Posted on 11/20/2019 9:11 AM By First Bank
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 ...
Posted on 11/6/2019 11:30 AM By First Bank
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
Posted on 10/30/2019 11:12 AM By First Bank
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 ...
Posted on 10/30/2019 8:13 AM By First Bank
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 ...
Posted on 9/27/2019 8:25 AM By First Bank
Banks are required to appraise real estate that is taken as collateral to ensure the collateral has sufficient value to cover loans. Federal appraisal regulations guide the majority of this process. One of these requirements is that appraisers should be independent of the loan transaction and, as a result, will provide an unbiased, objective opinion of the property’s value.
Jeff Thornhill, Senior Vice President/Director of Real Estate Technical Services and a tenured professional, manages the commercial appraisal process for First Bank. “After a potential business borrower applies to the bank for a commercial loan that is secured by real estate, the bank will request competitive bids from qualified appraisers,” said Thornhill. His department selects who they believe is best suited for the assignment and, once the appraisal is received, it is reviewed to ensure it complies with appraisal standards, appraisal regulations, and that the value is reasonably supported by the data in the rep ...
Posted on 9/5/2019 9:38 AM By First Bank
It can be hard to let go. Whether it’s your own business, or you’ve been entrusted with the responsibility of leading a business, you invest time, energy and so much more to ensure its success. When it’s time to move on, you want to not only make sure the impact of all your hard work carries on after you leave, but also that the transition in leadership is as seamless as possible for all stakeholders involved.
At First Bank, succession planning and succession planning best practices are our areas of expertise. With four generations of independent, single-family ownership, we uniquely understand the importance of a smooth transition to ensure the continued viability of any business.
We recently had our own transition in leadership. In September 2018, our previous Chief Executive Officer Tim Lathe announced his upcoming retirement. After careful consideration, it was determined to transition Shelley Seifert, President, FB Corporation, to take the helm as CEO. In Ma ...
Posted on 8/19/2019 8:16 AM By First Bank
As a consumer, it’s easy to understand the importance of an excellent credit score should you wish to obtain a loan. As a business owner, however, navigating the world of credit and lending can be much more extensive. In business, especially in a privately-held or family-owned business where the owner or owners are filling many roles, a close, working relationship with a local bank can be essential to a business’ long-term success.
“Even if you don’t have a great borrowing need now, it’s still a good idea to establish a solid working relationship with a trusted bank,” explained Maria Hunter, First Bank’s Relationship Manager. “In doing so, you will have already established some good will with the bank, allowing the banker to gain general knowledge of your business. Plus, you’ll already have a proven track record with your bank before ever even applying for a loan.”
Applying for the Loan
The process of applying for a business loan starts be ...
Posted on 8/8/2019 12:24 PM By First Bank
In today’s competitive environment, businesses would not exist without advancements in technology. From innovative payment and accounting systems to robust, integrated inventory solutions, businesses require technology in order to keep pace with their counterparts in the industry.
One of First Bank’s trusted partners, Bond Consulting Services, a national consulting firm, empowers organizations to thrive in a digitally-transformed world. With over 18 years of software integration experience, Bond Consulting Services is a proud Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and was just awarded Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Partner of the Year Finalist by Microsoft in June 2019. Bob Bond, President of Bond Consulting Services, said, “As businesses grow in volume, data, and reporting needs, they need to scale up their technology rapidly. It truly doesn’t matter the size of the company you own or manage, you can always leverage technology to help streamline your services.”
Posted on 5/28/2019 10:10 AM By First Bank
The final measure of an organizational leader’s success is not only how well the organization functions after his or her tenure but also throughout their succession process. In other words, did the chief executive officer (CEO) prepare a successor that could continue to grow and advance the organization? In a family business, this is critical for the engine or business that drives the family’s wealth and well-being.
Ideally, the next generation includes multiple talented members, actively involved in the business, and committed to its long-term success. The time will come when the critical question is asked, “Which member should be the next CEO?” Often, the answer is apparent, and sometimes multiple family members vie for the position. It’s important to note, however, parents may not always be an objective evaluator of the talents of their children. In fact, a professional, individual assessment should be considered to provide an independent evaluation of strengths and wea ...
Posted on 5/16/2019 1:49 PM By First Bank
Typically, growth and expansion are indicators of a healthy business. However, there are typically many misconceptions and a greater story behind those growing businesses. It may be easy to get caught up in others success stories, especially when hearing that someone increased their revenue by 300% or they expanded their workforce to four times the size in the past quarter, for example, but that’s only half the story. Risk is the key element facing every business from the start, but that risk never goes away; it only multiplies. Risk is associated with growth, but it’s how you face the challenges of risk and adjust with growth that plays a key role in your business’s success.
Get more information on the downsides and challenges business owners face as their business thrives, as well as advice on adjusting with these shifts:
Cash flow management and the growth of reserves. Rick Sems, First Bank Executive Vice President of Commercial Banking, candidly explains that the biggest ele ...