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Thursday, February 23, 2017

via Cedar Valley Business News, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

No one is born a CEO.

Chief executive officers come to their positions in a variety of ways, but being the boss is something many mid-size business owners never envisioned. So, instead of a business college, they often went to the school of hard knocks and got their education on the fly.

Advance Iowa offers them an alternative — get their education from experts and learn along with peers facing similar struggles.

“(CEOs) become so focused on trying to take care of everyday issues that it’s hard for those owners to get a lot of other input. They may get input from employees or family members, but t... Read More

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Team-work /tem,werk/ noun | defined as:  cooperative or coordinated effort on the part of a group of persons acting together as a team or in the interest of a common cause. 

This term applies to the mission of Advance Iowa and its interest in working with economic developers throughout Iowa for the benefit of small and medium businesses.   The goal of UNI Advance Iowa is to work with businesses that are cornerstones to the communities throughout Iowa in keeping Iowa ownership and businesses growing!  It is good for everyone involved! 

George Lake, Bucannon County Economic Development Director comments, “I see my role in economic development as that of being an educator.  F... Read More

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

“3-5 years Dan, that’s my timeline.”

(2 years later)

“3 to 5 years, Dan, that’s my timeline.” 

You’ve built this business up over a lifetime and now the other forces of your life (your spouse, kids, and maybe your own mortality) are starting to push you in a new direction. You know, that one we refer to as “exit stage left." It sounds pretty final, so you put it off; it’s the human thing to do.

In this realm, you have demonstrated success. You have control, loads of value, and others looking to you as the captain of the ship. Giving all that up requires tremendous planning. It starts with thinking less about “giving all of this up” and more about “... Read More

Friday, February 17, 2017

A new peer learning opportunity in the Quad Cities is seeking local CEOs and business owners to join in.

“Indecision in a business costs money. And the concept of Advance Iowa’s CEO Peer Groups are to help owners make decisions they’re confident about,” says Mark Hermann, an Advance Iowa Lead Consultant, a risk manager and consultant with over 42 years working with businesses which includes 15 years owning a business and 27 years as a risk manager. Hermann facilities the Quad Cities group which will meet later this month in its first introductory session.

The basis of the group is to provide CEOs and business owners in mid-sized businesses (10-100 employees) with an exp... Read More

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Knowing the value of your company is a fundamental, indispensable element of sound decision- making because it provides you (1) an objective indicator of how much value needs to grow before you exit and how long you must work before exiting, (2) the ability to monitor progress toward your exit, and (3) a basis for estimating (and minimizing) tax consequences of Exit Path alternatives. This article includes a case study and information about various types of valuations.

For many owners, the answer to one question determines whether they can leave their companies: “How much money will I get when I sell?”

This question is... Read More

Thursday, January 05, 2017

via IASourceLink

Does your company value its employees and place an importance on people? In the midst of the stresses that comes with running a business, a healthy company culture can be easily forgotten. This month I sat down with Dan Beenken, Director of Advance Iowa at the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Business Growth and Innovation to talk about how to jump-start your company culture with the help of some valuable resources offered by Advance Iowa. 

Read the full article here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

via Business Record

The city of West Des Moines will launch a series of small-business courses for Central Iowa businesses beginning in July. The initiative is part of a new effort by the city's economic development department to offer training to established small businesses in Central Iowa, said Clyde Evans, the city's economic development director.

The four-part series of courses will be offered by Advance Iowa, a comprehensive business consulting program of the University of Northern Iowa. Known as the Boost series, the courses are designed to focus on key business development themes.

Read the full article here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

via UNI Alumni Association

Business owners and entrepreneurs alike know running a business can be tedious and time consuming. Planning and decision making is a never-ending process and often they are not sure where to turn for help.

Luckily, Iowa businesses have the Advance Iowa program at UNI, a part of Business & Community Services, to lean on for support. The Advance Iowa team is there for business owners as a third party sounding board and trusted adviser to assist in overcoming obstacles and help identify new opportunities.

Read the full article here.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

via IASourceLink

Through the Advance Iowa program, “Founder Frank” is a pseudonym we use to describe many of our clients. He could easily be Freda, Francine, or even Frodo – but for these purposes let’s assume it’s Frank. If you’re a business owner like Frank, you might be in a situation now where you’ve started your firm from nothing and have built it to a size and scale where you’re now at the top of a significant organization. You’ve gone from chief cook and bottle washer to having a staff around you.  With success comes growth and complexity, and hopefully profits. Frank has learned to navigate this growth not with a road map or a textbook, but often by learning the hard way-... Read More

Friday, August 28, 2015

via IASourceLink

Succession Planning.  Depending on which end of it you are on, talking about an ending is never fun.  (Unless we are talking about ending the Twins drought in the playoffs).  If you do any quick Googling on succession planning, all the talking heads are telling you to start early. Start now, before you get hit by a bus and it’s done for you!  I get it and at the same time I can understand why a business owner would put it off.  No one wants to think about their own mortality. Advance Iowa’s consulting work puts the focus on the processes, strategies, and people that need to be in place long before exit planning begins.  It’s about making sure your business will fl... Read More

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