4 Financial Mistakes Millennials Shouldn’t Make

by Central Federal

Do you want to buy a home or car in the near future? Are you planning to have children soon or are you already preparing for what their education is going to cost? All of these financial necessities are on the minds of millennials but they don’t have to be a burden. Central Federal is here to help. Continue reading for 4 financial mistakes millennials shouldn’t make.

Procrastinating on Paying Off Debt

According to CNBC, millennials ages 25-34 have $42,000 in debt. A majority of this debt comes from student loans and credit cards. While typical student loans take years to pay off, credit card debt can be dependent on the spender. Don’t wait! Learn more about how you can pay off your debt faster.

Avoiding the Idea of Saving Money

While being a millennial in debt, it can be difficult for you to save for short-term or long-term goals. However, tracking expenses can be an easy way to bank more money. Include any loans, monthly payments, and weekly expenses like gas and groceries. Compare it to your monthly income and you’ll see what you’re making and where you can afford to save.

Sacrificing Retirement Plans

Continuing off the dilemma of when to save and how much, retirement is another important investment to make for anyone. Why? If you have any interest in not working past the age of 65, you’ll want to build a security net of money now. CNN Money illustrates how saving at the age of 25 can net $338,000 over 40 years!

Going It Alone

When dealing with your money alone, it’s easy to get caught up and make financial mistakes. That’s where a financial advisor comes in handy. They’ll work with you to strategize and reach your goals. Do your research to help you find someone who is knowledgeable and invested in keeping you on track to be financially secure. There are plenty of reputable financial advisors out there.

You’re only human and are bound to make a mistake here or there. When it comes to your finances, trust our personnel at Central Federal to have your back. Find out how to work with us today here or give us a call at (573) 364-1024.

Central Federal was founded in 1952 to provide home loans in Phelps County, Missouri.  We continue to make the necessary changes to be competitive with our services and products while providing excellent service to our customers.  Profits are used to enhance services, deepen our above average reserves, and give back to the community.


6 Meaningful Ways To Use Extra Money When You’re Under Budget

by Central Federal

Well, would you look at that? You finally did it. You made a budget and stuck to it. Not only did you stick to it, but now you’ve found yourself under budget this month, too! That means there’s some extra cash in your bank account. You could hang on to that additional green through a savings account, or you can keep reading to explore 6 meaningful ways to utilize extra money when you’re under budget.

Indulge Yourself

Let’s face it, you’ve been good when it comes to your money. That’s why it’s okay to indulge a bit here and there. We’re not talking about buying every item next to the cashier on your way out of the store. Since you planned ahead, you can now afford to do something nice for yourself.

Looking for suggestions? Here are a few fun things to try in Rolla:

Plan a Trip

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to go mountain climbing in the Rocky Mountains or eat pizza in Italy? Maybe you’d rather stick closer to home and set aside a weekend to go exploring in your own backyard. Whichever trip you’d like to experience one day, it’s all possible thanks to your budget. Imagine if you stay $50 under budget each month; after one year, that’s $600 toward your next vacation. You could be sitting beachside in Miami before you know it.

Give Back to Your Community

When it comes to giving back to your community, there are multiple ways to make your dollar count. Nonprofits such as local area food banks could benefit from your ability to purchase goods and donate them. Animal shelters, places of worship, and many other service-providing locations will greatly appreciate anything you can spare.

Pay Off Extra Debt

If you have a sound budget, then you’ve probably already included your monthly payments toward debt. Now that you have a little extra change, why not put your additional income there? Paying these off early could be a nice benefit for your future self. Think of how much more money you’ll have in your pocket when you’re no longer making those payments!

Start an Emergency Fund

Why start an emergency fund? Those who have debt already know the pressure of applying for loans. Set aside whatever money you can in order to prepare for the next big expense you don’t see coming. It could be anything from your car breaking down to you having a cavity filled. You’ll thank yourself later.

Invest in Stocks and Mutual Funds

There’s a way for that leftover cash to grow and it starts with investing. Stocks and mutual funds have potential for long-term growth while other forms of investing – like day trading – can make you money daily. There are pros and cons to each, so do your research before jumping into it.

Whether you decide to invest in yourself or others, you’ll get to enjoy the benefits that come with your actions. If you do choose to stash your extra money in a savings account, set one up with our friendly team at Central Federal. Give us a call at (573) 364-1024 or stop by our location at 210 West 10th Street to talk with us today!


