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Employers’ Considerations While Moving Forward

As many states and cities move cautiously toward reopening amidst the COVID-19 pandemic shut-downs, there are many questions and unknowns during this unprecedented time. Business owners have many questions surrounding their role in helping to stop the spread, how to keep their employees and clients safe, as well as getting their business back up and running. To help address ongoing questions and concerns, First Bank recently hosted a panel of experts to discuss the CARES Act, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) updates, and commonly asked COVID-19 related questions impacting businesses. Listen to the full “COVID Updates for Businesses” webinar here. One panel expert, Jacob A. Herschend, MBA, CLCS, Vice President, Risk Management Consultant, Marsh & McLennan Agency, JW Terrill, Inc. spoke on the common Human Resources (HR) issues impacting businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. “As we’re all getting back to work, there are many key considerations that we need to think ab ...

Cash Reserves – How Much Is Enough for My Business?

Money clichés are a dime a dozen, however, some of those financial catchphrases can truly be applied to your real life and pay off in the long run. One such saying is especially true for business owners. The saying that “cash is king” legitimately represents the importance of liquidity for any business of any size. Cash is needed for everything involved to successfully run your business. There are many reasons a business can fail, but one of the leading factors is running out of cash. A safety net is imperative to successfully persist through common events like a significant decline in sales, a mainstay customer not paying your invoice, or even being able to maintain seasonality. Every business’s safety net will be different and dependent on the volatility of the business or industry, therefore determining how much cash your business needs. While liquidity is never a one-size-fits-all solution, all businesses must consider the following key elements: Proper forecasting will h ...

Managing Your Time and Business Takes the Right Partnerships

Often, small to mid-size business owners are wearing many hats. The time needed to successfully run and grow a business in any given day is often not enough. As the demands placed on small to mid-sized business owners continues to grow, it’s important they establish external, trusted resources they can rely on to help them manage their business. “Often, our small to mid-sized business owners started out doing everything on their own,” said Paula Buie, Vice President and Treasury Management Sales Officer, “but quickly realize they must delegate and have support in order to grow their business efficiently.” She added that it’s crucial for them to utilize external and internal resources for everything from managing the books and making sales to marketing their business. “They just can’t do it all on their own,” she said. With nearly 70% of their time spent on the day-to-day operations of the business, small business owners often work more than 5 ...

Surviving the Holiday Season as a Small Business Owner

Black Friday may still be the biggest shopping day of the year to serious shoppers, but consumers wanting to make an impact on their communities are encouraged to “shop small” the Saturday after. Small Business Saturday is an annual day set aside on the Saturday following the Thanksgiving holiday. During the peak of the holiday shopping season, it can often be hard for small business owners like you to manage the influx of sales, monitor inventory levels, and gauge staffing levels appropriately. Small Business Saturday – Its impact on the Economy and Small Business Owners Small Business Saturday first appeared in the holiday shopping scene in 2010. The goal behind this day was to showcase all of the products and services local retailers could offer consumers, to offer support for smaller, family-owned ecommerce shops, and to create awareness of the significant impact small and family-owned businesses have on the economy. Based on the statistics, small to mid-sized businesses, such ...

Rise in Business Email Compromise; 3 Fraudulent Scams Impacting Businesses

Cybersecurity and fraud prevention are now essential to every business. The impact of fraudulent activity is staggering. In fact, according to Juniper research, cybercrimes have resulted in $2 trillion in losses in 2019 with an estimated $6 trillion per year by 2021¹. Although businesses of all sizes are not immune, it’s estimated that half of all cyberattacks are made against small-to-middle sized businesses. “Business cybersecurity and fraud schemes are here to stay and, unfortunately, criminals are only getting more sophisticated,” said Jon Moen, CTP, Senior Vice President, Director of Product, and previous Director of Treasury Management for First Bank. “It’s important to be prepared, educate your teams, and invest in the latest technological resources.” Although there are many fraudulent scams, currently, there are three types impacting businesses at an alarming rate as a result of Business Email Compromise (BEC). These include executive, vendor, and payrol ...

