One of the key traits of successful entrepreneurs is their ability to recognize opportunities, and then have the work ethic and persistence to pursue those opportunities. That is the situation Rob and Carol Gilbertson found themselves in when they were given the opportunity to purchase The Prime Rib in Spencer.
The Prime Rib opened in Spencer in 1990 and has been an iconic restaurant in Northwest Iowa ever since. Former owner Gary “Huey” Huberg built the business into a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. The restaurant draws large crowds during the Clay County Fair, and outdoor enthusiasts on annual hunting and fishing trips look forward to returning to The Prime Rib year after year. The Gilbertsons are very familiar with the restaurant as Rob and Carol, as well as Carol’s mother and sister, have a combined 88 years of experience working at the Prime Rib. After extensive talks with Huey, the Gilbertsons decided to move forward on purchasing the business.
There are many steps involved in purchasing a business, and one of the key steps is obtaining financing. Lenders will typically need to see a business plan and financial projections, which can be very challenging and time consuming for entrepreneurs to create. Fortunately, Paul Daniels at Northwest Bank connected the Gilbertsons with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Iowa Lakes Community College. SBDC Regional Director Michael Wampler worked with them on creating all the financial projections that the bank would require.
“Financial projections are something every entrepreneur should think about when starting or purchasing a business,” said Wampler. “Even if you aren’t seeking bank financing, you need to know your numbers before investing your own money into the business. Most of my clients know their product or service inside and out, but projecting the next three years of cash flows, income statements, and balance sheets can be extremely difficult. We work with our clients to make that process as easy as possible.”
Carol Gilbertson agrees, “Prior to meeting with the SBDC we had a jumble of puzzle pieces, but we didn’t have a clear image of how they all fit together. Michael helped us put all the pieces on paper in a way that made sense for our business.”
Carol and Rob completed the purchase of The Prime Rib in April of 2018. They have a goal of continuous improvement and have already made many updates, including building upgrades, a new menu, new specials, and they are now serving exclusively Certified Angus Beef. This veteran owned business is committed to providing exceptional customer service and looks forward to serving their guests.
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