and market data) to businesses across the state at low or no cost. The SBDC is part of a larger national association committed to helping small businesses reach their development, improvement, and transition goals.
To learn more, visit http://www.kansassbdc.net or call 877-625-7232.
GAME reviews. Attendees are raving about GAME.
When you develop workshops you often wonder what will really resonate with people. GAME at KSBDC (Twitter #GAME@KSBDC) seems to have really hit the mark.
In a series of 2.5 hour workshop sessions, the business advisors with the Kansas Small Business Development Center at Johnson County Community College (Kansas SBDC at JCCC, for short) along with Kansas City area industry experts have pulled together a winning combination that really rings true for business owners who’ve attended.
GAME focuses on developing lasting customer relationships, profitable operations, an attractive business concept, and a strong organization. Sessions cover topics such as:
- Assessing your situation
- Financial Analysis
- Customer-centric Journey
- Strategy and Stability
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- Hiring right
- Assessing the value you’re building in your business
- Evaluating your customer portfolio
- Pricing for profit
- Decision making and more
But enough from us, here’s what attendees are saying about GAME.
2017 GAME Schedule
All upcoming GAME sessions are Tuesdays from 7:30 – 10:00 am
Jan – March | Brand, Product and Pricing
April – May | Develop Your Comprehensive Marketing Plan
April 4 Peer-to-Peer Roundtable
June 20 Peer-to-Peer Roundtable
July 18 Peer-to-Peer Roundtable
August – September | Leadership and Management
October – November | Cash flow and Pipeline Numbers
October 3 – Peer-to-Peer Roundtable
Ready to go? Apply today.
Sleeptopia recognized as Kansas SBDC 2016 Emerging Business of the Year by Kansas SBDC at WSU
When Kevin Kunz started Sleeptopia in January of 2013, he knew the market opportunity was good. Sleeptopia was a new concept in Wichita, Kansas, but not to sleep medicine. Sleep medicine had been steadily gaining traction in the U.S. over the past few years.
Eight months into the business, Kevin found his business challenged with the notorious delays in healthcare reimbursement that often plague companies dependent upon insurance payments. To keep his business moving in the right direction, Kunz reached out to the Kansas SBDC at WSU.
Working with Elaine Hanna, Kansas SBDC at WSU consultant, Kunz identified a short-term need for gap financing. Together they worked on financial projections for investors as well as a business plan to show how the business would keep moving forward. They incorporated realistic plans for delayed payments from insurers. Hanna also tapped into the SBDC network for important secondary market research to better support the business plan.
With the plan, Kunz successfully secured the financing he needed for operations.
In fact, Kunz has taken this first success and opened one additional business, CPAP and Supplies of Kansas, with plans to add a sleep apnea overnight testing service in the near future. Kunz credits the help of the Kansas SBDC and Hanna with not only securing funding, but making the day-to-day operations and budgeting process much easier.
“Having a mentor, a solid business plan or a Master’s in business is important, but you reach a point where having a resource like the Kansas SBDC can take you to the next level. It’s surprising how many questions come up each day, just little things that you may not have planned for, or there may be a new regulation you have questions about,” shared Kunz. “The KSBDC, and in my case, Elaine Hanna, was very helpful. I always felt well-informed.”
What advice would he give to someone in business today? “Call Elaine.”
Kunz has steadily grown each month since opening and has expanded to two locations with nine employees.
Kevin’s Secret to Success
“Putting God first, having a mentor, the moral support from family and friends, and definitely having a great team of employees that share the same beliefs and goals that I share.”
If you would like someone to help you with your short-term or long-term business needs, contact Kansas SBDC at WSU.
Todd Trzcinski, member manager of Second Chance Ranch (SCR) Painting, is no stranger to overcoming obstacles. As a cancer survivor, he knows about determination and perseverance, and these traits have served him well as an entrepreneur.
Todd began painting at the age of 14 and took a chance when he started SCR Painting in 2011. Over the past four years, the business has grown into a full-fledged painting operation that offers commercial as well as residential services.
