NH BUSINESS FINANCE GUIDE — ISSUE
BRANDING: Making your mark in New Hampshire
STANDING OUT FROM THE CROWD: The importance
of creating a strong brand identity.
Michelle Cyr’s journey to success with The Eastern Depot Restaurant.
Service Credit Union is honored for its work with veterans.
Let Service CU help your business hit the mark in 2022.
Mark O’Dell, Service Credit Union’s Vice President of Lending, talks about building the brand of the Business Services department.
Financial terms that help measure the success and profitability of a business, and a list of resources that can help you succeed.
hen people think of your brand, what do they imagine? Can your brand be easily recognized? Does it stand out in a crowd?
Whether you are a startup or have been around for decades, having a defined brand identity is crucial to the success of your business. By definition, brand identity is the “visible elements of a brand, such as color, design and logo that identify and distinguish the brand in consumers’ minds.” In practicality, it is about building trust and loyalty among your customer base and establishing how your business presents itself to the world. Big or small, every business should carefully consider their identity, as it will differentiate their business from the competition as well as help them attract their ideal clients. Brand identity touches on many elements of a consumer's experience and leaves lasting impressions, from the look and ease of use of your website, to your business cards, to your online reviews. The impressions you leave behind matter to your future business success. In this issue, you will discover more about how to create a strong business identity. I invite you to dig in to learn more about the brand identity journey and how to get started. As always, Service Credit Union will be here to help provide any financial resources to you along your path. Your partner in success,
DAVID WEED ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT BUSINESS SERVICES SERVICECU.ORG/BUSINESS
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How to stand out in a crowd EFFECTIVE BRANDING IS THE KEY
magine a crowded marketplace with many tables full of products. One of those tables is yours. How do you catch the attention of people walking by? How do you get them to buy? How can you encourage them to come back and buy again?
Kris Remick, Creative Services Manager at Service Credit Union, oversees the company's brand identity.
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Those are questions that have been asked since marketplaces have existed. Fortunately, there are now answers to the questions that are based not only on experience but on scientific research. It’s a good thing too, as today’s marketplace is complex, and getting more so every year. Standing out in a crowd is harder than it’s ever been. It’s Kris Remick’s job to make Service Credit Union stand out in the crowd. As Creative Services Manager, she oversees the Service CU brand identity, or how the company is perceived from a visual perspective. With 10 years of experience at the credit union, she knows what works and what doesn’t. What does work, Remick says, is “differentiating yourself.” She explains that it could be as simple as a restaurant having “the best soup in the area” or as complex as a company creating an identity with a common thread of branding that ties together all the elements of their business, from visuals to experience and product.
BRANDING BASICS One of the elements of that branding is the company’s logo. “I think it can be the most important,” says Remick. “It really speaks to what type of business you have.” And, she adds, with all that’s competing for a potential customer’s attention, that’s something that needs to be communicated quickly. To do so, she says, “Keep the logo simple. You don’t want to have a logo that’s difficult to read. You want something you can look at and know right away what it is.” In fact, studies have found that first impressions take just two seconds to form. In that amount of time, people can decide whether to engage — or not. A brand mark, like Service Credit Union’s member star, can also quickly provide information about a company. Think, too, of Apple’s apple, the Nike swoosh or the Amazon smile. “They don’t even have to say their name,” Remick says. The need to communicate quickly also applies to signage. “Again, keep
it simple,” Remick says. “Realize that people are going to be reading it from a distance, so you want to make it quickly recognizable. Part of doing that is having a font that’s easy to read. There are some fonts that are really condensed and hard to read. Also, if you’re working with somebody on signage, and they tell you, ‘Oh, we can fit that word on there, we’re just going to squeeze it in,’ that’s probably a bad idea.” It’s not just signage where font choice is important — it’s important in all aspects of your branding, because different fonts create different impressions. Consider what Remick describes as “an old-style font, the serif font that you’d see in an old book” and what kind of impression that makes. Then, consider a sans serif font like Helvetica, which has more of a clean, modern look. Another element is the weight of a font. “You can have a big, bold font, or you could have a lighter-weight font. That speaks to your company’s voice,” Remick says. A company’s “voice” is the way you
After a brand mark is established, it can be applied to brochures, signage, videos, social media and websites to reinforce the company’s identity.
