DSM Small Business Night

DSM Small Business Night

Let us know you’re coming (registration not required, but appreciated)!

Join us for a night of networking and education for local small business owners!

6-6:45pm Small Business Owner Social Gathering (light food and drinks)
6-8:30pm Mid Iowa Small Business Development Center Drop-In Q&A
6:45-7:30pm Breakouts
7:45-8:30pm Breakouts

This event is free and is open to the whole community!

Mid-Iowa SBDC Business Development Center Drop-In Q&A

 Ask Anything!  SBDC offers customized and confidential business counseling to small business owners and entrepreneurs at no cost. Our counselors can help you work through your business questions and connect you with additional local resources.

Breakout Session 1
Take Your Brand from Good to Remarkable
When it comes to branding, you can either be a good brand or a remarkable brand but you cannot be both. Leveraging her own experiences and observations, Keirstin discusses how building a “good” brand prevents you from standing out. Sharing examples of small but mighty brands, you’ll learn how to identify your remarkable brand using a simple 3-part framework. This session is for anyone who feels limited by their brand, struggles to articulate what makes them unique, and wants their brand to do more for their business.


  •  Learn the 3-part framework for finding your remarkable brand 
  • Clarify your unique brand message to fuel your marketing efforts 

Keirstin Heitman, Owner, Poppi Branding Co.
Keirstin’s on a mission to help people and brands stop playing good and uncover what makes them remarkable. She speaks from her own experiences and observations sharing examples of how breaking free from the expectations and stepping into your own changes everything. Before owning her own business she worked for several years designing branded experiences and spaces for national and international brands. It was during this time she saw there were two types of brands: the good brand and the remarkable brand, and decided the world needed more of the second. Today, Keirstin’s the owner of Poppi Branding Co., a branding studio helping turn business owners jumble of stories and ideas into a clear confident brand that’s easy to remember, hard to forget, and as remarkable as them.

Breakout Session 2
Prioritizing Health, Pursuing Excellence and Rebuilding Resilience
Learn how to prioritize your health in a post-pandemic business world.

Renee Schulte, Owner, Schulte Consulting, LLC
Renee has over two decades of leadership experience in the behavioral healthcare field. Her work in the public and private sectors has given her a unique understanding of the complexities of delivering quality care. Renee is nationally recognized for her expertise in behavioral health policy, system design, financial analysis, and strategic planning. As licensed mental health therapist, Renee has worked across an array of the care continuum including psychiatric hospitals, child welfare providers, and therapeutic foster care services. She began Schulte Consulting, LLC in 2012. As a consultant she has worked with multiple states creating strategic plans, legislation, and best practice guidance in regulation and rules.

Breakout Session 3
Growing Your Business with Strategy and Digital Marketing
Many companies and brands start from square one, in the middle of a kitchen table, and find themselves a few years into business, in many cases, without establishing any real brand strategy. During this breakout, we’ll discuss “Problem/Solution Marketing” – identifying customer needs and pain points, and then getting in front of those people with your products or services, whether that be through online solutions like Search Engine Marketing (that’s getting you caught in things like Google & Bing searches – either organically or via paid tactics), Social Media, or Email Marketing, there are a bunch of others, or through some of the more traditional tactics like direct mail, television advertising or radio. These strategies will help you create the funnel, drive customers, and then keep you in front of them.

Jason McArtor, Founder & Creative Director, Farmboy Marketing + Web Development
Jason enjoys working with growth-minded businesses and brings over 25 years of expertise, including awards, recognition and published works at regional and national levels for branding and marketing and was one of the first 100 Iowa Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Alumni.

Farmboy believes successful marketing stems from a high-quality website and consistent, well-crafted marketing across multiple channels to drive customer engagement and conversions. Their sites regularly occupy the top spots of key Google search terms and utilize both content and technical SEO strategies to achieve these results.

Jason and his team have worked to establish numerous market leaders across a number of industries in their brand positioning, messaging and market presence.

Breakout Session 4

Key Financial Planning Opportunities for Business Owners 
In this breakout session, we will discuss key financial planning opportunities that are often overlooked by business owners and can lead to increased value, tax savings and protection for your business.  We’ll cover entity types and some of the tax and liability implications of each, best practices in financial management, retirement plan options for business owners, commonly missed tax deductions and risk management techniques. We will also talk about options for exiting your business and charitable giving.

Brittany Heard and Marcus Iwig, Lead Advisors at Foster Group


Contact Us


Phone: (515) 327 - 6000