Instagram, The Digital Magazine

By Angie Tutterow, By Design Media

Why use Instagram? People come to Instagram to be inspired and discover things they care about, and that includes content from brands and businesses. 71% of businesses in the United States are on Instagram, so there’s no denying that the social network is becoming more important for brands and social media marketers alike. Instagram presents a unique platform for brands to create visually engaging content to promote their services and connect with their fans.

According to Instagram there are :

  • 25 Million+ business profiles worldwide.
  • 2 Million+ advertisers worldwide use Instagram to share their stories and drive business results.
  • 60% of people say they discover new products on Instagram.
  • 200 Million+ Instagrammers visit at least one Business Profile daily.
  • 80% Increase in time spent watching video on Instagram.
  • ⅓ of the most viewed stories are from businesses.

If you have put aside creating an account on this rapidly growing platform, now is the perfect time to start.  Below are easy to follow steps to start and grow your business Instagram account.

The first step is to download the app and set up an account. Then brand your page by choosing the username consistent with your other accounts and adding your profile photo or logo, bio and website URL.  Remember that Instagram is an image-heavy platform, so it’s essential to use consistently use high-quality photos.  One of the first images you will be asked to upload is your profile photo.  The profile photo will be very small, so text is out of the question.  Instead, use your company logo or a professional headshot, if you own a personal brand.  People want to know who they are doing business with or who they are following.  If you are a personal brand, I recommend using a photo of yourself – people will feel more connected to you.

Next, Instagram won’t ask you to provide profile information, but it’s important to fill out these details especially if you want to drive traffic to your website or a webpage.  To add information, go to your profile page and tap on “Edit Profile.”  Here you can add your page’s description and website URL and change your name and username. After typing your brand’s information, simply tap done.  That’s it!   Your Instagram account is now completely set up!

 

Start adding photos to your gallery.  The best thing about Instagram is your ability to reinvent old photos by adding filters.  People love the authenticity of the platform, so you don’t need pro skills to tell great stories.  Once you know how to use Instagram for business, you can create Stories to drive engagement.  Instagram stories are short photo or video collections that disappear after 24 hours.  This simple feature is an effective way to share a funny, educational or heartwarming moment with your followers.  What is the feeling you want people to have when they view your account?   Write out a list of words that describe you and your business.  Every post should be based around these words.  Remember, Tell your story and Stand out by being you!


Heroes Among Us

by Stevie Kearse, Executive Director RACC

On Saturday evening the Rolla Chamber of Commerce had the pleasure of recognizing several members of our community for their hard work and dedication to the betterment of Rolla, its people, and the economic environment.

If you missed the event, below are the recipients of the awards.

The Edmund Ward Bishop Award is reserved for those individuals who have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to improving the quality of life for their friends, neighbors and business associates. This year’s award was presented to Bob May.

 

The Annual Achievement Award is reserved for an individual or group of people who have shown exceptional service by recruiting and coordinating volunteers, while significantly contributing to the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce and/or the Rolla community over the past year. This year’s award is presented to the Rolla Downtown Business Association (RDBA) for their efforts in developing a new event, Downtown Dishes and Drinks, and growing a long-standing Halloween tradition into Boo-Palooza.

 

The Spirit of Rolla Award is presented to a woman in the community in recognition for significant achievement and/or lifetime contribution to the spirit of giving that is so indicative of Rolla and the surrounding community. This year’s award was presented to Susan Hinkle.

 

The Small Business of the Year award is reserved for a business in the Rolla area that has excelled in one or more of these categories: Business Growth, Business Management & Human Capital, Community Involvement, Intangible Considerations, and Marketing. This year’s award was presented to Trips and More Travel Agency who has been in business for 47 years in the Rolla community.

 

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Award is presented to individuals who have led their company toward significant entrepreneurial success in its industry, with excellent prospects for continued growth; consistently given their time, energy and expertise to assist in the development of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial ventures; spearheaded the exceptional growth and performance of their company; achieved significant entrepreneurial success in any industry or business category through creativity, innovation, risk taking and the relentless pursuit of opportunity; innovatively used new business practices, processes or technologies to lead his or her enterprise to higher levels of performance and success. This year’s award was presented to Cory & Susan Lawrence, owners of O’Doggy’s.