A brand mark, like Nike's swoosh, Apple's apple or Service CU’s member star, provides visual information about a company that makes it instantly recognizable in the marketplace.
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Font Styles The kind of font you choose is another way to express your brand.
Caslon is an old-style serif font. Serif fonts have a small “foot” or “cap” on the tops and bottoms of their characters.
Helvetica is a modern sans-serif font. It is a clean, easy-to-read typeface.
Script fonts, such as Edwardian Script, are typefaces that mimic calligraphy or handwriting.
connect with your customers. “It’s not just how you speak, and it’s not just what you say,” Remick says, “It’s how you combine language and tone.” And how you do that can depend on what kind of business it is. If it’s a law firm, for instance, Remick says she would expect “a serious, factual tone.” Other businesses can adopt a more informal, conversational tone. Either way, the company’s voice “gives you a glimpse of who they are.” She adds that a company’s voice should be consistent no matter the channel of delivery — print, website, social media, even email and phone calls. The experience should feel familiar across all platforms. Another aspect of brand identity is color. Take the color palette of Service CU, for instance. When Service CU first went into business in 1957, its mission was to provide affordable credit to airmen and their families at what is now Pease Air National Guard Base. The color palette for the brand identity back then was a patriotic red, white
and blue. But, over the years, as the reach of Service CU expanded to other populations, people often thought, because of the colors, that it was still a military credit union. To encompass all of its members, the company updated its color palette. It retains the blue of the original palette but adds in turquoise. “It adds a bit of modernity and energy,” Remick says. How do you choose the right colors? Think about what color works well with what you want to convey. Remick says, “If you had a yoga practice, you don’t want to use fire-engine red because that’s going to be too bright, too alarming. You’d want more muted colors, more earth tones, because they make you feel calmer.” However, if a bright color is right for your company, it can be used to catch people’s attention. “If you have company vans with bright branded colors, they could act as easily recognizable visuals to reinforce your identity,” Remick says. Employees are an important part of the brand as well. “They’re
Business Identity Checklist
Develop your brand promise or identity.
Keep in touch.
Does your business name describe who you are and what you do, or do you need to say more about what makes you special? A tagline or slogan can explain or elaborate your brand promise or identity.
Do you have a way for your customers to contact you easily? If you have a home-based business and don’t want to use your home address, consider a PO Box at the U.S. Post Office or a mailbox at a mailing store.
For example, Ace Hardware’s slogan is: “Ace is the place with the helpful hardware folks.” Those simple words tell the consumer not only will they be able to find hardware at Ace, but they will be cared for by helpful individuals, creating a warm, positive feeling about shopping there.
Tax deductions are available for a dedicated business phone line into your home. And don't forget, a business email address is also necessary for communication in the digital world.
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Obtain an EIN.
An EIN is like a Social Security Number for your business. If you followed our Startup Checklist from the last issue, you probably already have one. But if you don’t, and you started your business under something other than a sole proprietorship, you’ll need to obtain an EIN. To apply, go to the IRS website and use the application form SS-4 or fill out the online application.
advocates of the brand, advocates of the company,” Remick says. “At Service Credit Union, it’s about a relationship with our members and how we serve them. It’s a really personalized experience. We work daily to develop our brand across all aspects of the Credit Union, especially the relationship we have with our members.”
