Nebraska Business Development Center
Business Success & Economic Impact
Vol. 3 Issue 8

Photo credit:  Andrew Carpenean/The Independent

Play golf around the world ... passports
not required

Entrepreneur Nick Papke tapped into Midwest golfers' enthusiasm for practicing their game year round and created a unique business in Grand Island. With NBDC consultant Sara Bennett's support, Papke opened Bearded Buffalo Golf, an entertainment venue providing golfers simulated access to over 40 famous courses around the world. 

By addressing an underserved entertainment need in the area, Bearded Buffalo Golf has generated considerable interest and gained quick acceptance in the market, Bennett says. Challenges that she helped Papke overcome included finding a location that worked and developing realistic revenue projections, since there is no other business like this in the area.

Sara Bennett, MBA, CVA, CEPA, CBPA, EDFP, NBDC associate director and business consultant, specializes in serving small businesses in rural markets in Central Nebraska from pre-venture through start-up, growth, and expansion phases. Sara also performs certified valuations and exit plans for small businesses all across the state. She is author of "Saturation Points: Know your Market Before you Jump."

The Government Buys Everything! Part II

In 2017, clients of procurement technical assistance centers were awarded 188,000 contracts worth $20 billion. Those contracts included everything from construction to pest control to commercial photography ... to fire equipment!

When Mary Graff, PTAC consultant, learned of an open solicitation for fire extinguishers, she encouraged General Fire and Safety CEO Jason McDonald to pursue it. Despite McDonald's lack of experience with government contracting, the company not only won the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers bid, but subsequently earned a second Corps contract. 

McDonald credits Graff's expert guidance and persistent follow-up.  He says NBDC offers high quality services made even more impressive by the fact there was no fee. "When Mary first called, I thought, 'What's the catch?'" he says. "It's a fantastic resource, and she's always just a phone call away."

Mary Graff, BS, CCAS, EDFP, is a consultant for the NBDC Procurement Technical Assistance Center. Graff was the assistant state director for outreach programs prior to her current position and managed a  venture capital club, a management brief for small businesses and NBDC publications. She is the author of the whitepaper, "Is the Women-Owned Contracting Program a Good Choice for your Business?"

For more client stories, news and publications follow NBDC on LinkedIn.

NBDC offers a full suite of business services:
  • Financial projections, planning and loan packaging
  • Market research and analysis
  • Export consulting
  • Technology commercialization consulting
  • Government sales consulting
  • Business valuation and transition planning
  • Project management and leadership training
  • Process improvement and sustainability training
  • Organizational development consulting
    and customized training
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