University of Northern Iowa




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

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Realistic Timelines Global economic disruption uniquely affects each business. Whether you are being hit with a hammer or expect to suffer a slow burn, your reaction to changes and proactive planning will play a major role in how your future unfolds. Signals indicate that once we start to get COVID-19 under control, the world economy will begin to recover, business will rebuild, and business owners will need to ask themselves if they want to go through another major disruption, or transition out of their business while they can. This is the most crucial time to plan so that your business has the best chance of supporting your personal and financial goals, even if those goals are... Read More

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Our last Breakfast Series session focused on how to have tough conversations as a family.  We drew a lot on the concept that difficult topics often get swept under the rug until they become giant “Jerry Springer moments” with our business family.

I wanted to take a minute to reflect on some things I learned from our panelists (Heidi Vermeer-Quist of VQ Consult and Warren Jacobs and Warren Phillips of Transformative Workplace Solutions).  So here are some thoughts, in no particular order:


... Read More
Tuesday, May 05, 2020

“A family is like a small business”, Marty Byrde.  

Marty makes this statement way back in the second episode of the very first season.  It gives you some insight into his persona, and while obviously fictional, Marty goes on to show us some very true points about being successful in business.  You can argue all day if they have helped Marty be successful – though (spoiler alert) he does continue to keep his family alive.

I wanted to point out just 3 of those lessons... Read More

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

If you're like many business owners, your business plays a large  role in supporting your family's lifestyle. As you plan for your business' future, you may run into questions about how to treat family members fairly in your plans. This is especially crucial if you have children who work in the business and chidden who do not work in the business. 

When planning for your business' future success, you will likely need to address how you will eventually distribute your assets to children or close family members. As you address this issue, you may realize that what you consider fair is quite different from what your children and family consider fair. Consider the story of owner Bill... Read More

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

I draw on my favorite sitcom of all time, Seinfeld, whenever I can. Sometimes the metaphors have to stretch pretty far, so stay with me on this one. Kenny Bania was a hack stand up trying to make it as a comic. His bits were rough to say the least. He comes into contact with Jerry as a fellow comedian on the NYC comedy circuit. Somehow he befriends Jerry and his life is changed forever. And it all starts with peer learning.  Jerry takes Kenny under his wing and even writes a bit for him on the misleading name of Ovaltine. The joke goes over so well for Kenny that NBC Recruits him to do a new sitcom for them. With a little help from his peers, (in this case, Jerry) Kenny goes from a strugg... Read More

Thursday, January 09, 2020

5. You enjoy being alone for holidays – or really any time of the year for that matter.  

4. Your family finds a way to put the FUN in Dysfunctional! Why create structure and a level of understanding for family when a Magic 8 Ball is so much more fun – especially the reactions from family members as the dreaded “Better not tell you now” response comes up. 

3. The Next Generation of my family has no hope of being able to manage this company, so why bother. I just don’t see how any of them, including my own kids, could ever have the abilities that I have. They’ll run it into the ground, so my best bet is just to... Read More

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Last month I succumbed to the pressure/popularity of writing about top 5 lists. Well it worked! We had a tremendous response from last month’s entry on “why should I join a Peer Group”

This month I am going to focus on Reason #5 – Time to Work “on” the Business.  

It’s something business consultants talk about ad nauseam. Work “on” the business, don’t get sucked in to fighting fires, stay out of the operational vortex, etc. etc.  

It’s almost like my doctor telling me to watch my diet and exercise. As I sit here stuffing a cookie in my face, I realize the difficulty.  

So how do you make it happen? How do yo... Read More