Making decisions about how to brand a new company can be overwhelming, but Remick says there are ways to simplify the process. First, she says, think about where your customers will be coming from, how you plan to convey information and what’s important for them to know about you. Keep in mind that whatever you decide to do visually is a representation of who you are; it’s a piece of your brand. As Paul Rand, renowned designer of corporate identities, once said, “Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.” Next, begin the work of designing
your visual identity, something that can be daunting if the services of a professional are unaffordable. Says Remick, “If you don’t have a lot of money, just do a little bit to begin and then build from there. Remember that your identity should complement who you are as a company.” Start with a name and some colors. Play with different fonts. Create a simple logo. Set up a website with the templates that are available. It doesn’t have to be fancy, Remick says. She tells the story of a famous designer who ripped up old comps, wrote his name on each piece and handed them out as business cards. If you want professional design work, there are two ways to get it. “Independent designers can help you put some assets together,” Remick says. “If the cost isn’t as much of a concern, or if you’re a bigger company, agencies can work with you to get your brand in place.” While design is a big part of branding, Remick says think of the
whole experience: “The way your employees talk to people, the way you talk to your employees, the products and services you have, and everything you do all day long, no matter if it's customer-facing or not. That is who you are. Your brand is the thread that ties it all together.” n
HOW TO GET STARTED
Open a business bank account.
Now that you have an EIN, open a business bank account under your business name to keep your business expenses separate from your personal ones. This also allows your customers to recognize any charges they may have incurred with you. At Service Credit Union, we offer customized solutions, and we pride ourselves on giving you awardwinning, personalized service. Visit servicecu.org/business or call us at 1-800-296-4644 to see which options are best for you.
Create your business logo.
A well-designed logo can help to ensure your brand is recognizable and memorable. Since you will use your logo on everything from packaging to business cards, it’s an important part of your brand identity. Your logo should be unique, eye-catching and easy to recognize. There are online logo makers that are low-cost or free, or you can hire a professional graphic designer. The choice is yours.
Easily read signage helps communicate your brand quickly.
Establish an online presence.
Nowadays, it really doesn’t matter what type of business you’re in, you need to have an online presence. Not many people use the Yellow Pages anymore to find the businesses and services they need. More importantly, consumers want to read and learn about you, browse your reviews and view your products. Think of your website as the online brochure of your business, then use the opportunity to tell the story of who you are and what you have to offer.
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Michelle Cyr’s journey to success with The Eastern Depot OPENING A RESTAURANT DURING A PANDEMIC OFFERS CHALLENGES AND REWARDS
Michelle Cyr takes a moment out of her busy day.
ichelle Cyr says she’s not a big risk-taker, but her new venture just felt right. “Something was driving me, telling me to do this. I just went with my heart.” So, one day three years ago, she signed a lease for a vacant building in downtown Gorham. It would be transformed into The Eastern Depot, a 74-seat restaurant, serving both comfort food and more upscale entrées to a steady stream of patrons, both locals and tourists. “We make everything from scratch,” Michelle says. There are homemade French fries, homemade pancakes, homemade soups, homemade pretty much everything. “It’s not from a can or a bag, and people like that. You can definitely taste the difference.” For the considerable prepping, cooking and serving that’s needed for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus a bar, she has the help of 14 employees. “I have wonderful employees,” she says. “Some have been with me since the beginning. We all work hard, and we all have each other’s back. I call us ‘Team Depot.’”
I worked hard to get where I was, so I wasn’t giving up.
— MICHELLE CYR, OWNER, THE EASTERN DEPOT
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The drawing of the Presidential Range above the bar is a favorite of the hikers who come in.
I prayed that this would all work out. And it has.
— MICHELLE CYR, OWNER, THE EASTERN DEPOT
The Eastern Depot — or just “The Depot,” as most people call it — is not the first restaurant that Michelle has owned. In fact, the Gorham restaurant is the namesake of one she owned in Berlin. The location of that one gave birth to the name — it was in an old train station at the eastern end of the city. The first Eastern Depot was created by Michelle’s mom and a partner in 1995. Not long after, Michelle joined them. “They basically did the back of the house cooking and all that, and I handled the front of the house.” It was a breakfast-and-lunch restaurant, also known for its madefrom-scratch food. “It was a great little restaurant,” Michelle says. “It kind of reminded me of ‘Cheers,’ you know, where everybody knew everybody by name.” When the partner left five years in, Michelle stepped up to become co-owner with her mom. “We kind of kept it family,” Michelle says. Her children helped out; her father cooked on weekends. But the day came when Michelle’s mom retired, and Michelle had to make a decision — to
continue on in Berlin or relocate. She decided to gather everything up, go six miles south to Gorham, and start again. What she found was what she calls “a whole new ballgame.” For one thing, the pace picked up significantly. “I’m here all the time now that my kids are grown up,” Michelle says. “I’m married to this place.” And it is a happy marriage. She has no complaints about the work. No matter what needs to be done, she’ll do it. “I love it. I’m passionate about it.” Not long after the restaurant opened, the pandemic hit. With indoor dining not allowed, she shifted to takeout, delivery and curbside pickup. The problem was, she had to do it all alone. “I answered the phone, did all the prep, cooked the food, and did the dishes,” she says. “l literally was here from probably six in the morning, and I never left until everything was ready for me to turn the key the next morning.” It wasn’t easy, but there were bills to pay. “I worked hard to get where I was, so I wasn’t giving up,” she says. “My biggest
The restaurant’s offerings are a combination of comfort food and upscale entrées.
