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 to Prepare Your Finances for the New Year
The end of the year is traditionally a time for winding down. But as those who run successful businesses know, it's also a great opportunity to start gearing up for the New Year. Here are some ways you can get to work at putting your business in a great position for 2021:
- Run your financial reports. When you manage a business, it's essential to always know where your business finances stand. Running financial reports, such as an income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement can help you determine the financial health of your business. If you use financial software, you can usually run these reports quite easily.
- Analyze your sales. Just as it's important to understand the financial health of your business, it's also important to look at the health of your sales. How did your sales perform in the past year compared to the previous year? What products were sold most? Who were your best customers?
- Have a plan for the new year. Once you know your sales and the financial health of your business, you can start planning for the year ahead. Begin by writing down specific goals and steps for meeting them. For example, if you want to add a new service or product, develop a marketing plan for how you will introduce it. Will you use social media or email marketing to promote your product?
- Set a budget. With your goals established, you can begin allocating money for the next year. Be sure to be specific with your line items and to track spending in the New Year.
- Monitor accounts receivables and payables. Before you close your books for the year, make sure you have collected all payments and paid all your invoices.
The bottom line is that the end of the year is the ideal time to work on your business planning and get off to a great start in 2021. Who doesn't like the sound of that?
2021 Holiday Schedule
The holiday season is in full swing, and we wanted to remind you about the remaining holidays for 2020 and give you an advance look at the dates for 2021. 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. Please mark your calendars for these dates, but remember that we're always open at ksstate.bank.
|Date||2020 Remaining Holidays|
Thursday, December 24
Bank closes at noon; ACH deadline is noon CT
|Friday, December 25||Christmas Day|
|Friday, January 1||New Year's Day|
|Monday, January 18||Martin Luther King, Jr. Day|
|Monday February 15||Presidents Day|
|Monday, May 31||Memorial Day|
|Monday, July 5||Independence Day (Observed)|
|Monday, September 6||Labor Day|
|Monday, October 11||Columbus Day|
|Thursday, November 11||Veterans Day|
|Thursday, November 25||Thanksgiving Day|
Friday, December 24
Bank closes at noon; ACH deadline is noon CT
|Saturday, December 25||Christmas Day|
Download the printer-friendly version of the 2021 Federal Reserve Holiday Schedule for your records.
Staying Connected to Your Customers in Uncertain Times
Business owners know better than anyone: it's competitive out there. Your customers now have a world of places to take their business – across the street or around the world. That, of course, brings up an important question: How do you get your customers to stay with you?
One of the most important ways to retain customers has always been to build personal relationships with them. In the past that wasn't as difficult, particularly when you have local customers who frequent your place of business or welcome the opportunity to have you visit theirs. Today, however, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, those options may no longer be possible.
So how can you maintain close contact with your customers – and stay attuned to their changing needs? The answer is right in front of you. Literally.
Thanks to technology, you now have a wealth of ways to stay in touch with your customers – without leaving your business. Here are five ways you can leverage the power of technology to stay in touch with your customers in uncertain times:
- Zoom in on their needs. As a business owner, you constantly need to be in front of your customers. Fortunately, technology like FaceTime and Zoom allows you to do that. If you can, set up regular meetings and check-ins with your customers.
- Email regularly. Just as you rely on your customers for your business, they rely on yours. That's why it's critical to keep them updated on what's happening with your company. If you've changed your hours or your policies due to COVID-19 or are offering new products or services, send emails to inform your customers. Be sure to tell them about safety precautions you may have taken and to let them know that you're still there to help them.
- Leverage social media. If there ever was a time to use the power of social media, it's now. Use your networks to provide information that may help your customers manage some of the challenges they may be facing. Be sure to share information that's timely, relevant, and of course, hopeful.
- Conduct online surveys. Chances are, the needs your clients had before COVID-19 are very different from the ones they have now. One way to learn more about what your customers want and need is to ask them. Consider sending out surveys with a special incentive or offer for customers who take the time to participate.
- Offer online buying options. If your sales are traditionally made at your place of business, think about enhancing your e-commerce solutions to allow customers to order remotely. Also, make sure your customers have easy and convenient access to customer support if they have questions or need assistance.
- Make a personal connection. Technology isn’t always needed to connect with your customers. Most everyone enjoys receiving mail, especially when it’s not a bill, so try sending a hand written note. You could also make a phone call to your customers to check in on them. A brief phone conversation can leave a lasting impression.
