Financial Education

6 Actionable Steps to Launch Your New Business Successfully

Nov 19
2019
small business owner placing open sign in store window

Your dreams of actually starting that pottery studio are finally coming together! But wait… have you thought about insurance? Licensing requirements? What about hiring employees or getting a business loan? These are questions that every new business owner will face, and one wrong misstep can end up costing you. It’s important that you are prepared and knowledgeable before opening those studio doors. 

Your dreams of starting a new business are becoming more concrete and you’re ready to take the plunge! But wait…have you thought about insurance? Licensing requirements? What about hiring employees or getting a business loan? These are questions that every new business owner will face and one wrong misstep can cost you. It’s important to take the proper steps before officially launching your business. Here are 6 actionable steps to take to set yourself (and your business) up for success:

1. Come up with a game plan
Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC). SBDC resources can help you develop a business plan, conduct market research, and to prepare for a business loan. The best part? Many of their services are completely free

2. Fund your business
Do you have a nest egg that you plan on investing or will you need a loan? Most financial institutions partner with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to offer start-up loans. Contact your local Idaho Central branch and ask to have a Commercial Loan Officer get in touch with you.

3. Choose a business structure
There are four basic business structures: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), and Corporation. If you are unsure which structure will best suit your business, consult with an attorney specialized in business law and a reputable Certified Public Accountant (CPA). These professionals will become critical assets to your business and can help you decide which entity best fits your business model.

4. Register your business
Once you’ve established your business name, make it legal and protect your brand! You’ll need to register your business with Idaho’s Secretary of State and, in some instances, the federal government.

5. Apply for your EIN number
An EIN number is like a social security number for your business. You’ll use your Employer Identification Number (EIN) for important steps to start and grow your business, like opening a bank account and paying taxes. Apply for free through the IRS and be wary of fraudulent websites that charge for this service.

6. Open a business account
It’s no secret that Idaho Central Credit Union offers great options for business accounts! One of our talented Business Relationship Officers would be happy to assist you in choosing the right products and services for your new business. Contact our Business Relationship Department for more information.

Now you have the steps to start your new business off right! We, at Idaho Central Credit Union, are excited to support you in your new venture!

Financial Education

What does a dedicated local team mean to my business?

Nov 01
2019
Corporate woman on the phone.

Idaho Central Credit Union offers a dedicated local team to our business members. Whether you’re here locally, or you’re on a trip outside of Idaho, we are here to help. So what does a dedicated local team mean to your business?

Idaho Central Credit Union offers a dedicated local team to our business members. Whether you’re here locally, or you’re on a trip outside of Idaho, we are here to help. So what does a dedicated local team mean to your business?

  1. Local hours and local people that know your business

For many financial institutions, you are just a number. For us, you are our members. With a dedicated local team comes local hours and local people that know you and your business. Instead of calling and finding out you have just missed business hours in the east coast or some other time zone, you know you will get an answer when the people that you are calling are in the same time zone as you. Not only are we available to take your calls, but to make things easier, we are happy to meet you at your place of business. Our business relationship specialists also know your business. Our dedicated team only serves our business members to ensure we deliver the most professional and personal experience to you. Sometimes it might even be the same business relationship specialist that has solved your other questions. Idaho Central also offers extended hours to serve you. We typically open earlier than other financial institutions in the area, and close later as well. We are big enough to help, and small enough to care.

  1. Direct line to the experts

Not only do we offer local hours and a local team. Our dedicated team has a direct line for our business members where you get in touch with the experts directly. We know how precious your time is, so we try hard to ensure you don’t need to call into a call center, wait for a representative to redirect your call, or have someone other than experts answer your questions. Our business relationship specialists are trained for business, and they are knowledgeable in all the business products that we offer. Our experts can help you save time and answer your questions when you need them.

Idaho Central Credit Union is proud to offer the best business banking experience to our members. From user-friendly online banking and treasury services, to a dedicated local team just a phone call away. Call our business team directly at 208.846.7034 to open your new business membership.