In 2014 Todd approached the Kansas SBDC at Fort Hays State University Colby outreach center for assistance on a business plan and bookkeeping. Allie Kastens, Kansas SBDC consultant, worked with Todd to assist him on not only his business plan but implementing a new accounting software system to improve the accuracy of his accounting, tax documentation, and labor reporting.
With the help of his KSBDC Consultant, Todd learned a lot about the administrative and management processes that comes with owning your own business. If he were to change something, Todd says, “I would have learned more about bookkeeping, computers, and office organization early on.”
SCR Painting continues to grow in the Goodland area and surrounding communities. Todd takes pride in his high quality workmanship. Because he’s incorporated a process to his management he’s been able to take on bigger and better projects knowing that he is growing the business the right way.
When asked what advice he would give someone thinking about starting a business, Todd says, “Be sure that you understand that along with reward comes a lot of risk. If you are not willing to work almost twice as hard as at a regular job, you’d probably better reconsider your decision.”
To learn more about SCR Painting, LLC visit SCRPainting.com or call (785) 995-9159
Allie Kastens, consultant
Kansas SBDC at FHSU in Colby
785-460-5482| fhsu.edu/ksbdc| firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Pat Roberts
Senator Jerry Moran
Federal Congressional District KS-01 Tim Huelskamp
State Representative District KS-120 Richard Billinger
State Senate District KS-040 Ralph Ostmeyer
In business, growth can almost always be found in a business’ top 5 challenges.
For Progressive Products, Inc., a fabricated pipe and pipe fitting manufacturing business located in Pittsburg, Kansas, growth was on the top of their list.
“We had been on a growth trajectory for the past four years,” shared Todd Allison, President of Progressive Products. “However, the marketplace for our core product line – pneumatic conveying components – was starting to change.” Progressive did a lot of work in the power industry and that market was slowing down. According to Allison, they knew that they needed to start doing things differently to keep the company moving in a forward direction.
Increasing industry awareness and developing more market share were sizable challenges. Progressive had good products, prices, and delivery, but they needed fresh strategies to extend their reach. They knew their markets and believed that hadn’t even scratched the surface of their market potential. So, how did they find new customers and engage them?
Growing Market Share
While Progressive still had ideas for new products and how to develop them into viable market offers, they were having difficulty increasing their market share in a few product lines. At a meeting with the City of Pittsburg to discuss Economic Gardening, a program used to pull data to identify market trends, Progressive met Tom Byler and Darrell Pulliam – the Kansas SBDC team at Pittsburg State University.
Looking for advice, Progressive began consulting with Byler and Pulliam at the Kansas SBDC. Byler and Pulliam connected Allison with PSU Business Professor Jeff Poe and a team of students to work with Progressive. The connections Progressive made through the Kansas SBDC helped Allison and his team identify new opportunities for growth through new test designs and market identification.
Allison was pleased with the collaboration. “There are more opportunities to work with the local university than I had imagined,” said Allison. “While I thought by working with the university I was helping them, instead I found the experience to be mutually beneficial.” Allison was also surprised by what he learned when working with the Kansas SBDC. “I also found the Kansas SBDC has access to resources I didn’t know about. That’s a surprise to me, because I try to be well informed.”
Progressive Products has experienced some immediate results. Since first working with the Kansas SBDC, Progressive has added six new full-time employees and is on track to increase annual sales by 27%. Allison is using what he learned from Economic Gardening to improve Progressive’s social media presence with a surprising effect. Business inquiries are up, and Progressive is getting more attention from new markets. And new export markets are being explored.
Allison attributes Progressive’s success to “being adaptable and innovative as well as hiring the right employees. Teamwork is everything.” He offers this advice to his peers in business today, “Business is always changing. If your business plan doesn’t change to meet today’s realities, you won’t need a business plan tomorrow.”
To learn more about Progressive Products Inc. visit http://progressiveproductsinc.com/ or call (620) 235-1712.
Senator Pat Roberts
Senator Jerry Moran
Federal Congressional District KS-02 Lynn Jenkins
State Representative District KS-003 Charles Smith
State Senate District KS-013 Jacob LaTurner