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Monday, April 08, 2019

Summary: This article explains why business owners should make themselves inessential to the business’ success if they ever want to exit on their terms.

Businesses that rely on their owners as the primary source of success are common. They’re also the most dangerous kind of business to own when you want to plan for the future of your ownership interest. Unless your goal for the future of your ownership is to liquidate the business and shut it down, you’ll likely need to build your business’ transferable value.

One way to define transferable value is that it is what a business is worth to a qualified buyer without the owner present. Essentially, a business that relies on... Read More

Friday, March 29, 2019

You don’t want to miss this ….

     Families are difficult to coordinate. One member is going one direction, another has commitments that overlap the third member of the family and where are the parents in the mix? Now ADD a family business to the equation! When do you find time to make sure that everyone is working in the same direction and prepared for a crisis situation …. Or just prepared for tomorrow, next week and next month?

     The goal of the UNI Family Business Forum is to provide value to family businesses. Value in content, connections and resources. The upcoming event with the Vermeer family offers insight into the history of one of Iowa’s largest and most... Read More

Tuesday, March 12, 2019
By Mark Hermann

Recently I spoke at the Iowa Wine Growers Association Annual Conference and got the opportunity meet business owners all over Iowa. After chatting with these amazing entrepreneurs, I have a better understanding of the challenges they face. The speech I gave at the conference was intended to showcase some of the services we provide at Advance Iowa, emphasizing out intentions to help business owners prepare their businesses for the future. All businesses have challenges. At Advance Iowa, we have programs meant to specifically help business owners manage some of those challenges. One of our newest programs consists of events that give guidance to family run businesses and g... Read More

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

When thinking about business planning, one aspect you may be tempted to overlook is the contributions of your key employees. Key employees are the lifeblood of well-run businesses, and they play an important role when owners begin to plan for their businesses’ futures, especially when owners begin to plan for their inevitable business exits. Many owners find that unless they have ways to incentivize key employees to stay with the business—rather than taking their talents elsewhere for more money or recognition—they cannot properly plan for their business’ futures. Consider the story of Jacqui Dickson, a key employee with Balthazar’s Ink Emporium.

Jacqui Dickson was a top performer... Read More

Thursday, January 31, 2019

As a business owner, you’re likely used to having as much control over how the business functions as possible. You’re the go-to person for big decisions and you own the consequences of those decisions, whether they’re good or bad. This attitude is often good and sometimes necessary for the business’ success. But when you begin to consider how you will plan for your business’ future, you might be positioning your business poorly, especially if you have any intentions to one day sell your business to a third party. In this article, we’ll outline three facts about third-party sales and present a few consequences you might face if you aren’t aware of these facts.

1. Buyers Want to Buy... Read More

Monday, January 14, 2019

As we prepare for our third breakfast session of the Advance Iowa’s Family Business Forum Kick-off Series, I wanted to take a minute to thank you for being a part of our community. It’s been an amazing experience thus far, we’ve met some remarkable Iowa business families, and we are grateful for your participation.  

Our January 25th session is dedicated to the topic of developing the next generation of family leadership. We will be featuring a panel of next generation leaders of Iowa companies who will be sharing their experiences. One of our speakers, Emily Schmitt from Sukup Manufacturing had this to say about the Family Business Forum, “Continuing the w... Read More

Monday, December 03, 2018

Building a successful business and minimizing risk may seem like opposite strategies, but typically, they go hand in hand. Once a business matures past the early, sometimes chaotic stages of development, business owners often turn toward actions that can protect them from the unexpected. Common examples of risk mitigation include purchasing life insurance on owners’ lives and insuring any assets crucial to business success. These are valid ways to minimize risk, but rarely are they enough to protect owners and their businesses as they approach their business exits. As you consider how to best protect yourself and your business from risks to your business exit, consider three often overloo... Read More

Monday, December 03, 2018

Many business owners believe that they want to sell their businesses to a third party when they first start considering their business exits. Owners who want to start planning for a third-party sale sometimes fear that tight-fisted buyers will be the primary enemy in the way of a successful business exit. However, experience shows that it is business owners who are their own worst enemy when pursuing third-party sales, because they succumb to two common Deal Killers. Briefly, a Deal Killer is a negative aspect of the business or its owner that can kill a deal with a third party if it isn’t resolved before the buyer learns about it. There are several Deal Killers, but two common ones are:... Read More

Monday, November 19, 2018
By Jayne Kielman As you gather around the table this Thanksgiving, consider the idea that for some families this can be a very positive holiday experience and for others it is laced with stressors that may be close to the boiling point.

Cue an episode of “Jerry Springer” or Dr. Phil’s voice asking, “how is that working for you?”. 

Family businesses are different.  Most owners and employees get to go home and remove themselves from the stress of the day.  Family businesses are often intertwined and the lines blur between work and home.  The positives of putting family together and running a business can result in dedication and focus to the business that is unmatched by any other... Read More

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

First things first, I know what ESOP stands for, but don’t ask me about Chapter 8 or 409 (h) details. The point of my message here is to simply put some myths to bed surrounding ESOPS. At the same time, I’d like to shamelessly plug the free webinar we are doing this Wednesday with Kreg Tool (an Iowa ESOP company) and BCC Advisers (and Iowa ESOP consulting firm) We’ll be discussing Kreg’s journey through succession planning and how an ESOP became the right fit for them. Greg Weber of BCC Advisors will also be on hand to talk through the process and benefits of how an ESOP might work for your firm.

You can register here

Myth #1​ //ESOPs are expensive Yes, they are. They do c... Read More