Three representatives from local businesses returned this month from a Colorado-based business improvement “Destination Bootcamp”, where they learned hundreds of new methods to bring more customers and tourists to Kinsley. Jennifer Gleason of Good Company/United Wireless, Jeanne Eustace of Kinsley Drug Company, and Bonita Werner of Kinsley Food Pride were among a group of business owners from across North America who attended the 20-hour workshop.

                The two and one-half day “Destination BootCamp”, created by marketing consultant Jon Schallert, teaches independent business owners how to reposition their businesses as “consumer destinations”. According to Schallert, a business using his “Destination Business” strategies can compete effectively with larger brick and mortar competitors, along with online giants like Amazon. According to Schallert, it is not uncommon for destination businesses to create change in an entire city, by drawing consumers from miles around, from outside the immediate marketplace of a community.

                “With the principles that were learned at the BootCamp, the businesses will be able to satisfy more of their customers’ needs and make purchasing their products a much more enjoyable, fun experience. Additionally, they will be attracting more visitors and tourists from outside Kinsley,” says Linette Miller, Executive Director of Edwards County Economic Development. “With what they’ve learned, there’s no reason they can’t attract consumers from hundreds of miles away.”

                The Edwards County E-Community Partnership with Network Kansas provided the funding for the businesses to attend the BootCamp. The goal of the E-Community partnership is to increase entrepreneurial  activity and develop a self-sustaining ecosystem favorable to long-term entrepreneurial growth. Edwards County is one of 59 E-Communities across the State.

                The E-Community Partnership provides Edwards County with a loan fund to help local businesses get started as well as funding for educational programs that have been certified by NetWork Kansas.

                Schallert’s Destination Business BootCamp is held in Colorado seven times annually.  Schallert has worked with independent business owners since 1983, speaks to thousands every year, and is the President of The Schallert Group, Inc., Longmont, Colorado. Schallert has been referred to as “the marketing guru rooting for the retail underdogs”. Business owners interested in attending may contact Linette Miller for more information, or can visit Schallert’s website at www.DestinationBootCamp.com.