Higher input costs force small businesses to adapt

Pure Nebraska
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 10:03 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2023 at 10:14 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Master’s Hand is celebrating 15 years of selling everything from candles to chocolate in Tekamah. But inflation continues to make running a small business more of a challenge.

We caught up with Master’s Hand store owner Susie Robison to talk about this. “Prices have definitely gone up on sugar, butter, and egg prices have gone crazy,” Robison said. “Everything we make is from scratch, so those key ingredients are important to us, and they’ve gone up. At Master’s Hand, we are called ‘every woman’s dream shop’. We have flowers, chocolate, we have a boutique, we have a ladies’ tea room, and a bakery. As you might imagine, we do go through a lot of eggs, butter and cream. The higher prices in the economy, that’s hard for us. Our heart is for everyone to afford everything in the shop, and it’s difficult. I’ve seen other small businesses having to close. You don’t want to raise prices, but in some ways if you don’t, the concern is you might not be here next year.”

At Master’s Hand, the team of employees have come together to create ways to diversify. “To compete with the higher prices, we got together and asked ourselves, what are we really good at?” Robison said. “We’ve taken what we are really good at and expanded it. For example, we are good at cinnamon rolls. We have the ‘World’s Best Cinnamon Rolls’! We’ve now opened up earlier in the morning, so people can come in for cinnamon rolls. We have also made cinnamon roll take-and-bake kits. We’ve made sugar cookie decorating kits, too. The cookies are already made, and grandmas, moms, and kids can decorate them. We include the frosting and sprinkles, and our customers can just have fun. For lunches, we have narrowed our menu to just what we do best.”

For the owner of Master’s Hand, the key to survival in our current economy is to find a niche, narrow down, and focus on the best products. If you’d like to visit Master’s Hand, be sure to check them out on Facebook, and we encourage you to make time for lunch.

Also, don’t forget “Man Day Monday”, where men get treated with free biscuits and gravy, and other free foods throughout the day. This event is traditionally the first Monday before Valentine’s Day. You’ll want to check this out as well.