Financial Education

How to Prepare for Retirement

Oct 24
2019
Tree growing out of jar with coins to symbolize growing savings

Time flies, and it can catch us by surprise. Set yourself up for financial success by taking control of your retirement plan now.

Have you ever had a day where the hours flew by? You were just going into work, but now it’s time for bed again.  What about those weeks where it is Monday, but now suddenly it’s Saturday? The week seems to end as quickly as it began. Have you ever been planting your flowers in the spring, but the next thing you know you’re putting your Christmas lights up? Does it feel like yesterday you were leaving the hospital with the newest member of your family, but now you’re helping them submit college applications?

Time flies, and it catches all of us by surprise sometimes.

You’re applying for your first job, and then you’re at your retirement party.

When thinking about retirement, it’s easy to put it at the bottom of your list of priorities. You have years to worry about it, and there’s always something that seems more pressing. Maybe you’re more worried about buying a new car, saving up for your first home, paying off some debt, or looking to go back to school. No matter what financial decisions you are currently making, saving for retirement is often not at the forefront of our minds.

In fact, in a 2018 study by Northwestern Mutual, 21% of Americans have no money saved for retirement at all. If you’re part of the 21%, it may feel overwhelming to start, but the time to start is now! Here are some easy tips to start planning ahead for your retirement.

Budget
It may seem like a small suggestion, but having a budget is the first step to success. If you are not currently saving any money for retirement and want to start, it is essential to look at your current spending and see where your money is currently going. This will help you know where you can adjust, and where your retirement savings can come from.

Know Your Options
Many employers offer 401(k) plans, and can make it automatic for you, and may even offer matched employer contributions. Utilizing an employer-offered 401(k) plan can allow you to save money from your paycheck before it is deposited into your account, which will help you avoid spending money that you plan to save. Talk to your employer and know what is available to you. If you do not have an employer-offered 401(k), Idaho Central is proud to offer retirement products like Traditional and Roth IRAs to help our members prepare for retirement.

Review Often
Once you make your retirement savings plan, it’s tempting to just check it off of your to do list. Planning for retirement doesn’t have to be stressful, but it shouldn’t be totally hands off! Set aside time to regularly review your plan, and adjust when needed. As you receive pay increases or bonuses, increase your retirement contributions as well.

Retirement is an exciting time of life, and can bring a lot of fear along with it. Set yourself up for financial success throughout your entire life by taking control of your retirement plan now.

 

Financial Education

Successful Succession Planning

Oct 01
2019
Two professionals shaking hands in a meeting.

One of the questions we get asked the most is what we do about succession planning. With great businesses come great responsibilities and risks. In order to protect you, your family, your employees, and your business, a business succession plan is an important piece to help you prepare and transition.

One of the questions we get asked the most is what we do about succession planning. With great businesses come great responsibilities and risks. In order to protect you, your family, your employees, and your business, a business succession plan is an important piece to help you prepare and transition.

Ben Davidson, Vice President of Human Resources and Training at Idaho Central Credit Union said that “CEOs across the world agree that a lack of succession planning can stop a company’s growth faster than almost anything.”

So what are the benefits of having a business succession plan?

The greatest benefit of a business succession plan would be that it helps reduce the stress of co-owner(s) and the owner’s family. A business succession plan also assures a great transition for company culture, and minimizes the negative impact on employees. It can also help avoid contention when it comes to the money that is involved in the transition.

Here are some helpful tips in creating a succession plan.

Designate An Interim CEO
An Interim CEO is a person appointed by a company’s board of directors to assume the role of the CEO during a time of transition or as the result of the sudden departure of a company’s previous CEO. It’s important to have an interim CEO to be able to hold down the fort during the transition time, and ease the stress of the board of directors, employees, and company as a whole.

Business Estate Planning
Business estate planning is great for most family-owned businesses, and anyone that is planning to sell their business. It can help the business transition to the next generation or sell to someone outside the family. This can take years to prepare. Contact an attorney today to start your business estate planning.

