This week, CreditUnions.com identifies an internship program that works, tips for growing small business loans, a guide for replying to online reviews, and more.
Here are five can't-miss data points:
Aaron Wadley-Child is a business loans operation specialist at Nusenda Credit Union whose career at the cooperative began with a high school class for college credit. Wadley-Child, in fact, is one of 23 interns who have become permanent employees after completing a free career exploration course the credit union offers for college credit at local secondary schools and a community college. The career exploration class is one prong of a two-pronged approach that the New Mexico credit union takes toward financial education in a state where the need is keen.
Read: How Nusenda Creates Job Opportunities, One Internship At A Time
Fueled by the strong economy, America’s small businesses need capital, and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans have been a mainstay of this sector since the SBA made its first loan in 1954. In fact, during the 35-day 2018-19 federal government shutdown, the SBA’s flagship 7(a) loan guaranty program, which backs business loans ranging from $50,000 to $5 million, became a political talking point, with small businesses missing out on an estimated $110 million in capital and 245 loans for each day of the shutdown. Loans by credit unions account for about 10% of the 60,000-plus loans approved by the SBA in FY2018.
Read: Tips For Growing Small Business Loans — And Managing The Risk
A member walks into a branch. He or she tells everyone in the credit union — everyone who will pay attention, in any case — the service is no good and loan decisions are made for no reason. Does branch staff stick up for themselves and the credit union? Or do they stay quiet? The answer may be obvious in-branch — they speak up. But what if this interaction doesn’t occur in person? What if it happens online? Ratings and reviews on websites such as Yelp, Google, Facebook, Nextdoor, among others, are easier to access and their significance may count even more. A recent study showed that 90% of customers consult online reviews before transacting with a business; there’s value in responding and addressing negative feedback on these sites, too, which is why in 2015, Logix FCU created a 10-step best practice guide for replies, which is known by the acronym “OH NO HE DI-N’T”.
Read: The 10-Step Guide For Replying To Online Reviews
In July 2018, First Tech Federal Credit Union opened a new corporate campus in Hillsboro, OR. Before then, the credit union operated a leased space on the west side of Portland. But the credit union had outgrown the space and, as its lease ended, it became apparent building a new campus was in the best interest of First Tech. Hillsboro, the state’s fifth-largest city, is some 15 miles west of Portland. It sits firmly within Oregon’s Silicon Forest, a nickname for the high-tech industrial corridor in northwest Oregon, and offers a workplace environment all its own. For First Tech, because the new campus would open in a less-dense region with fewer walkable amenities, it needed to provide its own. As one part of its amenity package, First Tech partnered with the Hillsboro School Foundation to create a full-service coffee shop within its new campus. Open five days per week, here the credit union discusses the coffee shop’s origins, its operations, and its successes in nearly one year of business.
Read: How A Coffee Shop Made First Tech’s New Campus Feel Like Home
The first quarter of the year is an opportunity for credit unions to measure early successes and determine whether operational adjustments must be made to ensure the institution will be able to meet strategic goals. Successful business strategies are data-driven and effective performance measurement is the key to unlocking insights that are most relevant to a financial cooperative. With the right combination of metrics, credit unions will be able to identify early indicators of performance so that executives can assess whether strategic adjustments must be made to keep a business on track. Callahan has identified three metrics that highlight how credit unions benchmark performance in the beginning of the year and drive strategic decisions. One such metric? An industrywide loan-to-share ratio of 82.3%.
Read: 3 Metrics That Are Important For First Quarter
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