The bottom line is that in these challenging times, your customers don't just want to hear from you, they need to. Staying connected and attuned to your customers' changing needs will remind them why they chose your business in the first place.
Payment Solutions for your Business
Our goal at KS StateBank is to provide our clients with the best products and services available. So we’ve partnered with industry leader Elavon to offer flexible, innovative and security focused Merchant Services for your business.
By choosing KS StateBank for your payment processing solutions, your business will benefit from:
- Payment acceptance for all card types including PIN Debit, EBT, Corporate/Purchasing cards, American Express, etc. reducing the need to turn customers away.
- Innovative technology that includes chip card/EMV terminals, all-in-one wireless smart terminals, mobile, tablet and e-commerce payment solutions making it easier for your business to stay up-to-date.
- Trust and reliability with security solutions that can help you protect your customers’ payment card data. Their processing platform also has a high average uptime rate meaning less downtime for your business.
- A dedicated account manager to answer any questions and assist you as your payment processing needs change and grow. We know your business may not just be 9 to 5. That’s why Elavon’s customer care team is available 24/7/365.
If you would like more information, contact our Cash Management team by email or give us a call at 800-588-6805 and ask about our complementary competitive business analysis to see if we may be able to save you money.
Protect Your Business in an Economic Downturn
They say nothing lasts forever. The U.S. economy is certainly proof of that. Almost overnight, we went from the largest period of economic expansion to record levels of unemployment with the coronavirus. Managing a business is difficult in good economic periods, but in periods of economic downturn, it can be extraordinarily challenging. Whether you are able to implement them now or keep them in mind for the future, there are some steps you can take to prepare your business for unpredictable economic times. Here are a few of them:
- Cut expenses. Positive cash flow is vital to the health of any business. In economic downturns when sales may be down and customers may take longer to pay you, your cash flow can be strained. One way to improve cash flow is to reduce unnecessary expenses. Take some time to analyze your expenses and determine possible ways to cut costs. Just make sure your cuts don't impact the quality of the product or service you offer.
- Build cash reserves. Business is unpredictable in and of itself. That's why it's essential to have a separate account for an emergency fund with three to six months of business expenses.
- Manage inventory. One common mistake businesses make is having too much inventory. In challenging economic times that inventory can be difficult to move. That why it's important to monitor inventory levels and look for ways to lower costs.
- Manage receivables. Again, in challenging economic times, your customers may take longer to pay you or not pay you at all, which can negatively impact your cash flow. Be sure to stay on top of invoices you send, and to only offer the most favorable credit terms to your best paying customers. We offer a payment processing solution, Lockbox Services, which will help your business increase efficiencies and cash flow while decreasing paperwork and costs.
- Build relationships with your existing customers. Who better to buy from your business than your own customers? Look for ways to enhance the products/services you offer to your current customers and identify opportunities to cross-sell additional solutions to increase revenue.
- Monitor your financials. Your financial statements are indicators of the health of your business, so it's important to regularly run reports, such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements so you know exactly where your finances stand.
While it would be great to predict when an economic downturn may occur, it's simply not possible. It is, however, possible to prepare your business for any economic challenges that may be ahead. To find out more about how we can help you, contact our Cash Management team by email or give us a call at 800-588-6805.
Reopening Our Lobbies
We are pleased to open the lobbies at some of our Kansas branches. The lobbies at our Westloop and Highway 24 branches in Manhattan, as well as at our Junction City and Wichita branches, are now open to assist clients. The lobby of our Phoenix branch is also open. Our Aggieville and Downtown Manhattan branches will continue to serve clients through our drive up lanes.
As we focus on delivering services in a safe manner for KS StateBank clients and our team, you will notice some changes since your last visit. Retail Bankers may be wearing gloves and face coverings. There will be protective plexiglass guards in place at the teller line and Personal Banker desks along with signage and floor markings reminding you to practice social distancing. To support the enhanced cleaning efforts of or branch facilities, your access to public spaces within our branches will be limited to areas designated for customer service activities. We greatly appreciate your assistance in complying with these measures that are designed to not only help ensure the health and safety of our KS StateBank team, but to ensure the health and safety of you and all of our KS StateBank clients.
As we have over the last couple of months, we encourage you to use our contactless banking options whenever possible. Our drive ups, Online Banking, Mobile Banking and Telephone Banking services are a convenient and free alternative to visiting our branches.
Before visiting a branch, we ask that you assess your own personal health. If you are feeling any symptoms of not being healthy, we kindly ask that you visit the bank at another time and use one of our self-service banking options.
