Banks Find Educational Sessions For Small Businesses Pay Off For Everyone
Even among successful small businesses, there are always those that cannot make their loan payments on time.
The problem is that "they have a lot of money in receivables, but no money to pay their bills," according to Ken
To turn these borrowers into better money managers-and, in turn, more profitable customers-Emporia last year
Webcasts Done Twice Annually
Twice a year about 30 customers watch a live webcast projected onto a large screen in a room at a local technical
Throughout the seminar, customers can ask questions of both the presenter and Emporia's staff, who are there to help
"They just don't get information in a book that they can just stick on a shelf later and for-get it. With our loan
More and more banks like Emporia are realizing that it's not just consumers that need financial literacy training.
The emergence of the Internet has enabled even the most remote banks to educate their customers with the aid of
Vicki Kraai, the president and chief executive at $20-million Sutton State Bank in Nebraska, said using the web was
Each Business Resource Services webcast costs about $500, compared with the roughly $4,000 it would cost to fly a
The expenditure seems to be paying off. Sutton picked up a new business customer from a referral made during a
Kraai predicts that the new business generated from the seminars should help the bank nearly double its small-
She also expects that existing customers, armed with new management tools, will be able to grow.
"We want to help our clients, so that we can add more quality loans to the books," she said.
Steve LeFever, the chairman of Business Resource Services, said that it has been presenting online seminars since
University National Bank in St. Paul has shied away from the Internet and prefers instead to have local experts speak
Rather than educating them about financial management, though, it tailors each session to industry-specific topics
For example, University has a lot of customers who own apartment buildings, so it regularly holds seminars on how
"If they have bad tenants, our collateral gets trashed," Reiling said. "Our loan payments are dependent on good
Pays Off All Around
University also uses its own customers, such as attorneys or contractors, to teach the seminars, which are held at
"The customers get together and network with each other, multiplying each other's business, which means more
"This is the best marketing tool we have-we give them something that they can really use, not to mention a free