Young Professional Educational Session: Tinker, Bolder, Try How to Take Your Shot and Make it in the Baking Industry
Stephen Bastasch has grown a successful business from the ground up by being unafraid to tinker with engineering, hiring, sales models, products, and more. In this talk, he will share his story – from a family heritage in the baking industry to stints in finance to door-to-door cold calling – that highlights the mindset, methodology and benefits of being a professional tinkerer, and how those same attributes and practices can grow business and retain employees Classroom Engagement.
Stephen will employ an “ask and answer” technique to highlight how challenges in life and career form leaders, and how the lessons learned therein are essential to growing a successful business. The audience will share their answers. Stephen will share his. We will discuss.
Topics will include:
- Starting a business or new business extension
- How to identify ideal business opportunities in terms of market need, potential growth, and existing capabilities within a company
- How to create a clear and sustainable competitive advantage (What’s your moat?)
- What problems can you solve for customers? Should the new business focus on small things or large things?
- The “crawl, walk, run” approach to new business ventures.
- How to lead through calmness, ambition, and incentives. Ensuring your service is as good as your product.
- How to create a truly “listen first” sales strategy.
- How to turn customers into loyalists.
- How to pivot business without losing your bearings or your strengths.
- Confidently grow their business and find new streams of revenue. Enhance leadership skills to retain and attract employees. Improve selling skills and solifigy customer relationships. Learn how to extend existing skills and capabilities toward new ventures.
- Has your current business stopped growing? Then grow your market share, learn how to identify new and growing markets, increase profit margins, and find a sustainable competitive advantage.
- To perform the tasks (star, lead, sell, and succeed) takes low proficiency. To perform the tasks WELL takes a high level of skill and determination. These are lifetime skills that can be applied in multiple avenues and will always have room for refinement and improvement.
Entrepreneurs are usually born from tinkering or teaching. In the case of Stephen Bastasch, it was definitely the former. his interest in engineering and business eventually led to the University of Notre Dame, where be began to realize his passions geared toward the practical rather than the theoretical.
after college, he tinkered some more. Jobs in finance. An exploration into online publishing. A winding path that eventually brought him from New York City back to the family business of manufacturing packaging equipment for bakeries. After his dad suffered a stroke, the factory moved to Los Angeles. And Stephen was out of a job and short on luck. So he started to build a company.
Beginning with a 10×14 office in 2013, selling spare parts to bakers, he attracted skilled draftspersons, engineers, and service people. That company, Lenexa Manufacturing Company (LMC), quickly established a foothold in the commercial bakery industry thanks to outstanding customer service and an entrepreneurial spirit.
Today, LMC is a multi-million dollar business – and growing every day. The service and attention to detail are always going to be second-to-none, and the tinkering will never stop. If there’s a good idea, they’ll make it happen. And if you’re one of their competitors, well, they’re never going to stop trying to make your life a little harder.
Stephen is a guest lecturer and mentor for the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship & innovation at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Young Professionals Educational Session: Tinker, Tailor, Bolder, Try How To Take Your Shot and Make it in the Baking Industry
Tuesday, February 28, 2023
2:00pm – 3:00pm