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Lunch and Learn with Barry Kirchoff

  
  
  

Minnesota National Bank in Sauk Centre recently teamed up with the Sauk Centre Chamber of Commerce and St. Cloud State University’s Barry Kirchoff for a “Lunch and Learn” seminar. The goal was to bring an educational session to small business owners and employees at ElmerZ in Sauk Centre.


An article featured in the Sauk Centre Herald reported about a dozen people in attendance of the event to hear Kirchoff speak. Barry is the director of St. Cloud State’s Small Business Development Center. In his role, he supervises the work done in the center on behalf of businesses in the central Minnesota area.


During his speech, Kirchoff repeated a line he often hears in in small business: “I don’t do finance, my accountant deals with that.” Kirchoff say those words are, “the famous last words of a small business owner. They need to understand questions they should be asking their accountant. You often have to see your business through the eyes of a banker.”


According to the article in the Sauk Centre Herald, there are Small Business Development Centers in all 50 states. Minnesota was the 16th state to adopt this type of program, with St. Cloud State being the state’s first. “We're considered part of the University outreach,” Kirchoff said. “We're here to help small businesses, whether you want to start one or expand one. We provide confidential one-on-one backing.”


Throughout the presentation, Barry explained the way the Small Business Center is operated and how they work as a team to get tasks completed. He says that not everyone has the right answer, so they employ a diverse group of people.


Kirchoff gave the listeners a list of reasons why small business collapse. Included in the list are divorce, 50/50 partnership, destructive hobbies, overuse of credit cards, and embezzlement. “Those are red flags for any business owner. Other factors become red flags for bankers, like the business doesn't make any money, financial statements are infrequent or inaccurate, a loan request is hurried, inadequate coverage of debt service (and) starting a business with no previous experience or a significant management change,” he added.


To end his presentation, Barry explained how businesses are having to adapt with the changing times and technology. The original article shares that he used banking as an example. He said, “Even if you're a small business, you have to look like a 'big business' online. For example, go to any college campus. Often college students don't have a bank and haven't stepped inside a bank in years. Today we see small community banks responding by putting more and more services online and available on mobile devices.”


Kirchoff claims that it is a great time to be a small business. Trends show that smaller is now better, and there is going to be real growth in small business.


For access to the full article, click here

Supporting Local Businesses

  
  
  

When it comes to giving this holiday season, remember that purchasing a gift or service from your local small business will not only impact the person receiving the gift, but the business owner, and local community, as well. This Saturday, November 29, is Small Business Saturday! It is important to get out and show your support to the businesses in our area.

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While many large chain stores have hundreds of employees, and gross millions of dollars per year, small business owners dedicate their own time and hard work into creating an enjoyable atmosphere for their customers. When you think of the amount of small businesses that surround us every day, it is impressive what owners have to do not only to start their business, but to stay alive after they do so.

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If each person spent $100 at a local business this holiday season, instead of at a chain store, it would put nearly $3 million back into our economy, and create thousands more jobs per year. When you support a local business, it gives them the means to give back more in our community. Non-profit organizations are likely to receive nearly 250% more support from local businesses than large corporations each year.

There are lots of other benefits to shopping locally. Keeping your town unique and personable, having a local sports team, and reducing environmental impact are just some of the examples.

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While you are out shopping this holiday season, make sure to keep in mind that how you spend your money can impact the way that your community operates and excels. Look around for us at Minnesota National Bank, supporting our local businesses this Saturday and the rest of the holiday season!


Community Fuels Cash Mob

  
  
  

“Small business or big business, business is about people and people are about community.” ~Unknown

Every business helps support various aspects of a community. From jobs and money, to volunteering at local events and projects. It’s the businesses that are active in the community that reap the real rewards of business and enhance the lives of local community members.   

To increase community involvement between businesses and customers, we have taken part in Shop Small, Small Business Saturday, and CASH MOB! All three support local community development by promoting the growth of the neighborhood’s businesses.  The newest of the bunch is what we are focusing on today…CASH MOB!

Minnesota National Bank Fuels Community Growth Through the Power of Cash Mobs

A cash mob involves an organized group going to a local business and spending money there. Minnesota National Bank will be cash mobbing local businesses in Pelican Rapids, Sauk Centre and Long Prairie all year long. We will give each of our employees $10 to spend at the local business we are cash mobbing. This will be a surprise to the businesses… we will be posting photos of our cash mobs on Facebook so stay tuned!

The overall goal of a cash mob is to support the local community. Local (non-national) businesses are 65% more likely to reinvest their money earned into their local community, and they invest nearly 4 TIMES the amount of national companies. If Americans in the average city shifted ONLY 10% of their spending to local businesses it would bring nearly $235 MILLION DOLLARS to that community. So when you shop local it’s helping you, your neighbor, and your community!