While we’ve made some changes, we are still here for you providing the exceptional service you’ve come to expect from our team. Thank you for choosing
Safeguard Your Business From Risk
Running your own business comes with its share of rewards. But as experienced business owners know, with reward comes risk. From data breaches to competitive pressures, every business must contend with a variety of threats and challenges. The most successful businesses, however, understand the importance of planning for and managing them.
Here are some ways to manage risks in your business:
- Business planning. When you started your business, you may have developed a business plan. Your business plan is essentially a blueprint for your business that outlines your goals and business strategy. Updating your business plan will help you plan ahead, review your financial performance, assess your products, evaluate the competitive and regulatory environments, and set goals for the future.
- Financial planning. When you set goals in your business plan, you'll need to determine the money you will require to support them. For example, if your goal is to expand, you should determine how much money you'll need to borrow. Financial planning involves budgeting and forecasting.
- Cash flow management. Your company's cash flow is the most important indicator of the financial health of your business. That's why it's essential to monitor your income and expenses. If cash flow is a problem, look for ways to reduce expenses or increase income. If you have a surplus of cash flow, consider using cash management solutions to maximize those funds.
- Emergency expense planning. Managing a business often means managing unexpected expenses. Having emergency savings can provide a safety net. You may also consider having a line of credit that you can access to help you manage cash flow problems that may arise.
- Fraud protection. Cyber theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. It's imperative that your business devote resources to guard against breaches, including firewalls and virus protection programs.
- Insurance protection. General liability insurance can protect you from claims including bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage. If your business provides advice or services, you may require professional liability insurance or errors and omissions insurance that could cover costs if your clients hold you responsible for losses. In addition, with the growth in cyber threats, having cyber insurance can be a smart way to protect your business.
While you can't always predict when a threat might occur for your business, you can put yourself in a better financial position to be ready for it.
Stay Connected to All Things KS StateBank
Now it’s even easier to stay connected to what’s happening at KS StateBank! Not only can you find us on Facebook and LinkedIn, but we’re now on Instagram and Twitter as well. We’ll be sharing what’s happening in our communities, bank news, product information, financial tips and more.
Just remember not to post personal or account information on any social network. If you have a question regarding anything specific on your accounts, Client Care would be happy to help! Just give them a call at 800-588-6805.
Business Resolutions for the Start of the New Year
A new year is just around the corner and it’s the perfect time to make resolutions on ways to improve in your personal life. But what about your business life? What goals can you set to help your business in 2020? Here are some common resolutions for business owners to consider for the new year.
- Boost cash flow. Cash flow is essential to business success. Look for ways you can expedite collections, pay suppliers more efficiently, and maximize idle funds. Our Cash Management team offers solutions, like Lockbox Services, Merchant Services and Business Online Banking that can help improve your cash flow.
- Network more. As a business owner, you should always be looking for ways to build relationships and new business opportunities. Consider working your industry, community, and alumni networks. You can also utilize LinkedIn to locate and communicate with professional connections.
- Maximize social media. Social media can be a cost-effective and smart way to reach customers and prospects. Determine how you can better leverage social networks to connect with prospects and customers. For example, is there content you can provide to help educate and engage your customers and prospects? Develop a social media plan and stick to it.
- Build relationships with customers. Your company's greatest asset is the customers who have entrusted you with their business. Take the time to get to know your best customers and to reach out to let them know how important their business is to you. Ask about services/solutions they may require and work toward delivering them.
- Find more balance. One of the biggest challenges for business owners is achieving work/life balance. Try to set clear working hours and stick to them. Another way to achieve balance is to delegate responsibilities to your trusted employees.
Resolve to take care of business in 2020.
Are there other goals that may help your business in 2020? Take some time to think about ways to improve and set your plans in motion.
Do you want to learn more about how our Cash Management solutions can help your business in the new year? Contact our Cash Management team to learn more about our full line of products and services. On-site demos are also available.
Important Fraud Protection Reminder
Fraud can happen anytime of the year so we encourage you to check your accounts daily for suspicious activity. Let our Cash Management team know about any concerns as soon as possible and if you suspect that you received a fraudulent check, you need to inform us within 24 hours of the time the deposit hits your account. You can also take advantage of our Positive Pay service which adds another layer of protection to your accounts by putting you in control of authorizing issued checks.
