NBDC Plan Sets Clear Future for Kearney Glass
Kearney Glass reached out to the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) to help design a plan for employees to buy in to the multi-location commercial and service glass company.
“Several local people recommended them for a business evaluation,” says Bret King, who co-owns the business with his wife, SueZan. “We had spent years building a team of loyal employees, and if we ever wanted to sell it to them, we needed to know what our business was worth.”
The couple worked with Odee Ingersoll, director of the NBDC office at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. “Odee started with a to-do list of lots of ways we could craft a plan,” King says. “We followed his lead and have taken the initial steps to make it happen.”
The Kings purchased the business in 2007 from Bret’s uncle, Dan Grim. Bret shifted the company’s focus to concentrate on commercial or bid jobs. Sales grew and the staff increased from 11 employees to a total of 22 today at divisions and outlets in Kearney, McCook, and Greeley, Colo.
Ingersoll says the Kings have always been cognizant about the future of their business, the quality of their work, and the best interests of their employees. “While many owners judge success by revenue and staff levels,” he says, “they were committed to success through both high-quality services that were consistently provided project-by-project, and the growth of their staff’s individual talents and opportunities.”
By working with Ingersoll and NBDC, the Kings were able to create a value profile of their business, and identify several transition strategies to allow key employees to eventually take ownership.
“With the NBDC’s detailed plan in hand, the Kings focused on creating ownership opportunities that are a positive direction for the business,” Ingersoll says. “The involved staff members now take a more active role in the company, and are more motivated to help the company do well.”
Ingersoll credits the Kings with giving back to their community as well as their employees. “Bret and SueZan want to support causes and charitable organizations their employees care about; Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts as examples,” he says. “They help their employees become engaged.”
Bret is the president of the Kearney Noon Rotary Club, having served in Rotary for more than a decade. He is active in Main Street Kearney, a downtown revitalization effort. And, he is on the advisory board for Kearney Public Schools for Business Management Information Technology, which offers K-12 students training in personal finance and other topics presented by business owners who visit the schools.
SueZan serves on the Downtown Improvement Board for Kearney, and together the Kings are active in the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce, and Junior Achievement.
Bret says he appreciates the expertise Ingersoll and the NBDC have provided as he sets a solid course for the future of Kearney Glass.
“They have very creative ideas,” he says. “Their advice is extremely useful so that employees, if they are interested, can be part of a successful company that will be an important part of the community for many years to come.”