1) When did you start your business?
Nebraska Tour Company: 2017.
2) How did you think to start?
NTC: I have moved around the country a lot with my previous career. During moves and travels I always searched out the coolest places to eat and drink. So, it started with an idea to share the best restaurants and cocktail bars in Omaha. The company started with exclusive chauffeured culinary tours. We added Walking History & Food tours in 2018 and we now offer Walking History, Food and Brewery tours along with the chauffeured tours for larger groups and corporate guests.
3) What inspires you?
NTC: To share the best of the city with everyone I meet.
4) Do you have a special connection to Omaha?
NTC: I had lived in Omaha before and this is where my daughter was born.
5) What was your business’ first best seller or big success?
NTC: Walking Food tours were our original best success.
6) Where do people visit most from?
NTC: The majority of our guests come to us by driving from somewhere in a nearby state. We do have a big portion of our guests that are local to the Omaha metro.
7) What is the most popular destination in Omaha for tourists to visit?
NTC: The Henry Doorley Zoo followed by the historic Old Market district.
8) What is the most underrated destination in Omaha for tourists to visit?
NTC: Either Dundee or Benson.
9) What does Omaha offer that nowhere else does?
NTC: You have to try a Reuben sandwich since Omaha is where it was invented.
10) What are your tours like?
NTC: Our most popular tours are walking tours. Our History walking tours are 1 hour experiences to hear about our past and see landmarks plus historical buildings. Our Food walking tours are 3 hour experiences that visit multiple unique restaurants for food tastings and cocktails.
11) How far in advance should people book?
NTC: Our guests can book a walking tour up to 24-48 hours before the start time; depending on the type of tour. We have self-guided tours that are always available.
12) What was your first setback?
NTC: The pandemic was a challenge but we were thankfully prepared, even though we didn’t realize it. We had walking history tours which where outdoors plus self guided tours that guests were able to enjoy even during the pandemic.
13) How many people do you employ?
NTC: Our Omaha team varies during the year but has anywhere from 5-9 Tour Hosts.
14) What is your current best seller?
NTC: Our Old Market historic district tours; both history and food.
15) Are you seasonal? All year?
NTC: We offer tours all year long.
16) How do people book tours?
NTC: Guests can book tours on our website.
17) Do you have a seasonal specialty?
NTC: In the fall we offer Ghost Stories tours. During the holiday season we offer an Old Market Holiday tour.
18) What is the most interesting thing about your tours?
NTC: We let guests pick when they want to take our tours. Any group of guests, from small to large, can request a tour on a day & time that fits their schedule.
19) What is the most interesting thing about your business itself?
NTC: We are unique not only because we have tours available daily but we also have both history and food tours. We are able to customize tour experiences for groups to match what they want to experience in Omaha.
20) What is the most interesting thing about how your business interacts with Omaha?
NTC: We exclusively support locally owned businesses. This is our mission to share the local stories of our community and support its local business owners
21) What are your long term plans for Nebraska Tour Company?
NTC: We will grow and continue to offer new tours in new ways.
22) Do you have any plans for next this year?
NTC: We plan to start offering our pop-up tours that are one time special events with exclusive behind the scenes access.
23) How do you include your employees in decision making?
NTC: Our Tour Team members are empowered to create tour ideas that bring new stories to our guests.
24) Do you have any advice for other business owners about a subject you feel you excel at?
NTC: Listen to everyone because you never know when there will be a spark for a great idea. Also, join a great group to get insight and feedback; for me it’s the Tourpreneur Facebook group.
25) Do you have a business thesis or specific mission?
NTC: Nebraska Tour Company crafts custom experiences which connect people to the local story of our community.
26) What do you attribute your success to?
NTC: A passion to support the community and our team.
27) Do you have a favorite place to vacation?
NTC: Personally, I still have so much of America to discover. A road trip to a new location is always being planned.
28) How does Nebraska Tour Company adapt to change?
NTC: We are a small team with open communication so we can react to feedback and make changes quickly.
29) Is this your first business?
NTC: This is the first business I have owned. I always worked in corporate retail companies before.
30) Do you have a favorite quote?
NTC: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.” -Mark Twain.
31) How do you handle customer support?
NTC: Our guests can contact us by email, phone or text and if we aren’t available they will have a response in a few hours.
32) What do you like most about the operations of your business?
NTC: We are flexible which is not the norm in the tour industry.
33) How does Nebraska Tour Company make the world a better place?
NTC: Continue to share stories of past and present so we can all learn from them.
34) What is your favorite thing about the world?
NTC: There are so many different cultures and people that we can learn things from.
35) What is your favorite state in the Midwest?
NTC: Nebraska, of course.
36) What is your favorite thing about the Midwest?
NTC: The people are kind and the cities are a size that allows you to get to know them.
37) What is your favorite place to visit in your state?
NTC: The Henry Doorley Zoo and The Old Market.
38) What is your favorite season?
39) Introduce yourself:
NTC: I am Alan, Chief Experience Officer for Nebraska Tour Company. I have lived throughout the country in cities and towns of various sizes. I am originally from Ames, Iowa. I love great food, unique cocktails, creative craft brews and learning about the places I visit. My heart belongs to the Midwest and love the people here.