Minimally viable product …
My simple field note journals, wallets and our mason mugs. They’re something that nearly every person can relate to and see themselves using.
Problem solving …
Made For Life has now become our slogan. I started Rusty River because I was sick of buying leather goods from large retailers that just did not live up to my expectations. I became obsessed with learning as much as I could about the leather goods world and have since fell in love. Every product is made from the highest quality leather I can get my hands on.
Seed money …
I literally started Rusty River with $100. When I first approached my wife about the idea for this business, I didn’t want her to freak out. So I told her I only needed to spend $100, and that’s what I did. I made some of my first products and used the money from those to invest back into the business. There have been times that I would donate plasma for extra cash to invest in tools, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Hurdles overcome …
The hurdles seem endless. I don’t say this in a negative way. If it weren’t for hurdles I would never learn and I would never grow. I have had to learn everything from the actual process of creating leather goods to marketing, customer service, shipping and receiving, and business financials. For the most part, I am a one-man show, so it has definitely been a struggle learning all of these things that I had no clue about a year ago. But it also has been one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done.
Next phase …
This tends to be something I struggle with, because I am an extravagant dreamer. I have to take time to focus on what is currently at hand, as well as five years ahead. I am working on a special line of products that give back. I have a very heavy heart for those dealing with depression, anxiety and suicide. I plan to start a line of goods that will enable, not just Rusty River, but others in the community to reach out and help those dealing with this.
Best/worst advice received …
Fake it till you make it. I think this could go for both best and worst advice. I was told early on that sometimes you have to fake it, to act like you have it all together and know exactly what you’re doing. This mindset definitely set me back. But at times, it seemed to boost me along. If I could have found a better balance to this theory earlier on, it would have been a different story. There are times that faking it can help. It’s not intended to fool others or mislead your customers, it’s meant to make yourself believe that it is possible.
The community’s architectural and engineering professionals present these 25 projects as an insight into their portfolios.
Vineese Knight with the Massengale Group Of Keller Williams says when she was a young salesperson the biggest mistake she made was looking at people as numbers. She started experiencing real success when she made the mental shift to thinking of her customers as people and genuinely caring about their needs above her own.
Cody Ritter, owner of Base Construction & Management LLC, attributes the company's fast growth in part to keeping customers happy. Base Construction & Management LLC is one of the Springfield Business Journal 2019 Dynamic Dozen companies, recognizing the 12 fastest growing companies in the area.
"You are a leader," says Carrie Richardson, Executive Director of Leadership Springfield. She gives suggestions as to how you can develop your leadership skills.
Michael Wehreberg, Wehrenberg Design Company, discusses the shift in the last five years in web site design to mobile-first designs. Ultimately, you have to think of the human first and serve them with ease, and Google will give you credit for being mobile friendly.
Ömer Önder, owner of Springfield Diner, struggles with the process of renaming his restaurant. The process led by Dustin Myers and Jeremy Wells, owners of the branding agency Longitude LLC. Ömer expresses all of the emotions he is going through as they work together to revise his seating, menu, hours, and a name to reflect those changes.
It is projected that 10,000 people in the United States will turn 65 years old everyday for 19 years, and non profits are going to be competing over the coming years in a fierce labor market. Give Five was developed as a civic matchmaking program to help connect capable retirees with charitable organizations that need help. Greg Burris outlines the problems the program addresses, opportunities for individuals and organizations, as well as how United Way of the Ozarks is licensing to the program to share with other communities.
Jamie Kinkeade noticed most of the women in her fitness classes at The Studio were wearing Lululemon. She knew her clients were driving to Kansas City to purchase the brand, so she approached the athletic apparel company to stock their merchandise in her store, The Movement. They said "no" at first because they were not looking to expand into the Springfield market, but her persistence paid off.
With more job openings than people to fill them, it is time for your company to evaluate how you are motivating and engaging your team to help you retain and attract the best talent. Sherry Coker, Executive Director at the OTC Center for Workforce Development, walks you through tangible and intangible incentives that encourage employee engagement, performance enhancement, and higher job satisfaction.
"When we first started we thought we could pretty much do this on our own," discloses Vera Gibbons with Baby Foot®. "We thought we knew what would be great...that's not really what happened." Gibbons recommends partnering with a strong marketing partner early and give them a budget.
With four generations in the workplace, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of how each approaches brainstorming can make all the difference in arriving at the best idea. Boomer Kay Logsdon, Director of Applications at CultureWaves, and self-described fossil Millennial Locke Hilderbrand share what their trends research at CultureWaves tells us about generational differences and tips on how to bridge the gaps. Generations in the Workplace is an ongoing multi-episode series tackling the issues of generational conflict.