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Friday, December 10, 2021

Owned and operated by Joe and Dawnica King, Cruiser Electric is an electrical company located in Ankeny, Iowa. Joe found himself interested in this industry since he was younger which led him to attend Northwest Iowa Community College where he received his degree in Electrical Technologies. From home remodels to custom home construction, tenant build-outs to new commercial buildings, Joe, Dawnica and their team at Cruiser Electric pride themselves on handling any electrical need the customer might have. Their growth over the years has allowed them to hire technicians who specialize not only in installation, but with upgr... Read More

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Time is the one consistent element that affects all business planning. It’s also something that business owners can harness with proper planning. When harnessed properly, time can be your best planning friend. When ignored, it can turn the best intentions into a planning nightmare. Let’s look at how time— and how each owner used it—affected the futures of two separate business owners in different ways.

Hurry Up and Wait vs. Wait and Hurry Up

If it weren’t for their last names, you’d never know that Tim and Jim Slim were brothers. They had both built extremely successful last-mile delivery services, well-known for their exceptional service in their highly competitive region... Read More

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Preparing your business for a successful future often goes hand in hand with preparing your business for a successful sale. No matter whom you sell to—and even if you believe you’ll never sell your business—you should focus on catching Deal Killers. Deal Killers are things that can affect your business’ value and future. Let’s look at an example of the difference between addressing Deal Killers early and ignoring them until it’s too late.

Bud and Bess Bush always had a sibling rivalry. Bud’s manufacturing business had grown and provided for his family for 35 years. Bess’s data analytics firm had done similarly well over the last 28 years. Though they never worked together, Bud and... Read More

Friday, April 23, 2021

Setting goals is a catalyst for success, especially if you’re planning for the future of your ownership and the success of your business. The strongest goals tend to have five aspects that help you guide the process for achieving them. In other words, when you set goals, you want to set SMART goals:

SpecificMeasurableAccurateRealisticTime-limited  

Let’s look at how each of these aspects can help you create goals that let you plan for the future of your ownership more successfully.

Specific Goals Inspire Action

Though it can be challenging, setting specific goals allows you to act on them. Consider the difference between a vague goal and a specific goal.

V... Read More

Friday, April 16, 2021

Cedar Graphics Inc., of Hiawatha, has acquired select business assets of J & A Printing Inc., currently under the ownership of Scott Cadwallader, according to a news release from Cedar Graphics.

Printing, finishing and mailing services for J & A customers will transition immediately to the Cedar Graphics plant in Hiawatha. J & A’s production facility in Hiawatha is not part of this acquisition.

Cedar Graphics is a family and Iowa-owned business focusing on offset and digital printing, packaging, and direct mail for the education, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and banking industries.

Cedar Graphics’ unique mix of advanced UV offset presses, digital... Read More

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

by Gary Nesteby, Facilitator

In December 2020 several of the CEO members completed a survey designed to provide a Success Score for their organization through their eyes.  The survey asked the CEO to assess their perception of how systematic they were in the areas of: Leadership, Strategic Planning, Customer Focus, Workforce Engagement, Operations and their use of Data to make decisions.  The results of those surveys produced discussions about how we could use the roundtables to learn more about what they could do to increase their effectiveness in these areas. 

Leaders that are attending the CEO roundtables realize that they have very useful resources among all of the mem... Read More

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

By Michael Crumb | Senior Staff Writer

As a parent of a high school student I, like many of you, have been watching and listening closely as our daughter’s school adjusts and tweaks the start to its school year, trying to find that balance between virtual and in-person learning. It’s a continuation of the uncertainty that struck in March when schools announced they would not return from spring break and remain closed for two weeks as confirmed cases of coronavirus began spreading across Iowa. We then watched as it became clear students would not return to the classroom to finish the year, and districts quickly threw together online learning plans. And we’ve al... Read More

Monday, August 31, 2020

By Gary Nesteby, Facilitator for the Advance Iowa CEO Roundtables

As expected the Corona Virus and the impact that it has had on CEOs across the state is the top subject of the CEO groups.  Although many of the meetings initially have been dealing with the funds that have been available to the businesses and the impact on the workforce; we have transitioned to how we are going to handle the future and what we have learned this far into the pandemic.

Each meeting we b... Read More

Thursday, August 20, 2020

The University of Northern Iowa’s efforts to help rural Midwestern small businesses recently got a boost thanks to grant funding through the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s 2020 Heartland Challenge. The grant is intended to support small business’ transition programming by providing education about employee stock ownership plans.

UNI’s Center for Business Growth and Innovation (CBGI) plans to use the grant to help launch the Center for Business Ownership Transition, which will be an expanded element of CBGI’s proven succession planning work for small businesses where, since 2016, over 90 Iowa companies have successfully transitioned ownership of their busine... Read More

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Business owners have a lot of information at their fingertips. There are calculators and assessments available for just about every aspect of your business and personal situation. As a result, many business owners think they have an accurate idea about the value of their business. They may even think they have an idea of where the business value should be at their departure from the business. And retirement needs calculators are abundant, claiming they’ll give business owners a good idea about what they’ll need if or when they step away from their businesses. It can be difficult and somewhat complex to accurately measure the value of a company today, and then what it needs to be worth whe... Read More

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