fear was not knowing whether I could keep everything afloat.” Helping her to stay afloat were funds from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which she got through a Service Credit Union branch just down the street, where she had banked for 30 years. When the COVID-imposed restrictions eased and patrons returned, Michelle brought back a few employees and had others work the hours they were allowed to work while on unemployment. Some simply volunteered their time to help her do all the sanitizing that was required. “That was awesome,” she says. Now, with those tough times over, her staff of 14 is at work, the restaurant is busy, and Michelle is thinking of expanding into a vacant building next door and adding live acoustic music. Maybe there’ll also be an ice cream shack just outside. What’s for sure is that she will add another 10 employees to handle the increase in traffic come summer. Among the many tourists who descend upon Gorham in the summer, Michelle says there are “tons of ATVers.” As fortune would have it, one of their trails ends right behind the restaurant, and the ATVers love the food at The Depot. “I prayed that this would all work out,” Michelle says. “And it has.” n
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A VeteranFriendly Business SERVICE CREDIT UNION IS HONORED FOR ITS WORK WITH VETERANS
May Hatem, Vice President of Human Resources and Training at Service Credit Union
We appreciate everything that veterans have done for the country and are still doing.
— MAY HATEM, VICE PRESIDENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES AND TRAINING, SERVICE CREDIT UNION
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ou value military experience, recognize the skills and talents service members and veterans provide, and your efforts to support and empower veterans and their families help to strengthen our communities” — those were the words of Gov. Chris Sununu when Service Credit Union was named one of the state’s Veteran-Friendly Businesses. It is a biennial award that Service CU has received twice since the Business Recognition Program was launched in 2019. Most recently, Service CU was honored with the highest level of recognition, Platinum. Presented by the Department of Military Affairs and Veterans Service in partnership with the NH Department of Employment Security, the award signifies that recipients are implementing four practices: to honor, fortify, empower and impact the New Hampshire veteran community. The program was designed to provide businesses with a road map to increase their support of veterans. That road map is one that Service CU helped to create during its many years of working to support those serving in the military. “It goes back to 1957 when Service Credit Union was founded as a military credit union,” says May Hatem, Vice President of Human Resources and Training at Service Credit Union and a member of the NH Veterans Business Recognition Program advisory board. “It was created for airmen and their families at what was then Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth.” From those roots, Service CU would expand to serving military personnel stationed in Germany; today there are 14 branches there. When Pease Air Force Base closed in 1991, membership was extended to other populations, but the focus on military members continued. Among the services offered that are exclusive to the military are saving accounts with higher dividend rates and discounted interest rates for loans, including a relocation loan for a permanent change of station, or PCS, to cover unexpected expenses. In addition to those benefits, Hatem says Service CU has
Service CU Recognized for Work with the Military When it was founded in 1957, Service Credit Union’s sole mission was to provide affordable credit to airmen and their families at what was then the Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth. Five decades later, its mission has expanded to those outside the military, but it is still providing special
FAR LEFT: Service CU’s Platinum-level award as a Veteran-Friendly Business. LEFT: The program logo was designed by Sophie Phillips, a senior in 2020-2021 at the Exeter High School and Seacoast School of Technology.
