Omaha, Nebraska –The co-owners of Flywheels PowerSports in Omaha use the advisory and services of the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) as they open businesses and now look for ways to help grow the power sports equipment business .
An independent dealer for many brands of Flywheels Powersports ATVs, Utility Task Vehicles (UTVs), Extreme Terrain Vehicles (XTVs), Pit-Bikes, Dirt-Bikes, Mini-Bikes, Go-Karts, Golf Carts, Scooters, Motorcycles, Mobility Is. Scooters, electric bikes and other sports and recreational machines.
Co-owner Matt Shaw says he first came to know about NBDC and its services when he earned a Lean Manufacturing Certificate while working for a data and market analysis company. In early 2020, he started his own software company and worked with NBDC Technology Commercialization Director Josh Nicol-Cady.
Shaw says that when the COVID-19 pandemic hit a few months later, it had an immediate impact on his new software business. “My main target audience was the health care industry,” he says. “COVID put health care into pandemic response mode, so my software company was put on hold.”
He turned to the idea of owning a power sports equipment business “because I wanted to do something I love,” he says. “There was a business for sale in Omaha, and we wanted a market analysis compared to other powersport companies for sale across the US”
In May 2020, Nicole-Cady introduced Shaw and his business partner, Matt Ellis, to Tony Schultz, the director of the Omaha Center for SBDC-Nebraska, USA, based in NBDC. “Tony helped with the market analysis as well as our financial projections,” Shaw recalled. “It helped us validate some of the ideas and data we had.”
Shaw and Ellis used information from NBDC to help secure the loan and opened Flywheels PowerSports in January 2021.
Most recently, Schultz introduced Shaw to Anne Herman, a marketing and entrepreneurship instructor at the UNO College of Business Administration, through the NU Connections program.
NU Connections unifies the University of Nebraska System to promote university programs, services, and resources that Nebraska businesses can use to grow and diversify. Administered by the NBDC, NU Connections provides Nebraska businesses access to startup support, laboratory and facility utilization, research and technology development, market research and other services.
“I started writing a sales plan for training, but I wasn’t sure how to market it appropriately,” Shaw says. “Dr. Herman connected me with three graduate students who viewed my material as part of a capstone course. It was completed in May and was very helpful.”
Shaw says that NBDCs are a valuable resource for start-ups and existing businesses.
He says he plans to continue working with the NBDC and its advisors. “I do my FTE (full-time equivalent) calculations and annual financial deposits,” he says. “In return, the NBDC validates our numbers against other similar companies in its database. This is just another way of proofing what we are doing. If we’re having a problem, comparing our numbers to other companies tells us, ‘Okay, we’re having a problem here, but everyone’s like that.'”
Learn more about Flywheel Powersports.