The Federal Credit Union March-April 2014 - (Page 48)

FROM THE PRESIDENT'S DESK Is It Time to Grow Your Credit Union? By Dan Berger, NAFCU President and CEO O ne of the perennial questions for business owners and CEOs is when to hire more people. Strategists will tell you many different things about how to know when your business is ready to grow or when to wait a little longer. But every organization has its own unique tipping point; you just have to know how to recognize it. In a recent New York Times article on hiring, the founder of a company in Nebraska that digitizes old family photographs and slides said he knows to start hiring when his supervisor starts yelling from the production floor: "Hey! We need serious help down here!" NAFCU is here to help you find that tipping point and identify that common-sense voice saying, "Hey, we need more help!" One of our goals as an association is to identify credit union growth strategies and loan growth tools, and then bring these ideas to our members. In December, third-quarter call report data showed that federally insured credit unions grew lending by 2.9 percent. This was the 10th consecutive quarter in which the industry increased lending. All kinds of loans were up, from new auto loans to first mortgage loans and student loans. Loans are a vital way credit unions connect with their communities and keep the country's economy moving. It's always a good time to be thinking about growth, but it's a particularly hot topic now for NAFCU in light of our annual Strategic Growth Conference, which will be held March 4-6 in sunny Venice Beach, Calif. Every year, NAFCU staff and other expert speakers come together to offer strategies for innovation and growth to keep your credit union ahead of the competition. The conference focuses on creative lending programs that boost income and on the best marketing and digital communication tactics to get your message out to current and future members. Particularly in this day and age, growth can come in unexpected ways: One of this year's conference topics, for example, is credit union mergers - a reality for many institutions in the wake of the financial crisis. Credit unions didn't cause the crisis, and they certainly don't need the tidal wave of regulation that has followed. But while we're working on stopping that regulation in Washington, we also want to help you with strategies and problem-solving at home. Even if you're not attending the conference, there's no reason to not set aside some time right now to think about your credit union's growth strategy. What progress have you made with online lending? Are your members aware of all the loan services available to them? In every community, there are always young people getting ready to go away to school or families looking to settle down in a new home. Credit unions also have a strong history of serving small-business owners' needs - even during the financial crisis, credit unions didn't stop lending. That focus on community development and perseverance is part of the credit union identity. Credit unions serve their communities best when they help those borrowers achieve their life goals. In focusing on that kind of lending, credit unions can achieve a few growth goals of their own. Every organization has its own unique tipping point; you just have to know how to recognize it. 48 THE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION MARCH-APRIL 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Federal Credit Union March-April 2014

Voices & Opinions
From the Chair
Inside NAFCU
Succession Success
100 Ways to Grow
Marketing Winners
Getting to Know...
Managment Insight
Compliance Central
Inside NAFCU Services
From the President's Desk

The Federal Credit Union March-April 2014