McCook, Nebraska – With a refined business plan and financial projections provided by the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC), Jared Muehlenkamp was able to purchase Acme Printing Co., which has delivered customized printing services to customers in McCook and surrounding communities since 1932.
Muehlenkamp, who was born in Imperial and moved with his family to McCook when he was eight years old, studied visual communications and design at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He later earned a degree in web design and development through DeVry Institute of Technology, which ultimately led to working with international branding, marketing and design firm TBWA/Chiat/Day in Los Angeles.
He returned to McCook in 2014 when the opportunity arose to purchase longtime local business Acme Touch Printing. “I hadn’t really thought about owning a business,” Muehlenkamp says, “but the idea of starting a family in a tight-knit community like McCook rather than LA really appealed to me.”
To help with the purchase process, Muehlenkamp was referred to Charlie McPherson, the North Platte/McCook NBDC center director, and they met in February 2014. During the meeting, they assessed the project in great detail. After reviewing the different components of the business purchase and the options available, the two put together a plan.
Over the next several weeks, McPherson reviewed the information Muehlenkamp had used to start a business plan and began providing revisions, recommendations and additional market research, and comparing his financial projections against industry reports available to NBDC. McPherson was then able to assist Muehlenkamp with an improved business plan and financial projections, and financing was approved by the end of March.
Muehlenkamp purchased the company on April 1 and formed Muehlenkamp Design, LLC (d/b/a Acme Printing Company). By adding services including branding and digital marketing, he is providing the community’s small businesses the opportunity to enhance their visual presence without spending large sums of money on a brand strategy.
For Muehlenkamp, innovation has been a key to being able to continue to serve McCook and surrounding areas. Seeing other printing companies merge, sell shops or simply close their doors in response to expanding online printing services, he says the people of McCook make the difference to him and his business.
“I believe the overwhelming support of the community of McCook is the reason Acme continues to exist. We have formed lasting relationships in the community, and we hope to keep building these relationships for years to come.”
He credits McPherson and NBDC with enabling him to build a new life in the area where he grew up. “Charlie is a great person to talk with,” Muehlenkamp says. “He understands small business. For anyone interested in entrepreneurship, it’s crucial to have someone to go to for reliable advice.
“I put a lot of trust in Charlie and NBDC,” he says, “and I am in debt to them.”
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The Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) helps Nebraska businesses start, grow and develop, by strengthening Nebraska businesses for a healthy economy and prosperous communities. NBDC is a University of Nebraska at Omaha center that provides confidential consulting business development services across Nebraska to entrepreneurs and business owners for the life cycle of their business. NBDC partners with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Wayne State College, and Chadron State College to deliver its services statewide. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the U.S. Department of Commerce (EDA), and other federal, state and private organizations support NBDC. Visit nbdc.unomaha.edu for more information.
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