 

The Tourism Champion Award is reserved for an individual or business that embodies the spirit of tourism in Rolla. This individual or business has made a substantial contribution to Rolla’s tourism industry by supporting Rolla events and/or attractions, partnering with the Chamber on tourism related projects, or any other effort designed to bring visitors into the Rolla community. This year’s recipient was the Honoring Our Heroes Marathon Committee for their efforts in coordinating and growing the annual marathon.

 

 

The Volunteer of the Year Award is reserved for an outstanding volunteer in the Chamber membership who has gone above and beyond expectations of all volunteers. This award is not presented annually but presented when the opportunity occurs. This year’s recipient was Don Brackhahn.

The Rolla community is made up of individuals who give the best of themselves to better the Rolla community, to enhance the business climate, and to create a future for our children.

It is humbling to see so many individuals in one area that would do whatever it takes to make today a better day for others; who would work tirelessly to better the community for the future generation.

On behalf of the Rolla Chamber, we thank all of you for what you do.


The Benefits of Guest Blogging

by Taisia Gordon, Events & Communications Coordinator

Developing content and publishing it on a blog that isn’t your own, otherwise know as guest blogging, can be a powerful tool for business owners.  Not only does it give you the opportunity to share your expertise and spread your brand’s message but it offers a lot of other benefits to both the reader and the writer.  In fact, here’s a list of reasons why you may want to consider guest blogging.

  1. Exposure to a greater audience.  Writing content for your own blog is a good way to stay in touch with people who have already shown an interest in what you have to say.  Guest blogging provides you with the opportunity to engage with a different audience and potentially grow your reach.
  2. Increased Google ranking and website traffic. Every time your name and business appear on a different website or blog, Google moves your own website up the search order rank.  Google interprets your page of greater interest because it is linked to from other pages.
  3. Larger personal network. Being active in the business community increases your visibility and contacts.  Even if you’re not able to attend events in person, a blog is a great way to connect and start a conversation.  As your “voice” is heard through blogs and as your share valuable information with readers, you build trust and connection with your audience.
  4. Increase your social media shares and following. Content that is informative and entertaining is shared throughout social media which can boost follower count and lead generation.
  5. Increase your brand authority. As a guest blogger, you have the opportunity to become a credible source of information and an authority in your niche.  Your audience will realize you are an expert in your field and you build trust with your potential clients.

In summary, guest blogging is a valuable marketing strategy with many benefits.  If you’re interested in giving it a try, reach out to the companies you’d like to guest blog for with several solid guest post topics and deliver valuable information.  Once you jump in, you’ll reap the powerful benefits.

 


Get Involved in 2019

by Taisia Gordon, Event & Communications Coordinator

The Rolla Chamber of Commerce offers a wide range of events and networking opportunities each year.  We want to offer you, our members, every chance to connect with others and grow your business.

In 2019 we will continue with all of our popular events like the monthly business luncheons, First Friday Coffees, Casino Night and Bulldog Pride Night.  We are also adding some new events that we believe will enhance your visibility and provide a different avenue for involvement such as Tuesday Mornings Live and an Online Business Expo.

We encourage members to look ahead at all the Rolla Chamber events as you plan your networking and marketing strategies for 2019.  There are numerous ways to participate including attending, sponsoring, or volunteering for events.  The monthly business luncheon, First Friday Coffee and Tuesday Mornings Live offer you 36 opportunities alone this year to participate!!  In addition to ribbon cuttings, seminars and committee meetings there are also unique events throughout the year.  For a full calendar of events visit www.rollachamber.org.  We look forward to seeing you in 2019!!

Monthly Networking Events

First Friday Coffee:  The first Friday of each month

Business Luncheon:  The third Wednesday of each month

Tuesday Mornings Live:  The fourth Tuesday of each month

 

Yearly Events & Activities

January

99th Annual Awards Banquet

Saturday, January  19

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

 

February

Chamber 101

February 12

 

March

St. Pat’s 5k/Beer Run

March 16, 2019

8:00 a.m. 5k

9:30 a.m. Beer Run

 

May

Memorial Day Service

Monday, May 27

10:00 a.m.

