Proponent Federal Credit Union, Nutley, N.J., opened its 10th branch office in Newark on March 20. Bill Stavros, director of marketing for $376 million asset credit union, offers four tips for ensuring branch success:
Look ahead. Proponent bases its branch strategy on where current members live andselect employee group (SEG) development. 'We not only wanted to better serve members in thearea, we also look at where we have a nucleus of existing SEGs and the greatest potential toacquire new SEGs,' Stavros explains.
Ensure a successful opening. Timing is everything, he says. 'For example, while youwant to generate interest and excitement for your new branch, you need to recognize thepotential drawbacks of promoting it too early.'The more you change the opening date, Stavros says, the less excitement your new branch willgenerate.
Budget extra time. Don't assume you'll complete the project within your original timeframe. 'Be realistic. Expect delays in anything from finding the right location, negotiatingthe lease, completing construction, procuring branch equipment, and hiring staff.'
Get the right experts, even if it means spending more money. 'For example, if youaren't an architect, spend the time and money to research and hire an architect,' Stavrossays. 'This will not only reduce the amount of headaches for you, but more importantly ensurethe branch will meet internal expectations and optimize members' experience.'