Local Businesses attend Destination Bootcamp

L-R Luke Mahin, Jon Schallert, Jeanette Sheets, Monica Douglas, Megan Melby

Local businesses and director return from “Destination Bootcamp” with tools to change business, attract new customers

Republic County, KS, October 2017 –

Belleville’s Monica Douglas, Jeanette Sheets and Scandia’s Megan Melby, owners of Belleville Hometown Lumber, Dairy Queen, and Melby’s Home Center 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 Republic County. Attending as the coordinator was Luke Mahin Director of Republic County Economic Development.  They were among a group of business owners from across North America who attended the two and one-half day, 20-hour workshop. Previous Republic County attendees have been The Feathered Nest, FoodMart Thriftway, High Banks Hall of Fame, and the Belleville Chamber & Main Street.

This the first group ever from Republic County, to be part of the Community Reinvention Program at the Destination BootCamp. Along with the workshop, the Community Reinvention Program includes four months of consultation, a public presentation in Belleville by Jon Schallert, and onsite visits to the businesses by Jon.

The two and one-half day “Destination BootCamp”, created by marketing consultant Jon Schallert, teaches independent business owners on how to reposition their businesses as “consumer destinations”.  According to Schallert, a business using his “Destination Business” strategies can compete effectively with superstores like Wal-Mart and Home Depot, and significantly impact a local community.  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 our businesses learned at the BootCamp, they will be able to satisfy more of the region’s needs while making their shopping experience a much more enjoyable, fun experience.  Additionally, we will be attracting more visitors and tourists from outside Republic County,” says Luke Mahin, RCED Director.  “With what they’ve learned, there’s no reason we can’t attract more consumers and travelers from hundreds of miles away.”

RCED and the Belleville Chamber & Main Street received a $10,000 grant to support this project from the Rural Business Development Initiative by North Central Regional Planning and North Central Kansas Community Network.

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.  One newspaper called Schallert “the marketing guru rooting for the retail underdogs”.  Business owners interested in attending may contact Luke Mahin at 785-374-3047 for more information on his BootCamp experience, or one can visit Schallert’s website at www.DestinationBootCamp.com.


Local Testimonials

Megan Melby – Melby’s Home Center – Scandia

“My number one takeaway from the class was just looking at things from a customers perspective, noticing things that otherwise I wouldn’t have. To get others to attend I would say, “Do you just want to get by and go through the day-to-day routine? Or do you really want to make your business something that you can go home with at the end of the day and be very proud?” I learned that I have a lot to do, to better our business, but I also learned that it will 100% be worth all of my time and effort.”

Jeanette Sheets – Dairy Queen – Belleville 

“I came back from Destination Bootcamp with three goals that will move my small business forward that I’m being held accountable for. I also found a community of business leaders who share a passion for growing a business. Very excited for everyone in our area to have the opportunity to hear Jon Schallert speak in Republic County soon.”

Monica Douglas – Belleville Hometown Lumber – Belleville

“Going to the boot camp was a little out of my comfort zone but previous attendees had assured me I wouldn’t regret going. They were right and the boot camp far exceeded my high expectations. It is hard to put into words all that I learned from Jon and the others attending the boot camp. His steps forced me to look at our business from a different perspective and helped me realize what we do well and what we need to improve. Through this workshop, I feel like I was given the gift of dedicated time to focus on growth and setting goals, with Jon teaching me how to go about achieving those goals. I am so thankful to have gone with two other exceptional local business owners and our trusty economic development guru. I learned so much about them and from them as we traveled together! It was an amazing experience and I’m so grateful to Luke, the Chamber, Economic Development, and the North Central Regional Planning Commission for making this possible.”

Karol McChesney – High Banks Hall of Fame – Belleville

“You will think ‘beyond the box’ about new ways to advertise your business.  Other attendees will offer you suggestions that work for them, things you would have never thought of.  Jon is an expert on marketing, he’s had contacts with successful people/businesses all over the continent!”

Melinda Pierson – former Belleville Chamber & Main Street Director

“The Bootcamp was an awesome experience. We came away with a wealth of information and practical tools to apply; some right away and some are goals for changes down the road.  The really great thing about the Community Intervention program is that it doesn’t stop when you leave the Bootcamp in Colorado…”