Build Great First-Level Leadership
Davidson said, “Most companies focus their succession planning efforts on executive level positions. I think this is a mistake. Good first level supervisors can make or break a company’s culture.” Building great first-level leadership helps strengthen the foundation of the company because first-level leadership are those that work closest with most employees. It’s important to have a good system to recruit and retain talented leaders, where the great culture of a company can go beyond just one great CEO.

Identify HiPOs (High Potential Employees)
Research shows that HiPOs can produce about 90% more work and will give about 20 percent more effort than non-HiPOs. HiPOs are high potential employees that have the qualities and abilities to take on leadership roles and challenges. By identifying HiPOs, it makes a good pool of candidates that are advance-ready to step into leadership roles. Having a good pool of candidates that are advance-ready also makes the absence time shorter between leadership, and creates a more effective approach.

Contact one of our Business Relationship Officers today to learn more about our business services and how we can help you achieve financial success!

Financial Education

Why You Should Start Saving for the Holidays Now

Sep 18
2019
Jar of change with Christmas lights in the distance behind it.

Each year, the Christmas season comes to many of us as a surprise. (Didn’t we just take down those lights?) When it does, the excitement of the holidays can quickly become overshadowed by financial burden. This year, take a little time to plan ahead and save yourself from some of that stress by starting to save for the holidays today!

As the seasons change from high temperatures all day long to chilly mornings, it may still seem too early to talk about the holidays. But is it?

We just finished up back to school shopping, we’re breaking out the hoodies, the sun is setting earlier and earlier… and before you know it, you’ll be shopping for Halloween costumes, sending out the invites for your Thanksgiving dinner, and all of a sudden, you’re decking the halls for Christmas! Are you ready?

Each year, the Christmas season comes to many of us as a surprise. (Didn’t we just take down those lights?) When it does, the excitement of the holidays can quickly become overshadowed by financial burden. This year, take a little time to plan ahead and save yourself from some of that stress by following one or more of these tips:

  1. Open up a Central Cents account.

At Idaho Central, our Central Cents Savings account rounds up what you are already spending on your debit card, and deposits the difference into your savings, allowing you to save money without it feeling like a huge task! For example, if you swipe your debit card for a transaction of $15.10, this account will round up the transaction to make it an even $16, and that extra $0.90 is deposited right into your Central Cents account. A few transactions a day over the next few months, and by the end of the year you will have a decent start to some serious savings, without even changing your habits!

  1. Make it automatic.

Set up a scheduled transfer of a fixed amount to your savings account to go through on pay day, or on any day of your choice. Even if all you can spare is $10 every pay day through the end of the year, this small amount will add up, and can definitely help when the holidays arrive! Making it automatic takes the thought out of it, and makes it quick, easy, and practically painless.

  1. Hide your savings account.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Out of sight, out of mind”? Well, it’s definitely true when it comes to savings! After you’ve set up a Central Cents account or an automatic transfer into a savings account, hide the account from appearing in your eBranch and let the money collect. If you see it every time you log in, you might be tempted to use it before you need to. Hiding these funds can take away that temptation, and allow you to save more than you would expect. Unhide it when you decide to start holiday shopping, and see how much you have saved!

  1. Buy earlier.

Some people buy gifts all year long, and other don’t start until a week before the holidays. Which one are you? If you lean towards being the last-minute shopper, challenge yourself to start a little earlier this year. Make a list of things you may need to buy, and start watching out for sales and coupons now. Being more intentional about what you are buying can set you up for success in finding the best price, and it won’t have to all happen at once! Having all of your holiday shopping come out of one paycheck can make the amount seem high, but spreading it out over a few months can lessen the impact.

The holidays can often come along with many different stresses, ranging from family obligations to colder weather, and everything in between. This year, take a little extra time to plan out now how you can lessen the financial strain, and let yourself enjoy your holiday season even more!