The Business Breakdown

Netflix is pushing the envelope, rent is becoming less affordable, and people are wondering if the economy can keep its strength.


Everyone is talking about gas prices. They’re high, they’re probably going up, and that has substantial downstream effects. We’ve established that. Help your members find ways to save money spent on travel (public transportation?) or in other aspects of their lives. Let’s see what else is going on the business world and what it means for cooperatives.

  • Mailing Movies Makes Money: Netflix is still raking it in. The company’s subscription base, revenue, and net income are all on the uptick. The Breakdown: Why is Netflix successful? Because they were bold. They figured convenience and affordability were more important to DVD consumers than any brand loyalty they might have had to Blockbuster or the other video rental chains. As I covered last fall, Blockbuster couldn’t keep up. Credit unions can take inspiration from Netflix. Look at new innovations such as NFC technology and find ways to get involved on the leading edge. Or examine processes that aren’t working (either in the industry or your credit union) and find ways to fix them. Sit down and brainstorm and encourage wild ideas. You never know what could come of it.
  • Rent Rises On: A new study shows that 26% of renters spend more than half of their income on living expenses. The Breakdown: The news here is especially significant for members who are struggling. As the article notes, incomes have been flat in recent years even as rent has jumped up. That leaves people in a bind. Now, with unemployment still an issue and costs on essentials rising, members need their credit union more than ever. Find ways to save them money. Start by taking any opportunity to better understand their full financial situation. Once you do that, you can start looking for solutions.
  • Another Setback?: Economists are wondering if inflation has kicked the shins of the economy, and forecasts are being lowered for the coming months. The Breakdown: Credit unions have always been strong players in their local community. You need to find ways to spur recovery in your town. Run a member business loan promotion to generate commerce and jobs. Have a networking event in the credit union with local employers and job seekers. There are many ways to help. Pick a few and go after them.



April 26, 2011



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