News for YOU! Business Edition
News for YOU! Business Edition is a quarterly newsletter provided by KS StateBank that offers tips and other helpful information for business owners. Feel free to sign up now to receive new editions of our newsletters by email each quarter.
How Can a Credit Card Help Your Business?
Small business plays a vital role in today's economy. According to the US Small Business Administration, small businesses pay over 45% of the US private payroll. Small businesses also employ over half of all private sector employees and have provided 60-80% of new jobs over the past 10 years. With about 28.5 million small businesses in the US alone, virtually all financial institutions now offer small business loans to qualified business customers. So why apply for a business credit card?
Keep Track of All Your Business Expenses
The first and most obvious reason for a business credit card is to separate personal finances from business related purchases. With your business credit card, you can make all your transactions by phone, internet or in person. Then get periodic statements detailing all of your business expenses.
Covering business purchases with employee's personal money can get messy. So instead of relying on cash, use a business credit card. We can provide individual cards with customized credit limits for your employees as well as different methods to monitor how the card is used.
You no longer have to dread the year-end nightmare of trying to track where and when you spent your money. It's like having all your book-keeping done automatically for you!
Establish Your Small Business
A credit card with your company name on it gives your business credibility. It also gains the respect of financial institutions. Just by owning a business credit card, your company can build credit. So when you need that business loan, you might receive a better interest rate and qualify for higher amounts. As your credit builds you might also qualify for a lower interest business credit card.
So even if your business doesn't have a six-figure budget, a business credit card could help your company grow and provides extended purchasing power. You never know when your business might suddenly need extra money. For example, office equipment might need immediate replacement. Without a business credit card, financing could drastically interfere with your daily routine.
Earn Rewards with a Business Credit Card
With a KS StateBank Business Credit Card, you are automatically included in our ScoreCard Rewards program. Earn one ScoreCard Rewards point for every dollar spent and the points can be redeemed for travel and merchandise. You can easily manage and redeem points online at ScoreCardRewards.com.
Not only does a business credit card provide convenience and rewards, it also helps to build business credit for the future of your company as you watch it grow. Plus, you can count on the KS StateBank Cash Management team to be responsive and a valuable resource for you and your business whether you need help with your credit card or any of our other services.
2019 Holiday Calendar
As we head into the busy holiday season, we wanted to remind you about the remaining holidays for 2018 and give you an advance look at the dates for 2019. These are the dates that the Bank will be closed (or closes early), thus creating non-processing days for your transactions or early cutoff times for ACH activity.
|Date||2018 Remaining Holidays|
Monday, December 24
Bank closes at noon; ACH deadline is 11 a.m. CT
|Tuesday, December 25||Christmas Day|
|Tuesday, January 1||New Year's Day|
|Monday, January 21||Martin Luther King, Jr. Day|
|Monday February 18||Presidents Day|
|Monday, May 27||Memorial Day|
|Tuesday, July 4||Independence Day|
|Monday, September 2||Labor Day|
|Monday, October 14||Columbus Day|
|Monday, November 11||Veterans Day|
|Thursday, November 28||Thanksgiving Day|
Tuesday, December 24
Bank closes at noon; ACH deadline is 11 a.m. CT
|Wednesday, December 25||Christmas Day|
Download the printer-friendly version of the 2019 Federal Reserve Holiday Schedule for your records.
Financial Tips for Business Owners
Personnel director...sales manager...head of operations...customer service manager...The list of roles and responsibilities can go on and on if you're running your own business today. Though all these key roles are important, there is one that's particularly critical to the short- and long-term success of your business — chief financial officer.
Of course, with all the responsibilities you may have, finding the time to manage your personal and business finances can be challenging. Here are seven steps you should take to make it easier for you:
- Separate your business and personal finances. Though you may have used your personal finances to start your business, it's important to keep your business expenses and income separate from your personal ones. Make sure you have a separate business checking and savings account and debit/credit card. It will make tax preparation less complicated and will help you establish business credit more easily.
- Set up a retirement plan. One of the biggest drawbacks of self-employment is that you don't have the benefit of a big company 401(k) and matching contributions. There are, however, retirement plans designed for small businesses, including SEP-IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, and Solo 401(k) plans.
- Automate your banking. A key part of managing your finances is controlling and monitoring your cash flow. Enrolling in services like online and mobile banking will allow you to monitor transactions and balances, which is especially important in managing day-to-day cash flow and guarding against fraud. You should also arrange to pay your bills electronically, which will help ensure they are always paid on time.
- Prepare for seasonal cash flow. If you have a business that's seasonal, managing your cash flow during slow periods can be particularly challenging. Be sure to put aside extra money to help manage periods of downturn. You may also want to have a line of credit that you can draw on when needed.
- Use a professional tax advisor. Though business owners are not afraid to do things on their own, there is one area where it pays to bring in a professional — tax planning. A professional tax planner can save you time and help you capitalize on opportunities to reduce your tax burden.
- Make a budget and stick to it. When running a business, planning is everything. That's especially true when it comes to budgeting. Take time to review your revenue, expenses, and business plans for the year and create a budget. Be sure to continually track and monitor your expenses to determine if you are staying within that budget.
- Develop a business banking relationship. It's often been said that behind every successful business owner is a solid banking relationship. A good business banker can help you gain access to the credit you might need, provide valuable business advice, and connect you with other professionals.
As you can see, you don't have to be an official controller at your company to take control of your business finances.