 

Small Business Week

May 5-11th

 

AUSA Barbecue

May 30th

 

June

Mini Golf Tournament

Monday, June 10th

5:00 p.m.

 

July

Great Gatsby Casino Night

Saturday, July 27th

6:00 p.m.

 

August

Bulldog Pride Night

Friday, August 30th

5:30 p.m.

 

September

31st Annual Golf Tournament

Monday, September 9th

 

October

Business Bound Progressive Dinner

Thursday, October 24th

5:30 p.m.

 

November

Rolla Unwrapped

Saturday, November 9th

 

Small Business Saturday

Saturday, November 30th

 

December

49th Annual Rolla Christmas Parade

Saturday, December 7th

 

 


Ugh… Are People Still Using Facebook?

By Angie Tutterrow, By Design Media

Facebook is still a powerful marketing tool. If you compare it to every other social platform out there, Facebook is still the biggest. It now has over 2 billion monthly active users and over 1 billion daily active users. And they grew to this size within the span of 13 years. Here are a few tips to help you use Facebook as a tool in your marketing belt.

Be Relatable – Have you ever seen a post on Facebook and immediately thought, “YES! I know EXACTLY what he/she is talking about!”. This is what I mean by being relatable. Any time you can combine humor with an idea or experience that people can relate to, you have a winning combination. You don’t have to be a comic-genius to share or create humorous content! Jokes are an effective way of humanizing your brand persona and eliciting an emotional response from your audience. Just remember to keep things tasteful and avoid controversy.

Build STRONG Relationships NOW for Viral Growth Later – It’s a simple fact. Your engagement rates, and likelihood of showing up in News Feeds, will increase if you take the time to be present on your page and consistently communicate with your EXISTING community (the people who have already “Liked” your page). Facebook magic happens when your friends and fans share your content with their friends and fans and so on and so on. Do that enough and you end up with a viral post.

Draw on Emotions – Associating your brand or product with a strong emotion such as love or loyalty is a great way to bump up the virality-factor. You can do this through a photo, video or even just a plain old text post; the main ingredient is simply that people feel something when they see your post. Tell Stories – People remember stories! The reason why stories work is because it’s personal and your fans will probably have a similar story or situation that they’re going through. This allows you to connect on a personal level. Make sure to share stories about your life and business on Facebook.

So you know the importance of your content, but which type will work best for your brand? Let’s take a look at the various types of organic Facebook content and how you can best use each one:

  • Status: The simplest form of communication can sometimes be the most powerful. With new features like larger text for shorter messages and the option to put your text on a colored background, you can get your essential message out in a more vibrant and eye-catching way.
  • Images: Posts with images drive 2.3 times more engagement, so being visual helps. But don’t rely on images to do all the work–put effort into high-quality photos and awe your audience. If your product is considered “boring,” use beautiful images to highlight your brand’s creative side. Inspire users with virtual reality features or 360-degree content.
  • Videos: Video is in high demand, however, only 15% of Facebook videos are watched with sound. Video should be accessible, easy to digest and always have captions. Create videos that catch a user’s attention and provides something worthwhile.
  • Facebook Live: Live content drives three times more engagement on Facebook. With in-the-moment content growing in popularity, see how your brand can give sneak peeks into industry or office events, product launches and other behind the scenes content. Go Live, wow your audience and engage.


Why Should I Host or Attend a Ribbon Cutting?

Why Should I Host or Attend a Ribbon Cutting?

by Robin Southern, Membership Director

As a new member or existing member of the Chamber of Commerce you might ask, “Why would I want to host or attend a ribbon cutting”?

Traditionally the cutting of a ribbon symbolizes a fresh start, as a new business or new member to the Chamber of Commerce; this is a wonderful way to present yourself and your business to the community.  However, ribbon cuttings are not just for new members, existing members can host a ribbon cutting to celebrate a new location, additional location, a new service, a significant milestone/anniversary or the launch of a new product.

The Chamber will invite the membership at large as well as the local media, board and ambassadors. The Chamber encourages you to use this opportunity to launch your own PR campaign.  Invite your customers, business partners, financiers, contractors, employees, friends and family to be with you to celebrate this momentous occasion.  Offering refreshments or having a mascot at your event is another great way to enhance your event and encourage attendance.