Check out some photos of a recent cash mob at MEADS Department Store of Sauk Centre, Minnesota, ACE HARDWARE of Long Prairie, Minnesota, and TAQUERIA ESCOBAR of Pelican Rapids, Minnesota on our Facebook page and stay tuned for more mobs! 

The Importance of Buying Local

  
  
  

 

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Sometimes it's easy to overlook local establishments when spending money to get the necessities we need. This is especially easy today because big brand stores are becoming more and more prevalent and are driving local stores and companies out of business. It is important to buy local for many reasons and keep the money in your community.

There are many reasons you should be buying local. For starters, buying local helps to support yourself and keeps the money in the community. When you buy local, the money that you are spending is not going to a large company that has its headquarters in another state, or county. Instead the money stays in your town and more than likely is used to help out other business’ and organizations in the community. Did you know that non-profit organizations receive more than 250% greater support from small business owners than large corporations?

Every community has a few local establishments that are unique. These are the sort of places that people love to go because they are one of a kind. When you support these types of businesses you're making a direct impact to help keep that establishment in your community. You also can help protect the environment by shopping local. When you shop local you help save on shipping and transportation fees as well as less congestion and pollution.

We bet you didn’t know that small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and create the highest number of jobs across the country! The best part about that is you will get better service at a locally owned business than you will at a large corporation. Small business owners take the time to get to know their customers and develop strong bonds with the people that support them. You won’t get this at a big business, which is really only interested in your money.

Every time you buy local you are directly making a positive impact on your community and its economy. Local businesses are owned by people in the community. This means that they are directly invested in your community and its future and are highly unlikely to leave. Not only are they invested in the future of the community but they also require much less money on investments in infrastructure and are more efficient on the use of public services. Small businesses also have the ability to bring in products that their community needs, rather than be based around the needs of a large company and a broad demographic.

Buying local is an easy way to support your community and helps keep money in its economy. When you shop local you not only help that store, but every person and business that helps supply that business. A small business will base itself around you and the owners will make connections with clientele to give you a very personalized experience. 

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5 tips to Grow Your Company

  
  
  

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Start-up companies all want to do the same thing: to grow and be successful. But it is easy to get caught up in small details, when in reality it is necessary to focus on the big picture.  What exactly do we need to get done, and how must we do it in order to gain customers and grow?  Here are five tips that can help aid in the growth process:

  1. Pick and choose your battles:  do not get wrapped up for a week deciding on little things, such as the theme colors for your company’s next advertisement.  There are more important things to obsess over, such as gaining customers and making money (which you already knew).  Remember what the big picture is and have your team remained focused.
  2. Remember passion and commitment: These traits must be in every employers’ mind in order to get your business to the other side and grow!  Without passion and commitment, your customers, team, advisors, and investors will notice.
  3. Create a sense of urgency: it is necessary to set specific timelines for action and achievements.  What are your overall short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals and how are you going to get there?  Being an entrepreneur is a marathon, yes, but there are also a significant number of sprints through the process.  Be crucial to your deadlines.
  4. There is no “I” in start-up: We understand as an entrepreneur, you desire to take the bull by the horns and have a set vision for how you want to develop the company.  But it is necessary to divide projects and use your team’s ideas.  Ask for your team to be creative and come up with new, exciting ways to grow your business.  You never know what they might come up with that you did not think about before!
  5. Celebrate achievements: when one of your team members is exceeding expectations, or a milestone occurs, award yourself and your team! By celebrating these achievements, a new sense of motivation will occur and it will drive energy into your team.

At Minnesota National Bank, we know it is a lot of work to grow your company from start up to a mid-sized company. Don't hestaite to contact us for your business financing needs, we are here to help!

The Holidays at Minnesota National Bank

  
  
  

At Minnesota National Bank, we pride ourselves on getting to know each and every one of our customers. You’ll never feel like a stranger when you walk into Minnesota National Bank. We feel that building a strong relationship with the community is of utmost importance. To help get our local communities into the holiday spirit we participate in a number of local events.  

 

Last month, Minnesota National Bank participated in the Long Prairie Kick off Parade. We enjoyed seeing everyone’s smiling faces as we drove by in a pick-up truck with a giant snowman attached!

 

During December we always have holiday decorations up. At our Pelican Rapids location, we even have a lit tree outside! If you’re in the neighborhood this holiday season, be sure to stop by our locations and check them out!

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Although parades and holiday décor both get people into the holiday spirit, we believe giving back to the community is even more important. Sauk Centre’s “Sharing Tree” and Long Prairie’s “Caring Tree” have lists of gifts that people can buy for local families in need. This is just a small way that we get the community together to help those in need. Our Sauk Centre location also participated in Christmas for Seniors through Alternative Senior Care. This program allows people to donate to seniors who might not have loved ones around during the holiday season.

