The Business Breakdown

Builders build, travelers pay, and ways to save money are still out there. It’s business news for the week of April 18.


Baseball is back, and the weather’s turned from dreary to fresh here in the nation’s capitol. As the seasons change, everyone is waiting for the economy to declare itself cured or to provide one definitive statistic to prove that the tough times are gone. That’s not going to happen, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Now, as summer approaches, traveling will be expensive and a stalwart of the car industry’s having a little bit of trouble. But, there are ways to save money, and there’s slightly encouraging housing news to balance it all out.

  • Fare Flight?: Airfare is headed upward in advance of the summer travel season. By the time the peak hits, we could be looking at average prices near $400. D’oh. The Breakdown: Members are going to know about this the second they look at booking a summer vacation. How can you help? Find other ways for them to get away. Look at local attractions. Post a few in your branch. The more you can do for your member, the more they’ll rely on (and trust) you.
  • Lexus Falls Behind: The leader in affordable luxury cars saw sales drop 4.4% in the first three months of 2011. The tsunami hurt production, and last year’s recalls hit the brand’s image. The Breakdown: Certainly there are leaders in your market. Perhaps your credit union is the leader. If so, brainstorm ways to stay atop the heap. Think of things (competition, poor product performance, brand stagnation) that could hurt your bottom line. Address issues before they become something big.
  • Save Me!: CNNMoney offers an excellent list of 100 ways to save money. The Breakdown: This is easy. Show this to your members. They’ll appreciate the tips about saving on energy and gas bills and looking for work in areas where the hiring is thriving.
  • If You Build It…: New home construction is up 7.2% since February. The numbers are encouraging but not indicative of a complete turnaround. The housing market’s still having trouble. The Breakdown: It’s a buyer’s market, so help members take advantage. They will have choices and questions, so make sure you have a qualified mortgage staff that can take members from start to finish. The homebuying process is an emotional one, and if you perform for members, they’ll reward you with loyalty.  

April 19, 2011



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