Because a ribbon cutting marks a very significant moment in your business’ history, it makes for a great photo opportunity.  The Chamber brings the photographer, ribbon and scissors, a photo of your ribbon cutting will be placed in the local newspapers, on the Chamber website and all of the Chamber’s social media outlets.   You will be given an opportunity to speak to those in attendance about your business and services prior to cutting the ribbon. 

Attending is another great opportunity provided by Ribbon Cuttings.  Come and say “congratulations” to the business owner, it means a lot to them and provides you with a networking opportunity.  Business is still done face to face, the host business might very well benefit from the services you offer, bring your business cards and make a new business connection.  In addition, you will be among the first to experience the newest attractions and additions to the community.

A Ribbon Cutting is a “feel good” event.  It is a celebration of a person realizing their dream, investing in our community and chances are they are hiring our friends and neighbors.  It feels good to be there at the start of a journey!

To find a list of upcoming ribbon cuttings visit the Rolla Chamber of Commerce event calendar, www.rollachamber.org/events/calendar


Businesses Beware – Scammers are Everywhere

Businesses Beware – Scammers are Everywhere

by Stevie Kearse, RACC Executive Director

Each day, business owners are working hard for the money.  You focus on your products, customer service, ways to gain more customers and so much more.  While you are focusing on growing your business, someone is out there focusing on taking your money!  It is sad but true. 

So far this year, the Rolla Chamber has been contacted by about 9 different companies that were scamming local businesses.  When we learn of these potential scammers, we do everything we can to protect the business community.

  • We contact the company directly to get the information.
  • We also set them straight when they start lying about working with the school, a Chamber, or whoever else they say they are benefiting.
  • We investigate the business on the Better Business Bureau website. Most of them do not have a good ranking.  They also typically have a lot of complaints filed.
  • We even Google the businesses to see what we can find on the internet about them.
  • We send an alert out to the business community letting them know what we have found out and who to beware of.

For us to help you know of potential scams we need for you to let us know when you have been contacted by these businesses.  Get as much contact information as you can and then call our office immediately.  We will take it from there and warn the rest of the business community.

Here is a link to an article from the Better Business Bureau, giving a few tips on how to avoid scams.  Take a moment to read and remember to do your research before you give someone your money.   Whenever you are in doubt, please contact the Chamber office. 

https://www.bbb.org/avoidscams/


Rolla Area Real Estate Report 2018

by Dilek Acar, Acar Real Estate Inc.

The 2018 real estate market was a successful season for many sellers and buyers.  I have always told my clients that the best time for listing and selling your home in the Rolla area is February through July.  The key to selling your home as quickly as possible in today’s market is to price it correctly, according to current market conditions in the area.  This would be a good time to contact your local real estate agent and ask for a Comparative Market Analysis. There are also several strategies that sellers can use to make their home more attractive to potential buyers.  Maintaining and enhancing your home’s exterior, decluttering, and a thorough cleaning can help make a good first impression.  In addition, I would also advise having a home inspection performed prior to listing your home on the market to help avoid any unseen complications that could slow or hinder a future sale.  These tips can lead to shorter days on the market and a greater chance of a successful closing. 

  • Average days on Market: between 2013 and 2018 the number of avg. days on market has decreased roughly 60% from an average of nearly 160 days in 2013 to 65 days in 2018 depending on the price range of your home.  
  • Residential Properties Sold: there has been a slow and steady increase in residential homes sales and sales price between 2013 and 2017, peaking to 349 homes in 2017.  
  • New Listings: In 2017, there were 507 new listings in the Rolla area, and year to date in 2018, that number has increased to 579. The number of residential properties sold has increased from 312 in 2015 to 349 in 2017. In 2018 year to date, there has been 289 properties sold in Rolla.  
  • In the last 3 years, there has been an increase of 38.3% in the number of residential properties sold in the state of MO., with an increase in median residential selling price of 12.5%. In comparison, the Rolla area has seen an increase of approximately 11% in the number of residential properties sold and an increase of approximately 8% in median residential selling price from 2015-2017.  
  • All statistics obtained from Maris Matrix system

Dilek Acar is broker/owner at Acar Real Estate, Inc.   She has been a Licensed Real Estate agent since 1998.  “I’ve built my business on the foundation of satisfied clients, a referral is the best compliment that I can receive.  My goal is to provide you with the very best personal, honest, and professional services”.