The Business Breakdown

Summer brings adjusted income expectations, a new normal in grocery shopping, and a possible uptick in business travel.

 

 

The heat is on, and until the economy stabilizes for good, it will stay warm independent of the season. Lawmakers and consumers are struggling to corral an unruly economy that seems to stumble every time it gains its footing.

  • Earning Expectations: A high percentage of consumers don’t think their income will keep pace with inflation in the future. Translation: People expect to earn less. The Breakdown: Although the forecast is just that, it does present an opportunity for credit unions. Clearly, consumers are having a tough time. So how can you help them stretch their dollars? If you can answer that question, you’ll engender loyalty. Try attaching public transportation tickets to a deposit product. Open a new share account and get $50 in free bus or subway tickets. Maybe you’ll get them hooked on a way to travel less expensively.
  • Food Facts: The way Americans shop for groceries has shifted in light of the recession and revealed some important facts about consumption. The Breakdown: Members face higher prices for common items and have had to adjust their behavior accordingly. Food is a resource everyone needs, so it’s an inescapable cost. But you can help members spend well by posting coupons on your branch bulletin board. This article is also informative when it comes to human behavior: Low prices don’t always win out, so don’t just slash rates at your cooperative and expect an economic rebound. The tightrope to success is a delicate one.
  • Up, Up, And Away: Business travel might get a nice boost this summer. Some companies are seeing better fortunes, and the prosperity could lead to more business trips. The Breakdown: When businesspeople travel to a community, they need resources. Hotels, meeting rooms, restaurants. All of these are places that visitors will seek out. Is your credit union in a meeting hotspot? If so, think of ways you can help members capitalize on the influx of business visitors. Maybe you can give a member a small business loan that he or she can turn into a popular corner bar that’s a must-see for every visitor. Or perhaps you could offer a loan to help a local hotel expand its facilities. There are ways to capitalize on what’s happening in your community. You just have to seek them out.
 
 

June 7, 2011


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