created an environment that is comfortable for veterans and active-duty military. “We know what the military acronyms mean, we know what PCS means,” Hatem says. “We know the military hierarchies, the pay scales.” To expand its support, Service CU partners with other military and veteran-focused organizations, such as VETRN, short for Veteran Entrepreneurial Training and Resource Network. The program helps veteran business owners and family members manage their operations and enhance business success with a free series of MBA-style course. Service CU has supported the program with both expertise and classroom facilities, hosting four graduating classes. Other partners include Veterans Count, an Easterseals program with a mission to provide critical financial assistance and services to veterans and their families when no other resource is available. According to Easterseals statistics, to date homelessness has been prevented for 1,652 families at risk of foreclosure or eviction, 2,563 individuals were successfully engaged in mental health treatment, care coordinators have intervened in 124 cases of significant suicide risk, and 1,397 program participants have obtained employment. Support for that good work is provided by Service CU’s sponsorship of fundraising events, with employees adding to the event by volunteering their time. Among the many events Service CU has partnered with Veterans Count on are the Thunder Over New Hampshire Air Show in Portsmouth and an upcoming black-tie 10th Annual Salute Our Soldiers Gala in North Hampton Also, Service CU’s Impact Foundation, a nonprofit charity arm of the credit union, holds the Charity Golf Classic each year to benefit military families and veterans. The foundation partners with the Robert Irvine Foundation, whose mission supports service members, veterans and services for active-duty military, veterans and their families with loan discounts, special savings programs and more. Service CU's work with the military has garnered numerous awards. Among the most recent: • Newsweek magazine selected Service CU as having the “Best Military Saving Account” in its 2022 list of “America’s Best Banks.” • The Penny Hoarder in January 2022 named Service CU as “Best Military Credit Union” for its high-yield savings account.
their family members through health and wellness programs. “The money that’s raised — $300,000 last year — goes to veterans, not just in New Hampshire but all across the country,” Hatem says. During the second annual golf tournament held last year, Hatem says Manchester-based inventor/businessman Dean Kamen was there to demonstrate his revolutionary iBOT® personal mobility device (PMD). Not only can the PMD navigate all terrains, it can raise the user from sitting to standing level. After seeing the demonstration, Hatem says, a discussion began about the possibility of raising money for veterans who could benefit from the costly iBOT® but could not afford one. That same year, at Veterans Count's On the Tarmac fundraising event the weekend of the Air Show in New Hampshire, enough money was raised to purchase 12 PMDs for veterans. After that, Hatem says, “We decided to create a program where veterans could finance the PMD through us.” In March 2022, Service CU launched the iBOT® loan in partnership with iBOT® manufacturer Mobius Mobility. The loan requires no money down and no credit check so that the PMD can be accessible to those who would not be able to afford it out of pocket. More information can be found at servicecu.org/ibot. Both as part of her work as Vice President of Human Resources and as a member of the Business Recognition Program advisory board, Hatem works hard to see that veterans get jobs. For Service CU jobs, Hatem says, “Who better than a veteran to understand our members who are part of the military?” On the advisory board, she networks with other members and makes sure the members that are smaller businesses without HR departments are aware of the information needed when hiring veterans, such as relevant state and federal law, and veteran protections. “We appreciate everything that veterans have done for the country and are still doing,” Hatem says. “We’ll continue to help them as best we can, and we’ll continue to strengthen our ties to them.” n • In February 2021, Service CU was named one of four credit unions selected by Business Insider for its list of “Best Banks and Credit Unions for Military Members and Their Families.” • Investopedia named Service CU to its list of “Best Credit Unions for 2021” in the category of “Best for Military Individuals and Families.” • USO Europe announced in October 2021 that Service CU is an official Mission Partner in supporting the military community. servicecu.org | June 2022 9
LENDER SPOTLIGHT: Q&A with Mark O’Dell
hen Mark O’Dell joined Service Credit Union as Vice President of Lending two years ago, he brought with him 30 years of lending experience. In his position, O’Dell oversees Business Services, a department that has grown significantly since it was formed in 2010 and is on track to double that growth in the years ahead. He says one of the reasons for its success is a work culture where a positive member experience is “walked, talked and breathed” by the employees. We spoke to Mark about the evolution of his department and what he sees ahead.
