Lyons, Nebraska – For the fourth year in a row, Kyle Rosfeld will attend MarketPlace, the entrepreneurial conference focused on energizing small businesses and rural communities.
The fourth Annual MarketPlace event will take place February 23-24 at the Ramada Convention Center in Kearney. MarketPlace attendees will participate in teach-ins focusing on finance, marketing, community capacity, innovative farming and ranching opportunities, small business development and much more. Attorneys, accountants, marketing experts and many other resource professionals will lead the teach-ins and be available for questions.
Rosfeld left ranching in 2000 when he sold his cattle herd and opened his new business, The Sandhills Boot Co. in Valentine. He began the business on a shoestring budget and, with the assistance of MarketPlace and GROW Nebraska, business has been steady. Rosfeld credits the MarketPlace teach-ins for improving his bottom line. From basic pricing to understanding the value of media, and in particular free media (as in becoming an expert and doing editorial opinions, etc), he's learned a lot.
"The networking that goes on at MarketPlace has been invaluable. I return every year to talk with the folks I met at the first MarketPlace," Rosfeld says. "I enjoy picking their brains about what to change in my business to make it better."
Rosfeld says that the small number of people in remote rural areas make attending an event like MarketPlace of particular importance because it gives an entrepreneur a chance to connect with people in his field – the field of the small entrepreneur. The support and ideas that come from those conversations have allowed him to see the need to look at other opportunities. As a direct result of some of those conversations, he diversified his product and has expanded beyond boot making...though that is still his signature product. But the other products that he's added like chaps, vests and more have allowed him to reach a market that otherwise would not have occurred without those valuable networks that MarketPlace provides.
Phyllis Ballagh, co-owner of Nebraska's Beverly Hills LLC in Burwell, will also be attending her fourth MarketPlace conference.
"Dave Buchhoz's Marketing class helped me realize that I needed to look at things that might not be so obvious to me, like the fact we have an airport in our remote rural town," Ballagh says. "Using that in marketing my business has allowed me to reach people beyond my state and improve my bottom line."
The Center for Rural Affairs was established in 1973 as an unaffiliated nonprofit corporation under IRS code 501(c)3. The Center for Rural Affairs was formed by rural Nebraskans concerned about family farms and rural communities, and we work to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities.