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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 performe... 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

Monday, October 29, 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, October 29, 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

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
“ Vernon is one of less than 30 firms in the United States that is over 100 years old, has been continuously owned/managed by the same family without interruption and is in the same line of business as during its founding in 1902. Less than 3% of family businesses survive past the third generation and under 1% survive past 4 generations.” – Norman Cohn, Chairman, ASI Publications    Founded in 1902, The Vernon Company markets promotional advertising based solutions for corporate identity needs, including promoting new products or services, improving market share, increasing sales, building customer loyalty, improving safety and morale, thanking customers and employees.   According to... Read More

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