The Iowa Downtown Resource Center, one of the leading Main Street State programs in the nation, will offer Jon Schallert’s Destination Creation Course to Iowa small business owners starting this year.

Robin Bostrom, one of two Business Specialists in the nine-person Main Street Iowa office, has received certification as a Facilitator for the course after attending the Destination Train-the-Trainer class in January. This is the fourth Main Street State Program that will now be offering Schallert’s training, joining North Carolina Main Street, Heritage Ohio, and the Missouri Main Street Connection who previously trained members of their team to become certified Facilitators.

“I’m always looking for opportunities, different ways we can share and help our businesses grow and learn new skills,” Bostrom says. “2020 was a challenge for us, a particularly difficult challenge for small rural business owners in our state. Many of them are really unique, cool businesses who offer very unique services and one-of-a kind experiences.

“We haven’t been very good at storytelling. This will give us some extra tools in our toolbox to help those businesses to set themselves apart from their competition and to tell their story better.”

Schallert’s approach, which includes increased online and social media presence, greater media coverage, and other marketing skills, takes owners through his Destination process that differentiates businesses from competitors and makes them irresistible to shoppers, even from distant locations.

Jim Engle, the Director of the Iowa Downtown Resource Center Iowa who has known Schallert for years, said that feature makes the program especially attractive.

“We’ve been working for the past year keeping businesses relevant,” he says. “I thought this message looked particularly good on how businesses could set themselves apart. This training for Robin adds another arrow to our quiver. It will be good for us that she can go out and train people like Jon does.”

The Destination Creation Course packages Schallert’s 14-point Destination Business approach into a series of videos for online or in-person meetings that can be presented by a Facilitator. Schallert devised the strategy based on his 2½-day Destination BootCamps which are only held in Colorado. The Destination Creation Course is a more compressed version of his signature class, and includes interviews with professionals and peer-to-peer sharing, but alleviates the need for owners to travel, while giving them tools to mitigate the damage of Covid-19.

Bostrom says the course means small business owners who lack the resources and time to leave their shops for training can take advantage of Schallert’s proven strategies. The state agency works with more than 50 Iowa communities. 

“We need to bring it to them,” she says. “We have learned to embrace technology. Our network is bigger now than what we thought it was before because of the opportunity to use technology.”

“We are excited that Main Street Iowa chose to bring our Destination Creation Course under their State’s training umbrella. This will make my Destination trainings more broadly available to thousands more independent business owners in the Midwest,” Schallert says. “The online delivery of the Destination Creation Course with our team of 68 Facilitators has turned out to be more important than we could have imagined. It gives independent owners anywhere in North America a chance to position themselves for rapid growth during this pandemic and helps businesses that are struggling to have the tools to increase their revenue right now.”

There are two more Destination Train-the-Trainer Facilitator classes scheduled in 2021. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a certified Facilitator or would like to bring this training to your organization, click here.