2020 Holiday Schedule
With the busy holiday season in full swing, we wanted to remind you about the remaining holidays for 2019 and give you an advance look at the dates for 2020. 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. Please mark your calendars for these dates, but remember that we're always open at ksstate.bank.
|Date||2019 Remaining Holidays|
Tuesday, December 24
Bank closes at noon; ACH deadline is 11 a.m. CT
|Wednesday, December 25||Christmas Day|
|Wednesday, January 1||New Year's Day|
|Monday, January 20||Martin Luther King, Jr. Day|
|Monday February 17||Presidents Day|
|Monday, May 25||Memorial Day|
|Saturday, July 4||Independence Day|
|Monday, September 7||Labor Day|
|Monday, October 12||Columbus Day|
|Wednesday, November 11||Veterans Day|
|Thursday, November 26||Thanksgiving Day|
Thursday, December 24
Bank closes at noon; ACH deadline is 11 a.m. CT
|Friday, December 25||Christmas Day|
Download the printer-friendly version of the 2020 Federal Reserve Holiday Schedule for your records.
Health Savings Accounts
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) offer tremendous advantages to your employees and can be a breeze with the right administrator. KS StateBank has teamed with BPAS to bring you a vertically integrated HSA solution with the record keeper, administrator, clearing firm, custodial, and customer services under one company. Roadways HSA from BPAS provides a cost-effective and worry-free HSA solution with efficiency, operational accuracy, superior customer service, and the highest levels of security available.
What is an HSA?
An HSA is a tax-advantaged medical savings account available to U.S. taxpayers enrolled in a qualified high deductible health plan (HDHP). HSAs offer consumers the opportunity to make conscious decisions on how to spend health care dollars. Because it's their money at stake, they more carefully consider the costs and benefits of various healthcare-related procedures.
Unlike a flexible spending account (FSA), HSA funds roll over and accumulate year to year-there's no "use it or lose it rule:' HSAs are owned by the individual so they're portable and remain with the employee during employment and throughout retirement.
Why Offer an HSA
Healthcare is a key benefit for attracting top talent. It's also one of the most expensive. Paired with an HDHP, HSAs can result in significant savings for employers. HDHPs typically come with lower insurance premiums than traditional insurance plans. Many employers contribute premium savings to their employee HSAs. Employees may use HSA funds to pay for deductibles, co-pays, coinsurance, and other eligible expenses now or save the money to use during retirement. With Roadways HSA, employers save money and employees have more spending money per paycheck, save more money for retirement, and make money by investing.
Let us know if you would like more information about Roadways HSA and how it can help you and your employees.
How can Positive Pay help protect your business?
As a business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate and one of the last things you want to worry about is fraud. There are several ways businesses can become the victims of fraud, but thankfully there are solutions that can help prevent it and keep your business safe. Check fraud is one of those channels used to take advantage of businesses and, unfortunately, there has been an increase locally and nationally. We want to make sure you are aware of our Positive Pay services which can ease your mind and help protect your business.
Positive Pay puts you in control of authorizing issued checks and allows you to digitally confirm presented checks for payment. You can transmit files of checks you’ve written directly through Online Banking. Those files are then compared against the list of presented checks. Unauthorized items are not processed and become exception items to be worked out the next business day.
We want check fraud to be one less thing for you to worry about. Contact our Cash Management team to get started with Positive Pay.
Contact KS StateBank Cash Management
For more information about either of these products, our Cash Management team can be reached by phone at 800-588-6805 or by email.
Put Your Business Banking Relationship to Work for You
It's no secret that building strong and healthy relationships takes time and effort. If you own a business, that's especially true about one of your most important relationships – the one you have with your bank. A good business banking relationship can give you a powerful competitive advantage, which is why it's so important to spend time with your business banker. By meeting with your banker regularly, you can educate them about your business opportunities and challenges, and reap some positive benefits that may include:
- Reduced fees. Your banker can look at the accounts and services you are using and see if there are ways to reduce fees.
- Business guidance. A good business banker should be a trusted advisor who can help you manage business challenges and capitalize on opportunities.
- Referrals. Because they work with many business owners, business bankers are very connected. They can not only recommend your business to others, but also connect you to other service professionals to help you manage your business. For example, they may be able to recommend a good attorney or a CPA for your business.
- Market knowledge. If your business banker is familiar with your market area, they can be a valuable resource to help you manage your business and understand the economic and competitive landscape in which your company operates.
- Easier financing. Are you thinking about expanding your business or do you need assistance with managing seasonal cash flow? If your banker knows you and understands your business, it may be easier for you to get the financing you need.
