The Business Breakdown

Small businesses need help, consumers don't like fees, and your credit union needs a mobile strategy.


The uncertainty continues. The lack of a theme in our economy is its theme. One day, we’re recovering, and the next day, retail sales are down for the first time in awhile. All credit unions can do is try and fuel growth and present opportunities for success and convenience. Members will see the effort and appreciate it regardless of how tough and maddening things can be.

  • Not a Small Problem: Recent figures show that the number of new small businesses being started is down significantly. Weak spending is one reason ideas are staying on the shelf. The Breakdown: Credit unions are awash in liquidity. Might not be a bad idea to hold an event at the credit union for people with ideas for businesses. It could get people in the door, and although you’ll certainly hear some crazy pitches, you might find the next small business superstar in the heap.
  • Not Feeling the Fees: CNNMoney presented the least loveable fees that banks charge consumers. There are some interesting ones in there. The Breakdown: Financial institutions are working to generate income wherever possible. But fees aren’t the only answer. Credit unions should use free checking as a tool to attract members. Just because all of your competitors are doing something doesn’t mean they’re right. Stick to your values, and put the member first.
  • Mobile Mindset: Inc. takes a look at the advantages of being a player in the mobile space. You can harness opportunities such as apps and coupons that let members do what they want when they want. The Breakdown: If you aren’t at least exploring the idea of having mobile offerings, you are behind. Granted, not every credit union has the budget to have a robust, multifaceted mobile services portfolio. But you should explore what your budget allows for. How many people do you know who don’t have cellphones? How many people have smartphones? The numbers are just going to go down and up respectively. Get involved, and meet demand that is only going to grow.

June 14, 2011



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