Victory State Bank Points to 5 Ways to Help Young Entrepreneurs Finance Their Business Ideas


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Victory State Bank knows that young entrepreneurs can bring new life and new ideas to the business world. We also know that building a business from the ground up can be challenging for even the most seasoned professionals. With this in mind, the following tips from the U.S. Small Business Administration can help turn your idea into a reality.

1. Deferring student loans: If your student loan repayments are preventing you from starting your own business, the Student Startup Plan (through the White House-led Startup America initiative) enables college graduates, including those looking to start a business, to lower student loan repayments. Its Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan can help you keep your loan payments affordable with a sliding scale to determine how much you can afford to pay on your federal loans. This can give you the freedom you need to take risks with new opportunities.

2. Borrowing startup funds from friends and family: With a lack of strong credit history, it’s sometimes challenging for young entrepreneurs to obtain traditional loans through banks or private lenders. In these cases, it’s not uncommon to reach out to friends and family – those who know and trust you already. This is a definite pro, but the flipside comes if something goes sour with repayment or terms and the potentially compromising situation that may develop for you. 

3. Consider crowdfunding: An increasingly popular method to obtain financing is crowdfunding – a collective cooperation of people who network and pool their money and resources together, usually online, to support efforts initiated by other organizations. Crowdfunding gathers multiple, smaller investments as opposed to a single source of funding.

4. The peer-to-peer potential: Like crowdfunding, peer-to-peer (or P2P) lending allows you to make your business case to others with the hope that someone will make an investment. The biggest difference between the two approaches is that P2P lending typically focuses on one individual lending to another (versus the “crowd” of lenders). P2P sites allow you to determine how much you need to borrow, define the purpose of the loan and post your listing online.

5. Avoid overinvesting: If you’re relying on your cash reserves, credit cards or savings to start a business, try to avoid some of the overinvestment traps that young entrepreneurs fall into – whether it’s a swish office, computer systems or inventory overload. Focus instead on building a good product and a positive customer experience. Starting a business from home or online are cost-effective ways to avoid some of these pitfalls

About Victory State Bank:

 

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com

Media Inquiries:

 

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

www.RelevantPR.com

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


Victory State Bank Points to 10 Ways to Make Your Small Business Social Media Activities Rock

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Social media is one of the most cost-effective tools your small business has at its disposal.  With just a few clicks and key-strokes, you can increase the visibility of your brand every day. Victory State banks wants to help make sure you are generating positive and constructive social media content for your business. The Small Business Administration suggests these tips to get the most from your social media activity.

Pick the Site(s) that Works for You

Social media sites are emerging on an almost weekly basis, and it’s easy to become distracted or lost in the speed of change. So where should you focus your efforts?

Speaking at last year’s National Small Business Week social media panel, Erica Ayotte, social media manager with Constant Contact, recommends businesses start with one channel to test and nurture it. Then try to diversify: “Spend a little time each week exploring new platforms and figure out if they might be for you.” Speaking at the same event, GrowBizMedia’s Rieva Lesonsky recommends that you “find out where your customers can be found, go there first, and then spread out from there… if you run a restaurant, yes, you probably should be on Twitter, but you should really be on Yelp first.”

Share Interesting and Visual Content

This is one area that really does take time. What’s interesting anyway?

Well, let’s start with the basics. If you have any news to share, and by news I mean “newsworthy” (i.e. something that impacts your customers directly) then go ahead and share it – things like holiday opening times, new offices, menu updates, charity events, etc.

Then add another tier – share quality content. Something you do well that will help you stand out in a crowd – blogs, white papers, tips, or quick “how to” videos (host them on YouTube or Hulu).  Then use social media to amplify it. Feel free to share content from others (without breaking copyright) if it is relevant to your fans. Don’t be afraid to ask people what content they want you to share!

Another tier of content should focus on telling the big picture story of your business – showcase employees, community activities, or how customers are using your product or service. This is a great opportunity to be visual and stand-out in busy newsfeeds.

Remember, give it time. It takes time to figure out what works. For example, you might think about using polls and surveys to engage with followers, but if you are still growing your network, you might not get the right results – yet. So, keep trying new things until you find a sweet spot. And don’t forget, just because people may not be interacting with you yet, that doesn’t mean they aren’t listening, so keep the faith!