Mark O’Dell, Vice President of Lending at Service Credit Union
Talk about the beginnings of the Business Services department and where it is today.
The department didn’t exist prior to 2010. In the 12 years since then, it has grown from just one employee to 16 employees. But what is most impressive is that it’s grown to over $630 million in loan balances, over $200 million in cash management services, and more than 1,000 different businesses as members. That’s a nice
Building identity also means you have to have people who have networking capabilities so they can go out and create relationships. Then, over time, as you get deeper into your marketplace, you get known.
— MARK O’DELL, VICE PRESIDENT OF LENDING, SERVICE CREDIT UNION
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success story. David Weed, who is Assistant Vice President of Business Services, was the first to be hired for the department. He has done a great job of building a team of business development officers as well as internal operations staff who provide exceptional service. How do you go about building your identity? By asking questions — what are we known for? What is someone going to consider our strength as a credit union? Historically, from inception to where we are today, what we’re most known for is commercial real estate business, where we’ve done a great job of partnering with businesses and taking care of their needs. The word gets out there. But we plan to expand and diversify that product mix beyond commercial real estate, to get into more small-dollar lending like SBA loans, lines of credit and vehicle loans. Building identity also means you have to have people who have networking capabilities, so they can go out and create relationships. Then, over time, as you get deeper into your marketplace, you get known. You expect substantial growth in the next few years ... Yes, we’re trying to build something that is growth-oriented but also scalable to grow outside of New Hampshire. With our federal charter, we can expand outside of New England. What we are doing in New Hampshire, we should be able to do in other states. Service Credit Union already has a member in every state in the country. We also have a military membership base who use the
branches we have on Air Force bases in Germany. When their tour is over, they relocate to different areas of the country, so we have the seeds of members that are in different states. We may look to have boots on the ground in some of those markets. It’s certainly on the drawing board for the future. We’re hoping to grow from a $5 billion credit union to a $10 billion credit union, or beyond. Do you see new market forces ahead that might impact the commercial real estate market? Affordability is becoming an issue, especially with the mortgage rates going up. The resulting housing crunch — there aren’t enough units for people to buy or rent — is creating an appetite for multifamily properties. That means there’s more construction of multifamily units going on. For us, it means there are institutions or individuals looking to do that that we’re looking to partner with. But, strip malls, for example? Probably not as comfortable with that as we would be with a multifamily property. The other trend, and this won’t shock you, is going green. One of the things we’re excited about is solar — maybe a business would add that to its construction or remodel. We think that’s a good avenue for some business owners. Also, supply chain issues are bringing some companies back to this country. So, there’s a lot going on. What should a startup know before they come to the Service CU Business Services department? It starts with sitting down and looking at their business plan, their background, their financial picture,
what type of business they’re in. From their perspective, asking questions: Who is this lending partner? What kind of tools do they have? What’s their service commitment going to be? Why someone chooses to do business or not do business with an institution really comes down to relationship and trust. We have a reputation for that. We’re able to show prospective clients not only some examples of who we worked with but why. What is the biggest consideration in whether to grant a loan? You have to control the risk for what you put on your balance sheet. Is there a concentration of risk? Too many apples in one cart? If you’re in the hospitality business, say, and no one is going to hotels and restaurants because of COVID, there’s going to be a slowdown in that sector. We also look at stress management. If the revenue of a business dropped by 30%, can they still operate? Do they have the debt coverage? There are a lot of factors to consider in order to avoid losses. Our losses have been basically nonexistent. It sounds like a given, but you have to provide exceptional service to these business owners. You’ve been at Service Credit Union for two years. In your experience there, what do you appreciate the most? I’ve worked at credit unions since 2012. I wish I had started working at one 20 years ago. I really enjoy the culture, especially the member experience that’s being created. I think that ultimately comes across to the Business Services clients. n servicecu.org | June 2022 11
Financial Literacy (or FinLit, for short) At Service Credit Union, part of our mission is to provide the resources needed to improve our members’ financial well-being. One of those resources is financial literacy, which allows people to make informed decisions about their finances. An element of that literacy is knowing what financial terms mean. Here we define some of the metrics of marketing, which measure the effectiveness of your marketing dollars. Knowing whether your marketing budget is being spent wisely allows you to have a clear picture of whether your strategy is succeeding or needs to be changed.
