Good Things Happen Over Coffee: How Two Entrepreneurs Brewed Success

By: Nicole Keeny

Strong. Bold. Energizing. The words we often use to describe coffee also happen to define the cofounders and co-owners of Alpha Coffee, Carl and Lori Churchill. This entrepreneurial husband-wife team represents what you get when you brew passion with discipline and dedication.

As a 21-year U.S. Army combat veteran, Carl sat down with his wife Lori over a cup of delicious craft coffee roasted by a family member to discuss their future, brainstorm business ideas, and determine what to do next. “In mid-2010, we found ourselves deep into the Great Recession, and the startup I worked for had just gone bankrupt,” Carl says. “Lori had a corporate massage business that also got crushed by the Great Recession. After no luck finding a ‘normal job’ due to hiring freezes and deepening unemployment across the country, we realized we were caught in a financial ambush and were going to bleed out unless we did something bold.” (more…)

2022-07-07T11:20:24-04:00July 1st, 2022|CEO Highlight, PowerTips e-newsletter|


Entrepreneurship is on the rise in America. After a steady decline beginning in the 1980s, the global pandemic has helped inspire the current growth trend. (It hasn’t been all bad!) According to U.S. Census Bureau data, the rate for entrepreneurial businesses was 38%, up from 29% in 2018. This growth rate spells great things because entrepreneurship drives economic growth, and according to, “Most job creation comes from companies that are 0-5 years old.”

As Powerhouse Planning celebrates its 10th anniversary, we’d like to remind you about the gifts we have for you. Check out the many free resources available on our website! From starting a small business, to making the most of conferences, to facilitating team building in-office or virtually, and more, our resources are designed to help you wherever you are on your entrepreneurial journey. Curious about how Powerhouse can come alongside you to take your small business to the next level? Contact us today for details.

2022-07-07T11:19:12-04:00July 1st, 2022|PowerTips e-newsletter|


Four Tips to Market Yourself as an Entrepreneur in 2022

By: Julia Maier

There is no better time to be an entrepreneur than right now. When we look back on history, this very well could be considered the golden age of entrepreneurship. With icons such as Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk blazing trails; and companies such as Airbnb becoming increasingly popular, the desire to take your passion and be your own boss is all the rage. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration 2020 Small Business Profile, we saw 31.7 million small businesses started by entrepreneurs in that year alone. The glamor of owning your own business is everywhere. But the struggles these entrepreneurs face are often not shared with the public. Still, as Thomas Jefferson once said, “With great risk comes great reward.”

Just ask Powerhouse CEO and entrepreneur Jess Bertsch, who got very real about the high risk and high reward of starting your own business. So, what does it take to become a successful entrepreneur? For starters, a support system is key: people who see your vision and are there to support you in the highs and the lows. Those people will also be your biggest marketers in the beginning. Most small businesses don’t have the budget big corporations do to get their brand out there. However, in 2022, it doesn’t necessarily take big pockets to promote your business. Here are a few tips to market your small business:

  1. Find your target audience. When you come up with your initial business plan, one of your first considerations should be whom you are selling to. Being able to know and understand the gender, age, culture, etc. of your future clients will be essential to how you run your business.


2022-07-07T11:18:44-04:00July 1st, 2022|Marketing Buzz, PowerTips e-newsletter|


Investing in Relationships: Building Connections as an Entrepreneur

By: Meredith Flory

There comes a point in most small business owners’ journey where they have a clear idea or plan for a successful business decision, but they lack the capital. Sometimes the clearest plan of action is to obtain a small business loan or work toward accruing savings, but other times finding investors might be a possible way forward. However, asking for money is almost always an awkward and uncomfortable experience. There are some etiquette rules and paths toward forging connections that can make the experience better. The following are three ways to build a foundation to attract investors to support your business.

  1. Build business relationships. Any small business owner or entrepreneur needs to develop a network of relationships in the community: people ahead of you in business who can act as mentors, friendships with other small business owners, and community leaders to grow your opportunities for partnerships. You can start building these relationships at any point in the business ownership process—even with just an idea. Join a local leadership cohort, business course, or meeting series. Volunteer with a nonprofit organization that pairs community leaders with volunteer opportunities. And if you are already in business, make sure to grow your relationships with authenticity and respect. Any of these avenues might lead to introductions with possible investors and demonstrate that you are an enjoyable and trustworthy person to work with.
  2. Have a clear plan. A great idea is only the first step to starting or growing a business. To move forward, and to interest investors, you need a clear plan. Possible investors need clear points about your big idea. You must be able to present clearly what you need: Is this ask for product development, staffing, or operating space and budget? You need to be prepared to explain the specific numbers of what you need and the possible return on investment. While things might change as you progress, estimates for the projected timeline, milestones, and applications of funding are essential parts of the ask. A summary of research you’ve done, explaining the niche you are fulfilling, possible risks, and ways to market and sell your product, can prepare you ahead of time to answer investor questions. Need support? Powerhouse Planning can help with your planning with our business growth.
  3. Seek advice over money. With investors comes a possible sharing of control, yes. But investors also offer the opportunity for guidance from more experienced entrepreneurs and people in your field. When you are first starting out, or you’re at a crossroads in your small business, consider asking those with more experience or success for advice rather than money. Ask for a meeting to go over your business plan, or work toward developing a mentorship relationship with someone in entrepreneurship whom you admire. Share your idea, plan, or problem and ask for advice on a way forward. They may give you advice that doesn’t feel helpful, but they might also identify a way to be supportive as a business partner, a contract worker for a particular skill set, or connections to possible investors. Perhaps they even may be interested in investing themselves.