For more tips read:

Listen

Great content drives engagement and grows social communities, but equally important is the art of listening. Think of social media as a form of conversation – it’s a two-way dialog. If you’re not prepared to listen to what is being said to you, about you, or with you, then you simply aren’t “being social.” In addition to listening to your consumers, carve out time to listen to influencers in your business, to your competitors, and to those who can help you perfect your social media strategy (HubspotMari Smith, and Social Media Today, to name just a few).

Have an Authentic Voice

Again, “be social!” Drop the corporate marketing speak; people like dealing with people. So don’t be afraid to loosen up a little and when responding to problems or complaints; sign off with your first name.

Foster Fan-to-Fan Engagement

Some of the strongest social networking communities are based on supportive relationships and information sharing between fans. If you are posting interesting content, this will follow naturally as fans start to engage with others based on common interests. There are a few things you can do to encourage these relationships, many of them mentioned in this blog - listen to fans, chime in when you think you can add something, respond to comments, open the doors to shared experiences/needs, encourage fans to share photos and experiences and always communicate authentically (drop the corporate hat).

Don’t Overly Automate

While there are some great free tools that can help you automate your posts, don’t overly rely on these to get you through the day – it will show. Instead, set aside some time, 2-3 slots a day to post (note that the evening is a high volume time to post and get noticed), monitor and respond to fans.

Commit to Social Media

If you are truly going to succeed at social media, then you need to take it seriously and commit to it. For many small businesses, this means adopting a new paradigm. Don’t treat social media as an aside to be taken advantage of when you want to get the word out about your latest offer. Commit to a content strategy. Ensure all levels of the organization are on-board and are involved in your social media strategy. Don’t just assign daily responsibility for it to an office junior – this is the face of your business, after all, and it involves dialog with your customers (is a junior up to that?).

Treat Social Media as an Arm of Your Customer Service Operations

Social media is also an essential part of your customer service strategy. If you are on Facebook or Twitter, then you need to be prepared to monitor and respond to questions and complaints. These blogs offer more advice on this topic:

Don’t Forget Your Other Marketing Channels

Social media may be free, but it only works as part of a wider, integrated marketing strategy. It should never replace your website (which is the hub of all your marketing activity and the home of your online content). Email is also still important. You have a captive audience there; your message is delivered to their inboxes and allows for a deeper conversation.

Measure

Don’t forget to measure the impact of your social media efforts. Use third party apps or Facebook’s Insights tool to monitor click-through rates. Compare these across posts to see if there’s a trend as to the type of content that’s popular. Measure engagement by tracking how many likes and shares your posts get (measured by Facebook as “reach”). Use this data to inform and adjust your content strategy.


About Victory State Bank:

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com


Media Inquiries:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

www.RelevantPR.com

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Victory State Bank Points to Ways to Avoid Fraud; Part 1 of a 2-part series: What to Do to Avoid a Scam



STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Victory State Bank knows your money is important to you and we would like to offer advice to help keep it safe. Scam artists can be very convincing, and very good at what they do. The Federal Trade Commission suggests the following steps you can do to stop a scam: 

What to Do

Know who you’re dealing with. Try to find a seller’s physical address (not a P.O. Box) and phone number. With internet phone services and other web-based technologies, it’s tough to tell where someone is calling from. Do an online search for the company name and website, and look for reviews. If people report negative experiences, you’ll have to decide if the offer is worth the risk. After all, a deal is good only if you get a product that actually works as promised.

Know that wiring money is like sending cash. Con artists often insist that people wire money, especially overseas, because it’s nearly impossible to reverse the transaction or trace the money. Don’t wire money to strangers, to sellers who insist on wire transfers for payment, or to anyone who claims to be a relative or friend in an emergency and wants to keep the request a secret.

Read your monthly statements. Scammers steal account information and then run up charges or commit crimes in your name. Dishonest merchants bill you for monthly “membership fees” and other goods or services without your authorization. If you see charges you don’t recognize or didn’t okay, contact your bank, card issuer, or other creditor immediately.

