Lost Creek Supply started with a building, a market in the community, and a need for flexibility and time with family.
Kaid Bauman was looking for a business that could meet all three needs.
In April of 2017, Steve Hanson at Pioneer Development Inc. referred Kaid to the Kansas SBDC at Fort Hays State University (FHSU). Bauman was seeking assistance to develop a business plan that could secure financing for his new venture. Bauman remembers the initial meeting, “I learned so much from just sitting and talking for that hour.”
Working with Rick Feltenberger, regional director at the Kansas SBDC at FHSU, Bauman developed a business plan and received funding for the business. To complete the business plan, Rick and Kaid worked together on cash flow projections, market research, and benchmarking to help this new business owner understand how to manage his new business by the numbers. Lost Creek Supply, a farm supply store in Kensington, Kansas, opened in June of 2017.
When working with the Kansas SBDC one thing that stood out to Kaid was Kansas SBDC market research. One challenge Kaid noted in starting his business from scratch was knowing what to sell, how much inventory to carry, and how to manage seasonal items. The research identified potential customers within a 50mile radius of the store. This in turn provided Kaid a starting point for his marketing plan.
Kaid’s advice as a new small business owner is to “do your homework and get in with good companies.” “Go talk to the Kansas SBDC. You may think you know what you are doing, then you sit down with them.” Even though his doors are open, Bauman looks forward to working the SBDC team to keep things on track. “We don’t want our experience with the Kansas SBDC to be a one and done experience. We want to keep using the center’s knowledge as a tool as we continue.”
At the end of 2017, only a few months into the business, the farm supply store is performing better than projected.
Kaid says the best thing about being an entrepreneur is being your own boss. He appreciates being flexible to do things the way he wants, whether they are right or become learning experiences. He has been able to talk with the community and fill his retail floor with inventory and find the best deals for their needs. Bauman was also able to give his father a project working indoors in the store and out of the elements on their family farm.
“We have an older community, but there are a lot of young people coming back to the area,” said Kaid as a representative of a new generation of emerging business owners. Kaid’s schedule remains flexible to spend time with his own family of five.
More About Lost Creek Supply
Facebook: Lost Creek Supply
Kansas SBDC Advisor
Rick Feltenberger, FHSU