Everyone Should Have a Fortress of Solitude

Continuing its fourth generation of family ownership, Michael Dierberg serves as Chairman of the Board at FB Corporation (First Bank). You may recall in the 1978 film starring Christopher Reeve, Superman was orphaned as an infant and only learns about his extraterrestrial background later in life when he creates the Fortress of Solitude. Through the help of glowing crystals preserved from his childhood, holographic images of his parents interact with Superman to answer his questions and share the history and culture of his planet, community, and family. While there is much to the Fortress of Solitude that is beyond our own reach, we too can benefit from a greater connection to and knowledge from those who have come before us. We all have a desire to feel rooted to something meaningful, and can benefit from the wisdom of previous generations. Whether you are a leader of a company, a parent, or both, you can do a lot for those around you and the nex ...

Keeping Cash in Business with Proper Liquidity Management

Objective: To identify the importance of liquidity management from a business perspective, specifically for those businesses with a family-owned and privately-held ownership structure. Chances are, the majority of the businesses that you purchase goods and services from, as well as many of the restaurants that you frequent on a regular basis, are small to medium sized. With over 64% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) currently generated from family-owned businesses in the United States, there’s also a high probability that the business you’re purchasing your goods or services from is a family-owned or privately-held business¹. The bulk of these business owners and leaders would agree that liquidity, or access to readily available cash, in order to fund short-term investments, cover debts, and pay for goods and services, is critical to the long-term success of their business. In fact, it’s consistently cited as one of the top concerns for business owners². Liquidity r ...

Family-Owned Businesses and Strong Cultures Can Go Hand-in-Hand

When I ask family-owned and other privately-held businesses about their competitive advantages, one of the most common answers I hear is about their ability to create a great environment for employees to thrive. Often, the culture of the organization is described as having a “family feel” in which employees feel closely connected to their colleagues, more engaged, face less turnover, and can be more nimble in how they anticipate and react to their customers’ needs. So, how do successful family-owned and other privately-held businesses create great cultures? By playing to their strengths. Such businesses may not have the resources available at larger organizations to help them develop a strong culture, such as large human resource departments to maximize team engagement, and the depth of talented leaders at the top of the company. Yet what they lack in resources, they make up for in other ways. By MICHAEL DIERBERG, Chairman of the Board, FB Corporation ( ...

Rise in Business Email Compromise; 3 Fraudulent Scams Impacting Businesses

Cybersecurity and fraud prevention are now essential to every business. The impact of fraudulent activity is staggering. In fact, according to Juniper research, cybercrimes have resulted in $2 trillion in losses in 2019 with an estimated $6 trillion per year by 2021¹. Although businesses of all sizes are not immune, it’s estimated that half of all cyberattacks are made against small-to-middle sized businesses. “Business cybersecurity and fraud schemes are here to stay and, unfortunately, criminals are only getting more sophisticated,” said Jon Moen, CTP, Senior Vice President, Director of Product, and previous Director of Treasury Management for First Bank. “It’s important to be prepared, educate your teams, and invest in the latest technological resources.” Although there are many fraudulent scams, currently, there are three types impacting businesses at an alarming rate as a result of Business Email Compromise (BEC). These include executive, vendor, and payrol ...

Everyone Should Have a Fortress of Solitude

Continuing its fourth generation of family ownership, Michael Dierberg serves as Chairman of the Board at FB Corporation (First Bank). You may recall in the 1978 film starring Christopher Reeve, Superman was orphaned as an infant and only learns about his extraterrestrial background later in life when he creates the Fortress of Solitude. Through the help of glowing crystals preserved from his childhood, holographic images of his parents interact with Superman to answer his questions and share the history and culture of his planet, community, and family. While there is much to the Fortress of Solitude that is beyond our own reach, we too can benefit from a greater connection to and knowledge from those who have come before us. We all have a desire to feel rooted to something meaningful, and can benefit from the wisdom of previous generations. Whether you are a leader of a company, a parent, or both, you can do a lot for those around you and the nex ...

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