FinLit Terms You Should Know The Return on Investment (ROI): A performance measure that is used to evaluate the profitability of an investment. It’s a simple calculation where you divide the amount you earned from an investment by the cost of the investment and then multiply by 100. Because the result is expressed as a percentage, you can easily see how it stacks up against other investment choices. For example, a local newspaper ad spot cost $500 but brought you $800 in new earnings — that’s a 160% ROI. Cost Per Action (CPA): A marketing model where you pay a commission when a user takes a specific action. Those actions could be filling out a form, signing up for a trial, getting a quote or making a purchase. The advantage of CPA is that you only pay for the ad after a sale occurs. For example, if you spend $150 in marketing dollars and 10 actions can be attributed to it, the cost per action would be $15. Cost Per Lead (CPL): The cost of generating a lead, or someone who might be interested in your product or service. Leads can be obtained through a variety of channels, including online marketing, email marketing and display
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ads. The efficiency of each channel can be determined by dividing your total expense by the number of leads you acquired. To calculate the CPL, divide your total marketing spending by the number of new leads. For example, if you spend $4 for a list of 1,000 people who had an interest in your product or service, you would pay $4,000 when you had 1,000 contacts. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): The cost of turning a lead into a customer. The cost allows you to analyze the value of each customer and to improve your profit margins. It’s calculated by dividing the total amount spent on marketing by the number of customers who sign up over a given period of time. For example, if you spend $100 on marketing in a year and acquired 100 customers, the CAC is $1. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): The total amount of money a customer is expected to spend on your service or products in their lifetime. The higher the CLV, the higher the profits. That figure can help you decide how much money to spend to acquire new customers and retain existing ones. It’s calculated by multiplying the average purchase value by the average purchase frequency, then multiplying that number by the average customer life span. For example, if a customer visits your restaurant once a month each year and spends an average of $17 over a lifetime of 10 years, the CLV would be $2,040. Sales Funnel: The steps that someone takes to become your customer. The steps begin when your brand is discovered and ends with the final purchase. You can track potential customers and adjust marketing strategies using the funnel’s steps. There are four steps, according to Forbes magazine: awareness, interest, desire and action.
Service Credit Union's Online Tools for Businesses Business Blog: The Service Credit Union blog is a place to find helpful information on a variety of business topics. Among them: “Why a Construction Loan May Be Right for You,” “What Is a HELOC, and How Can It Help You?” and “How a Secured Credit Card Can Help You Establish Credit.” The blogs can be selected by topic, so you can easily find resources that are right for you and your business. Marketing Plans: One of the best ways for businesses to stay on schedule and on budget is to make a marketing plan. The U.S. Small Business Administration describes how you can persuade potential customers to buy your products or services. Your marketing plan turns your strategy into action. Women-owned Businesses: The SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) helps women entrepreneurs through programs coordinated by SBA district offices. Programs include business training, counseling, federal contracts, and access to credit and capital. Native American-owned Businesses: The SBA’s Office of Native American Affairs (ONAA) facilitates full access to business growth and expansion tools for small businesses owned by Native Americans. ONAA engages in tribal consultations, produces promotional materials and participates in national economic development conferences. Veteran-owned Businesses: The SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) facilitates the use of all SBA programs by veterans, service-disabled veterans, reservists, active-duty service members, transitioning service members, and their dependents or survivors. The programs provide access to capital and preparation for small business opportunities.
LGBTQ+-owned Businesses: The SBA's Network for LGBTQ+ Businesses aims to bring focus on economic empowerment in the LGBTQ+ business community by providing access to the SBA’s programs and services. Rural Businesses: Resources for rural businesses provided by the SBA include export assistance, financing options, Rural Opportunity Zones and HUBZones, as well as programs to help businesses recover from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Minority-owned Businesses: The SBA leverages its field offices, resource partners and additional partnerships to help level the playing field for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs who have historically lacked access to business opportunities.
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