Generations FCU said the potential is ripe for uncovering leads by hosting special how-to seminars to assist small business executives in areas such as social media, management training and lending. In addition, Generations is a volunteer for helping host various chamber events.
There is at least one session per quarter. These sessions are marked by breakfasts and time for networking. The sessions also include speakers from Generations and outside firms to discuss SBA loans, budgeting, retirement and accounting.
“These chamber partnerships are a great way for Generations to network with small businesses and let them know that Generations is here to be their financial advocate,” explained Tim F. Haegelin, Generation's president/CEO. The most recent session was held June 18 at the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce with a $25 registration fee.
The series are aimed at developing small business relationships “at a time when other financial institutions are not,” said Haegelin.
Generations’ goal, he said, is to let small business leaders know that the San Antonio credit union will have the services ready to make their operations a success. Having moved up to title sponsor of the series, Generations executives are the first to talk about products and services at each session and are then followed by speakers drawn from accounting, legal, marketing and operations areas.
Too often when people consider chamber events, “they simply think about the networking coffees or cocktail hours that are attended by the same people over and over again,” said Ashley M. Harris, the credit union’s director of corporate communications. But these chamber events are targeted and strategic. And they are attended by people within the CU's target market, she added.
Apart from the how-to sessions, Generations recently served as co-sponsor of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Small Business Expo. Harris, a director of the Texas Credit Union League’s Alamo Chapter, also said she often invites chamber presidents to speak at monthly events.
“It’s just a great way to get top of mind awareness in front of an organization that can be a very valuable business partner,” said Harris.
A further example of leveraging partnerships can be seen in the credit union’s relationship with SCORE, a nationwide organization with local chapters that reaches out to small business owners, Harris added. Generations has been hosting classes for SCORE with the volunteer help of retired executives from 62 separate industries.
“Generations business development representatives are on hand during the classes to answer any specific in-depth questions that attendees might have and the classes also provide networking opportunities for our staff,” Harris said.