After a disaster, give only to established charities. In the aftermath of a disaster, give to an established charity, rather than one that has sprung up overnight. Pop-up charities probably don’t have the infrastructure to get help to the affected areas or people, and they could be collecting the money to finance illegal activity.

Talk to your doctor before you buy health products or treatments. Ask about research that supports a product’s claims — and possible risks or side effects. In addition, buy prescription drugs only from licensed U.S. pharmacies. Otherwise, you could end up with products that are fake, expired, or mislabeled — in short, products that could be dangerous to your health.


About Victory State Bank:

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com


Media Inquiries:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

www.RelevantPR.com

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Victory State Bank Offers Advice on Keeping Children Secure Online


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Your computer most-likely houses a significant amount of your private information; from credit information to family vacation photos, there are many things we do not want leaked onto the internet. Additionally, many of us share our home computers with our children, who are more vulnerable to many online dangers. Victory State Bank, along with the Federal Trade Commission, has compiled a list of important talking points for you and your children.

Computer Security: Alert your children to the dangers of sharing any information over the internet. This can include passwords, photos, and information regarding their home or school address. Teach children to avoid downloading things onto your computer without checking the source, many “free” downloads include damaging malware.

Phishing: Phishing is when scam artists use text-messages, emails, or instant messages to trick people into sharing personal information. Children are especially susceptible to phishers. Teach your children to never reply to unknown messages and that it is never acceptable to send personal information via these platforms.

P2P Sharing: Peer to Peer sharing is quite common. Both adults and children share music, movies, and games through informal networks connected by the same software. There are many risks associated with this behavior; accidently allowing people access to your personal files, acquiring illegal or copyrighted material, and downloading files that include an assortment of dangerous software.

Apps: Many social media platforms allow and encourage the downloading of apps. These applications can be games, quizzes or a myriad of other enticing activities. There is a catch however; many of these apps require full access to your social media information and the rights to share this information with whomever they please. This may also be true of apps downloaded onto mobile devices.

There are ways in which you can help to keep your computer safe for everyone: monitor your children’s social media activity as well as general activity on your home computer, keep your computer’s security software up to date, and speak often to your family about security concerns.  


About Victory State Bank:

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com

Media Inquiries:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

www.RelevantPR.com

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


Victory State Bank Warns of Lottery Scams



STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – With all the recent news coverage of huge lottery windfalls, the folks at Victory State Bank understand how exciting it can be to receive news that you are a winner.

The lure of a winning a large amount of money is powerful, and this is why Victory State Bank wants consumers and business owner to beware of scams involving lottery or sweepstakes prizes.

If you’re contacted by someone claiming to be a government official asking you to pay money to collect your “winnings,” remember the following advice from the Federal Trade Commission:

  • Don’t pay for a prize. Legitimate sweepstakes don’t require you to pay insurance, taxes, or shipping charges to collect your prize. And companies, including Lloyd’s of London, don’t insure delivery of sweepstakes winnings.
  • Did you enter a sweepstakes or lottery? You can't win a prize in a sweepstakes you didn't enter. And keep in mind, it's illegal to play a foreign lottery.
  • Con artists use official-sounding names to make you trust them. It’s illegal for any promoter to lie about an affiliation with — or an endorsement by — a government agency or any other well-known organization. No matter how convincing their story — or their stationary — they're lying. No legitimate government official will ask you to send money to collect a prize.
  • Don’t wire money. Scammers often pressure people into wiring money. That's because wiring money is like sending cash: once it’s gone, you can’t trace it or get it back. Never deposit a “winnings” check and wire money back. 

The check will turn out to be a fake and you will owe the bank any money you withdrew. Resist any requests to tell your account information, or to send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier.

Con artists recommend these services so they can get your money before you realize you’ve been cheated.

  • Put your number on the National Do Not Call Registry. If you want to reduce the number of legitimate telemarketing calls you get, register your phone number at donotcall.gov. Generally, scammers don't respect the Registry — or pay to scrub their lists against it.


About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com

 

Media Inquiries:

 

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

www.RelevantPR.com

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.