Every Credit Union Needs A Growth Plan

Growth — It’s a word synonymous with success for most businesses. In the credit union world, however, growth isn’t necessarily as cut-and-dry as building a bigger balance sheet.

In today’s competitive marketplace, financial institutions are often considered successful when they’ve created organizations that others court as merger candidates. Unfortunately, a certain stigma still exists in the credit union industry and some leaders simply can’t see the growth possibilities that can (and often do) result from mergers.

Strategic Growth Plan Basics

In a simple answer, you need a strategic growth plan so you can grow. Although you never know what the future will hold, you certainly don’t want to be caught by surprise when the future arrives.

A strategic growth plan can help credit unions align the following goals:

  • Building economies of scale
  • Building critical mass
  • Becoming and remaining relevant in the marketplace

Two Approaches to Mergers

  1. Yesterday’s Method: In the past, the NCUA would deliver failing institutions to credit unions that were interested in acquiring another company.
  2. Today’s Strategy: Strategic mergers are the key to successful, positive growth within the credit union industry. Strategy involves finding potential mergers whose strategic growth plans match up with their own and are in markets in which they wish to complete.

Strategic Growth Plan vs. Merger Plan

In some aspects, these plans are one in the same. A merger plan is born from the foundation of a strategic merger plan, taking it one step further by exploring the possibilities that could be available on the market, should a merger partner present itself.

Strategic growth plans incorporate the following:

  • In which markets should your credit union be competing and where will you be most successful?
  • Where will your organization get the best ROI?

Merger plans utilize the aforementioned information, then identify:

  • Which credit unions may be available in those markets that could help expand membership?
  • Where do branches already exist?

A strategic growth plan isn’t something that can be created over night, but it’s certainly not something to be avoided. Succession planning is an intricate and involved process, but with expert guidance, your credit union will find itself in a favorable position, should a potential merger partner present itself to your organization in the future.

Are you looking for a foundation from which to begin building a successful strategic growth plan? Download the free report Growth by Merger: Mergers Offer Credit Unions a Strategic Growth Opportunity.