Six workshops will be held around the state over the next several weeks that are designed to help business owners plan for getting out of their businesses. Ellen Nystrom, spokeswoman for the Iowa Small Business Development Center at Iowa State University, says succession planning is key for anyone who’s considering the move.

Nystrom says, “There are a lot of businesses out there right now that may be in the mid-cycle of their business or the ending-cycle and they need to start planning for this aspect — that is to transition it over to someone new and there are various reasons for that and that’s what we talk about in our workshops.” She says the recent economic recession is forcing many Iowa business owners to rethink their plans for the future.

“What we’re trying to do is educate businesses to think about it before some kind of downturn takes place or before they’re going to do the actual transition,” Nystrom says. “The economy has affected businesses wanting to close and what we want to try to do is keep them open so they can transition it to the next generation so that it doesn’t affect the Main Street economy.” Nystrom says each of the workshops will cover a number of topics, like whether to shift the business to a family member or to an outside party.

They also need to consider whether they want to retain any control of the business after the transition and how it will impact their retirement income and their lifestyle. The workshops will take place in Cherokee on March 11th, Fort Dodge on March 23rd, Waterloo on March 30th, Webster City on April 5th, Des Moines on April 8th and Cedar Rapids on May 26th. For more information, visit ““.

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City