- Managing money more efficiently. Your banker can tell you about new products or services to help you manage your cash flow.
The easiest way to build a relationship with your business banker is to meet with him or her periodically. Take the time to share information about your business and to invite your banker to visit your company. You’ll quickly discover that building a healthy relationship can help you build your bottom line.
Get connected with your business banker and contact a KS StateBank Cash Management representative in your area.
Manhattan, Junction City and Wichita
VP, Cash Management
785-587-4000, ext. 146
VP, Business Development
785-587-4000, ext. 176
VP, Treasury Management
AVP, Cash Management Client Specialist
Lockbox Services – Our Payment Processing Solution
Are you looking for a way to make your payment process more efficient? Lockbox Services will do just that and help you increase your cash flow. Our remittance and check processing system will help streamline both the payment and receivable process so you have more time to focus on your business.
KS StateBank Lockbox Services offer state-of-the-art functionality giving you a complete remittance and check processing solution which includes:
- Automated reporting function to simplify accounting practices
- Upload a custom file to post received payments to your clients’ accounts
- Image storage for a full year, with extended storage options also available
- Remote scanning capability at your business for walk-in payments
- Daily sweep of collected funds into designated KS StateBank deposit or loan accounts
Our KS StateBank team handles all payment processing and deposits freeing up valuable staff time.
Deposits received with your lockbox service before 1 p.m. (CT) are deposited and accessible the same day. All documents are archived on our servers, and original information is kept for 90 days. You will be able to access images of the deposited items, remittance and correspondence items online to view, print or download.
If your business is in the healthcare field we also offer Lockbox Services for Healthcare which is a Healthcare Revenue Cycle Management (HRCM) system designed specifically for the payment processing needs of the healthcare industry. We provide healthcare billing departments with a secure single point of reference for claim research, archival, and reconciliation.
To learn more about how Lockbox Services can help your business, contact our Cash Management team by email or give us a call at 800-588-6805.
Finding the Perfect Hire for the Job
Any human resources professional can tell you; hiring employees takes time. That makes it especially difficult for business owners who are often too busy with the day-to-day aspects of running a business to sort through resumes and set up interviews. But as most business owners know, finding the right candidate is extremely important, especially since hiring the wrong one can cost thousands of dollars.
So how do you set out to find the perfect match for your company? You can start by taking these steps:
- Take time to write your job descriptions and posts. A job description is an advertisement for your company and as such, should be compelling and comprehensive. Talk to the department manager as well as co-workers and colleagues who interact with the department to determine the most important duties of the position as well as the skills required and needed.
- Use your industry/association connections. One way to find qualified candidates is to network in trade and professional association groups for potential candidates. You're more likely to find a candidate who will know your industry, competition, and marketplace.
- Advertise your position. Once you have your job description, advertise it online to job posting sites, such as Indeed and LinkedIn.
- Involve staff and managers in the interview process. Ask other members of the department to participate in the interview process. Because they are familiar with the responsibilities of the position and dynamics of the department, they may be in a better position to evaluate a candidate's ability to fit in and do the job.
- Engage your employees. Who better to recommend the best candidates than your best employees? Consider offering a referral bonus to encourage involvement.
- Screen resumes carefully. When you receive applications, resumes, and cover letters, review them against the job description and required skills to ensure they match.
- Pre-screen candidates. It may be an added step, but it can save you time and money in the long run. Take some time to screen applicants over the phone to determine their qualifications and experience and even their salary requirements.
- Perfect the interview process. Before you bring in candidates, make sure you're prepared to interview them. Have a meeting with all the interviewers in your company to review what you're looking for in a candidate and ensure they ask the right questions. Then, after the interviews, reconvene to discuss results.
- Do a background check. Once you have an ideal candidate, verify their work references and criminal history.
The bottom line is that taking the time to find the right candidate will save your company money and actually help your bottom line.
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.
External Link Disclaimer
If you "Continue", the link will attempt to open a new window. If it is unable to, the link will open in the current window.×
NOTICE: Because there is a risk that information transmitted via internet email could fall into the wrong hands, KS StateBank recommends that confidential information, such as account numbers, social security numbers, or other identifying information, not be transmitted via email. Instead, please contact KS StateBank directly at your nearest bank branch, or use our secure KS StateBank message center. It is your responsibility to ensure that communications via internet email are virus free. No responsibility is accepted by KS StateBank for any adverse consequences, or violation of any law or regulation, resulting from your use of internet email.
If you "Continue", the link will open a new email message in your default email program.×