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To thank all of our customers during the holiday season, each location puts on a holiday open house. Our open houses include cookies, hot apple cider, and coffee! This year the Pelican Rapids location had Santa come and visit. Long Prairie’s Open House scheduled for Friday, will have sleigh rides with Santa’s reindeer! And if you want to win some door prizes, make sure you stop by Sauk Centre’s Open House!

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It’s our privilege to give back to our community, especially since so many people support our business every day. Our strong communities are what keep us going and we couldn’t be happier to be a part of them! We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season.

 

Stache For Cash

  
  
  

Happy Movember!

Stache for cash WEEK 3

At Minnesota National Bank, nothing is more important to us than giving back to the community. That’s why this month we are going to be giving away $100 dollars to one lucky charity. But we need your help! Each week in November we have been posting a photo of six Minnesota National Bank’s employees’ mustaches. Each week you can vote for your favorite mustache by commenting on that post. Whoever gets the most votes at the end of November will win and their selected charity will receive $100 from Minnesota National Bank!

 

Here is the list of charities:

Mike = St. Paul Church, Sauk Centre Elevator Fund

Allan= Prostate Cancer Foundation

Rick= Camphill Village of Minnesota

Ryan= Wounded Warrior Project

Eric= Pelican Rapids Food Shelf

Donald= Holy Family School Sauk Centre

 

So what are you waiting for? Vote for your favorite charity/mustache here.

Business Banking- We want to help your business grow!

  
  
  

Business banking is very important and something we focus on at Minnesota National Bank. We think it is extremely important to support startup businesses because we have been there! We specifically enjoy working with small, local businesses in our communities. It strengthens our economy and creates healthy, long lasting relationships amongst businesses.

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Working with small businesses we have been able to learn what works and what doesn’t. Here are our top tips for small business banking:

  • Focus on the “5 Cs” of credit- character, cash flow, capital, conditions, and collateral.
  • Know that relationships are very important, no matter what aspect, but especially with your bank
  • Open a separate banking account for your business
  • Reinvest in your business as you gain profits

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We are here to help whether it’s a new business venture or a well-established business! We will utilize our expertise to give you the best results and service possible. We have years of experience working with different businesses and all of that experience adds up!

We have three major business banking options-

  1. Business checking- high volume business, business interest reward, business relationship, small business interest, and free small business checking accounts are available.
  2. Agricultural lending- agriculture and farm real estate, farm lines of credit, Ag term/equipment loans, and agriculture and farm construction financing.
  3. Business lending- commercial real estate, business lines of credit, business term loans, and commercial construction financing. 

Pigskin Prediction: Win Two Vikings Tickets

  
  
  

 

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The Prize:

To thank our customers, we are giving away two Vikings tickets to the final home game of the regular season! Not only is this game the final home game of the season, it is also the final game EVER at the Metrodome!

 

How To Enter:

To receive entries you must give us your pigskin prediction by commenting (on Facebook) with the winning team and their exact score. For the next 8 Vikings games you will have additional chances to “comment us” your prediction! This week’s game is the Vikings vs. Steelers!  All pigskin predictions must be in before kickoff!

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Again, we would like to thank our customers for all of their continued support and we are happy to help our customers with all of their banking needs!

Enter our contest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MinnesotaNationalBank

Student Checking Account Promotion

  
  
  

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Dear Students,  

It’s time for another school year. The staff at Minnesota National Bank wants to commend you on all of your hard work and wish you luck in the coming school year!   

There are lots of things to do in preparation for life after high school, especially when it comes to your finances. Building a trustworthy relationship with your bank will benefit you now and in the years to come. Even if you’re planning on moving away, banking with people you know and can count on will definitely make your life easier. 

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This is going on now through August 31, 2013.

 Here’s how it works:

  • Please bring this letter with you when you open your account.
  • If you open a checking account, apply for a debit card and sign up for e-statements, we will…

Deposit $5.00 a month into your account

EVERY MONTH until the end of 2013. 

(Provided the account is open and in good standing).

 Benefits of our Totally Free Checking Account include:

  • No minimum balance requirements (Upon opening the account a $25 minimum is required)
  • No service charges
  • FREE ATM transactions at participating In-Balance ATMs and Money Pass ATMs (Access to thousands of surcharge free ATMs and a smartphone locator app for your convenience!)
  • FREE first order of checks
  • FREE Internet Banking 
We are ready to help you start your financial future. Don’t miss out! This offer will expire August 31, 2013. Open your account today! ***See Us for Complete Details***

"Like" us on Facebook.

"Follow" us on Twitter. 

We look forward to meeting you.  

Sincerely,

Minnesota National Bank Personal Bankers 

        

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