By Sydney Lundgren, Student Staff at UNI's Center for Business Growth and Innovation
As a CEO, it can be lonely at the top. They often find themselves trying to answer questions and fight the fires on their own with no one to serve as their listening ear- that’s where Advance Iowa comes in. Advance Iowa is a comprehensive consulting program hosted in the heart of the University of Northern Iowa’s campus. Since 2013, Advance Iowa has been providing a number of services to Iowa businesses and they continue to grow.
One of the services they provide to stage two businesses in Iowa is succession planning. Leaving your business can be a tricky process. Your family, community, customers, and employees are counting on you to make plans for your business after you’re gone. To start the process, they offer an exit planning assessment that can help business owners understand where they are currently at with their business.
Another service that they provide are CEO peer groups. These are confidential, once a month meetings that are hosted in regions across the state. The consultants create these environments with a mix of non-competing companies and industries so that you will leave the meeting with fresh ideas and perspectives. One of their members said, “it does take a chunk out of your day, but it’s worth it. For me it’s time well spent...I feel like I’m cheating myself when I can’t make it.”
In addition to peer groups and succession planning there are many other ways that Advance Iowa serves their clients. They offer monthly webinars, market intelligence, strategic planning, and even workshops. Coming up in June and July they will be hosting a few different programs all across the state to reach an even larger audience. These include a Profit Mastery Class, a workshop called, “Blowing Up the Sales Funnel,” and three value builder workshops. To register for workshops, visit www.advanceiowa.com.
This fall, they plan to launch a new program dedicated to family businesses because they understand that business ownership structures are different for each company. The Family Business Forum will be hosting a breakfast series which contains three different events where business owners and family members can attend these sessions to soak in a wealth of knowledge by listening to speakers, having roundtable discussions, and create a community of family businesses.
To connect and learn more about how Advance Iowa’s many services can help your business, email Jayne Kielman at firstname.lastname@example.org.