The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Brings Relief to the Nation’s Dairy Industry

In May 2019, the United States announced an agreement with Canada and Mexico to remove all tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from those countries and for the removal of all tariffs on American goods including dairy products, bringing much needed relief to the US Dairy Industry.

The Dairy Industry and CEO Tom Vilsack of the US Dairy Export Council, has praised the Trump administration as well as Mexico and Canada for their collective efforts on getting this deal done.  With this agreement in place, it will ensure that US, Mexico and Canada will maintain and grow their respective markets in this time of uncertainty with our agricultural economy.

The USMCA also includes important improvements that will expand exports of US Dairy products to Mexico and Canada.

Now we need Congress to ratify this agreement sooner than later.

Read the full article published May 24, 2019 from the Cheese Market News: Deal with Canada and Mexico Brings Relief to U.S. Exporters

Infographic: The Do’s and Don’ts of Constructive Criticism

I am sure we have all been through the uncomfortable job of giving and/or receiving constructive criticism. It might have been to an employee, supplier or a customer.

As in most things in life constructive criticism is a two way street and requires adult behavior from the person giving the criticism and the person receiving the criticism. It all comes down to a strong sense of listening and understanding from both parties.

Please read full article:  Infographic: The Do’s and Don’ts of Constructive Criticism

2019 Midwest Staffing Conference

On May 22nd & 23rd I attended the Midwest Staffing Conference in Schaumburg, Illinois at the Hyatt near the Woodfield Mall.

In attendance were executives, staff and vendors to the staffing industry primarily from Illinois & Wisconsin, with a smattering of members from Iowa, Missouri, and Indiana.

Having specialized in the staffing industry for ten years, it was great to meet these people in person. There were great workshop programs and key note speakers which emphasized the importance of what this great industry lends to…the local economies and the nation as a whole.

I learned that the staffing industry provided 1.1 million jobs in Illinois last year and 337,000 in Wisconsin. Nationally, there were 16.8 million jobs generated by the staffing industry representing $167 billion in revenues. This is a 4% increase over 2017 and there are currently 1.8 million jobs unfilled in this country.  All in all, the staffing industry represents a little more than 2% of the nation’s employment. There is great opportunity out there to grow even in this tight labor market.

I met some terrific up and coming professionals while there.

Is this the year to become your own boss?

Last year, the financials of small businesses for sale reached record highs.  This enabled business sellers to ask for – and get – more money for their businesses than ever before. High prices may sound like a deterrent to those hoping to buy a business. However, it’s actually a win-win, according to the article, “Make This the Year You Finally Buy a Business,” published in All Business. In  short, buying a thriving business can be a shortcut to getting into entrepreneurship. Read more here: Make This the Year You Finally Buy a Business

Questions Business Owners Ask Me and the Answers I Give Them

As a Business Intermediary, these questions and answers within this article hit home for any perspective business owner thinking about selling in the short or long term timeframe. Here are some key points that I have used continuously throughout my career with my clients. I find that LISTENING, UNDERSTANDING AND EDCUCATION my clients goes a long way in my relationships and a successful selling process.

  • The price a Buyer offers you that you are willing to accept
  • Do not allow your business to be too dependent upon you
  • Stay focused and operate your business as if it will never sell
  • Have job descriptions, policy and procedure manuals

Never sell the business to a person or business you feel will not treat your employees, customers, and vendors properly

Please read full article: Questions Business Owners Ask Me And the Answers I Give Them

Opportunity Zones: the new frontier of economic development

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017 introduced Opportunity Zones. Simply put, Opportunity Zones open up a pathway for private investors to put money into economically-challenged communities through a variety of tax benefits for the capital invested and gained, conditional on meeting certain requirements. Opportunity Zones have caught the attention of mayors, economic development agencies, private investors, philanthropic foundations, and consultants. An article written by Dane Stangler and published in Forbes Magazine, states, “What will really fulfill the economic development promise of Opportunity Zones is an on-ground mechanism to enable investors to support local entrepreneurs.” Click here to learn about one such on-ground mechanism:  Turning Opportunity Zones Into Real Opportunities With Launch Pad

What value does a business broker bring to the table?

What value does a business broker bring to the table? John Foster discusses this and other topics on his weekly radio show Just The Facts.

Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wisconsin – 2019 US Cheese Expo

Creative Business Services/CBS-Global was represented by owner Michael Schwantes and M&A Advisor, Bob Wolter at the 2019 US Cheese Expo in Madison last week.  2019 is the third time we had a booth at the show and this year’s event was very well attended. We worked our booth on Wednesday and meet many Dairy individuals that were interested in learning more about our services and the help we can provide as a specialist in the industry.  Additionally, we connected with many, many acquaintances and friends we have gotten to know the last dozen years or so.

Thursday’s seminars and events were very informative and innovative.  What I thought was most exciting was the ongoing effort and stand-alone business the US Dairy Export Council is providing for Wisconsin’s cheesemakers.  The US Dairy Export Council is opening up new markets in Japan, North Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan the Mideast, Mexico and South America.

The US Dairy Export Council creates access to the above mentioned partners through culinary schools, Chefs Associations, and a pilot expansion program through their Cheese Retail Program increasing awareness and confidence in US Cheeses. They have commercial support through buyers and suppliers accessing shoppers and consumers in these markets.  In 2018 US Dairy Export Council introduced 321 new US cheeses in these markets.

In February 2019, the US Dairy Export Council attended the first annual Food Exposition in Dubai, which was a huge, huge success.  I meet with a couple of folks from DATCP that attended and they concurred, it was a great way to network and connect with the world’s consumers.

We were encouraged to attend the 2nd annual event in Dubai in February of 2020.

Factor for a Successful Closing

On John Foster’s radio program he discusses important factors to consider leading up to a successful business closing!  Listen to: Just the Facts