Coming Soon! Business Online Banking Enhancements
We’ve been listening and we’re excited to bring you new features and added functions to our Cash Management solutions in Online Banking. Beginning in early October you can enjoy:
- Enhanced Reporting Options – including additional search criteria, saved reports, combined account reporting, options for export/print/search within generated reports
- Recurring ACH Batches – choose your frequency for automated batches (Contact your Cash Management representative to have this feature enabled for your company)
- Additional Alert Notifications for convenience and security
- Positive Pay Exception Item Approval, Item Return and Submit Corrections
Log in to your Business Online Banking account on or after October 4 to begin using these new features.
Watch for more information to come!
More information will be coming soon to our current Business Online Banking clients. If you have questions about Business Online Banking, or want to learn more and get started, contact a member of the Cash Management team.
Beneficial Ownership Information
In 2016, the U.S. government passed a new regulation that requires financial institutions to obtain, verify and record information about beneficial owners of legal entity clients. This means that any time a new account or loan is opened for a legal entity, we will request information that identifies the beneficial owner(s) who own 25 percent or more and/or controlling person of the legal entity. All financial institutions had to begin following the new regulations as of May 11, 2018.
The information required to be collected is to help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities. Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify and record information that identifies each person who opens an account or loan at the time a new account is opened. The identification and verification procedures for beneficial owners are very similar to those you currently follow as individual clients.
When you open an account or loan at KS StateBank, we will ask you to identify the beneficial owners of your company. You will need to provide the following for each beneficial owner: name, address, date of birth, tax identification number and other identification information that will allow us to identify and verify the identities of your beneficial owners. We may also ask for copies of driver’s license or other identifying documents for each beneficial owner.
While we understand the information requested is personal and sensitive, we are required to obtain this in order to comply with the law. All information collected by KS StateBank is securely stored and handled in accordance with our strict privacy policies.
For more information on Beneficial Ownership, please contact your Loan Officer or Retail Banker. You can also read more about Beneficial Ownership on our website.
From Good Idea to Good Business: Launching a New Business
You never know when inspiration will strike. In fact, you may have already been inspired with a revolutionary idea for an innovative new product or service. But as most entrepreneurs know, coming up with an idea is the easy part; it's a whole lot more challenging to turn that idea into an actual business opportunity.
Here are some initial steps you can take to turn your idea into a reality:
- Identify opportunity. Write down your business idea and evaluate it. Ask yourself, what want or need does your idea fulfill?
- Refine your idea. Once you have your idea, think about ways you can expand on it or improve it.
- Determine your target audience. Who would purchase your product or service? Write down specifics about your target audience; how old they are, where they live, their income and education level, etc.
- Do some research. Are there other products or services similar to yours? If so, who is your competition? How does your product or service compare?
- Create an advisory team. Do you know experts in other business disciplines — such as sales, marketing, or retail operations? Consider building an advisory team of experts who can help guide you.
- Develop a prototype. If you have a physical product, can you create a prototype to show what it would look like? If that's not possible or if you have a service business, can you create a presentation that depicts your idea?
- Test your idea. It's important to test market your product or service, not with friends or family members, but with retailers, distributors, and others who would sell your product or recommend your service. You may want to consider hosting a focus group with those who match your target audience.
- Formalize your idea in a business plan. Writing a business plan will help you think about all aspects of your business — your business objectives and strategies, and markets, as well as start-up costs. A business plan will also be required from a bank if you need to secure a loan at some point.
The most important thing you'll need to have is patience. Great ideas — and businesses — take time to develop.
For more information about how KS StateBank can help with your new business venture, contact a member of our Cash Management team.
Safeguard Your Online Banking with Secure Tokens
KS StateBank has offered Secure Tokens to our clients for several years as an additional level of security for Online Banking. Now, as an added convenience, we have the ability to offer a “virtual” token eliminating the need for you to carry the actual token device with you. Even better, we offer the Virtual Tokens free of charge to our clients.
If you have a smartphone, you can simply add the free app to your phone (available for Android™ and iPhone® users) that will function exactly like your device has in the past—but without the need to carry something additional with you. After you are set up, you will use the virtual token app to generate a one-time code that you’ll enter along with your User ID and password to log into Online Banking. Simply open the Virtual Token app, generate the code, and enter it when prompted in Online Banking. It’s that simple.
If you’d like to start using the Virtual Token app, contact a member of our Cash Management by email or give us a call at 800-588-6805. They will work with you to ensure you’re able to successfully download and access your new Virtual Token.
Protect Your Small Business from Ransomware Attacks
Ransomware has become one of the fastest growing malware threats to small businesses in recent years. The popular malware is used by cybercriminals to freeze business networks and servers and individual laptops and computers, steal critical information and data, and demand that a “ransom” — anywhere between a couple of hundreds to thousands of dollars — be paid.
The American Bankers Association has offered tips to help guard small businesses against ransomware attacks:
- Educate your employees. Employees can serve as a first line of defense to combat online threats and can actively help stop malware from infiltrating the organization’s system. A strong security program paired with employee education about the warning signs, safe practices, and responses aid tremendously in preventing these threats.
- Manage the use of privileged accounts. Restrict users’ ability to install and run software applications on network devices, in an effort to limit your networks exposure to malware.
- Employ a data backup and recovery plan for all critical information. Backups are essential for lessening the impact of potential malware threats. Store the data in a separate device or offline in order to access it in the event of a ransomware attack.
- Make sure all business devices are up to date. Ensure antivirus and anti-malware solutions are set to automatically update and conduct regular scans so that your operating systems operate efficiently.
- Contact your local FBI field office immediately to report a ransomware event and request assistance. Visit the FBI's website to locate the office nearest you.
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