Focusing on relationships and building a solid foundation first will help you attract investors at the point you need them and set yourself up as a competent and resourceful person to work with.

For more information, tips, and tricks, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn and check out some of our resources and blog articles.

2022-07-07T11:18:18-04:00July 1st, 2022|Business Etiquette, PowerTips e-newsletter|


“We absolutely love working with Powerhouse. It is full of amazingly talented individuals. For us, an added benefit is that these individuals happen to be military spouses and veterans. They understand our culture, and they match quite well. We know from personal experience that there are so many military spouses and veterans who would be extremely successful within any company, but because of the challenges of the military lifestyle, and especially moving constantly, they might not be able to share their talents effectively. But with Powerhouse and the ability to work remotely, their talents can be harnessed by a variety of companies. I can’t recommend Powerhouse highly enough. They’ve helped us make huge strides forward, and we love having them as part of our team.”

– Carl Churchill, Alpha Coffee, Cofounder, CEO, and Chief Coffee Officer

2022-07-07T11:17:41-04:00July 1st, 2022|Client Profile, PowerTips e-newsletter|


Starting a business is overwhelming, not matter how well prepared you think you are. Not sure what you need or where to begin to sift through the hundreds of decisions you’ll need to make before you can ever open your doors? Check out OpenStax’s “Types of Resources,” a resource that breaks down all the different categories of resources you might need to consider for your small business, complete with definitions, and helps you begin to weed through what matters to your business and what you don’t need to worry about right now.’s “25 Essential Entrepreneur Resources” takes you through an overview of resources designed to get you started and help you think of everything you might need. There are tons of links to additional information venues to assist you in making the right decisions.

Don’t have time to read? Do you work better visually? Check out UVU’s “Starting Your Business” video library. Full of videos curated from events, lecture series, and speaker recordings, this library is your perfect video resource.

As always, Powerhouse Planning has resources and services to help. If you find you need an expert team for the cost of one full-time employee, we have a vast wealth of help we can provide. Our total remote team solution works alongside you to realize your entrepreneurial goals. Read some of our case studies to learn how we’ve helped other entrepreneurs or contact us today to see how we can help you build the business of your dreams.

Have you? Have you checked out Powerhouse online recently? Our website has undergone a facelift! (And it’s more than skin deep.) New (free) resources, case studies, and more can help you determine how Powerhouse can best help you. Not only are we constantly updating our website, but we’re ever-present on social media as well. Check us out on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Who knows? You may even get a chance to interact with our president. She’s currently scheduling one-on-one 30-minute sessions where she will speak directly to you and offer advice/mentoring on any of those thorny business issues you might be facing.

2022-07-07T11:17:20-04:00July 1st, 2022|Business Resources, PowerTips e-newsletter|


Alpha Coffee and Powerhouse Planning Mission: Grow Success

Alpha Coffee needed marketing division management support as well as website assistance as they sought to expand their business to additional locations and vendors as well as strengthen their brand recognition. By working with Powerhouse’s remote team solution, Alpha Coffee was able to realize their goal of growing their brand while retaining their family-owned business identity.

Read the full case study here.

2022-07-07T11:16:38-04:00July 1st, 2022|PowerTips e-newsletter|



Powerhouse Planning President Jessica Bertsch will once again be a featured speaker at PILLAR: Digital Retreat for Deployment Countdowns. Presented online November 4-6, PILLAR is the online retreat resource for military spouses when it comes to deployments. Jessica’s Coast Guard husband has spent almost half their marriage at sea, leaving her to manage the home and family for 16 years through eight moves. If you are interested in learning more about PILLAR or Jessica’s talk, “Dealing (and Thriving) with Rapid, Frequent, Back-to-Back Deployments,” visit PILLAR’s website and Facebook page.

2022-07-07T11:13:54-04:00July 1st, 2022|PowerTips e-newsletter|