American Bank & Trust has been in business banking for a long time. So, we’ve seen a lot of startups, entrepreneurs and generational businesses. There’s nothing simple about work life balance. But, American Bank & Trust has a few tips on how to make that balance just a little bit easier.

Making Family a Priority

One of the great misconceptions about small business owners is that everything else in life must take a back seat. This is just not the case. Most successful business owners will tell you that family must come first.

American Bank & Trust customer Emily Zarecky-Steber and her husband operate Drifters Bar & Grill in Fort Pierre.  Her husband is the head chef and the couple had a baby girl this past October.

“I’m fortunate enough to have a lot of my family in town. I was born and raised here and my husband’s family moved here prior to us having a child. We take time each Sunday to plan our week between work, events, daycare and the Grandparent’s to make sure we have a good handle on what our week looks like,” says Emily.

“Having a baby definitely makes your priorities shift a bit but I’ve just become much more focused. When I’m at work, it’s time to get things done. When I’m at home, I make sure that it’s quality time well spent with my daughter.”

This doesn’t mean there aren’t long hours or other obligations. But dedicated business owners demonstrate that they show up. Making time for family commitments, holidays and kids activities is important. It shows commitment to your loved ones and it sends a message that you will show up and be supportive.

Even more, making family time a priority helps business owners de-stress and better organize the work part of their day.


Understand Relationships

It goes without saying that relationships are key to any business. Relationships with customers are important. Relationships with your vendors or suppliers are important. And relationships with employees and coworkers are certainly important.

When we talk about relationships, we’re not just talking about being a likable person. We’re talking about finding ways to add value to other people’s lives. When you do that, you build loyalty. That person who you helped out in a pinch is more likely to be there for you when you need it.

“My commercial loan officer, Kim Easland, has been an incredibly valuable resource for me from the start,” says Emily. “She has walked me through studying and adjusting proformas, assisted in creating projections and goals, and helping problem solve day-to-day financial struggles. She is readily available every time I have a question and eager to help in any way she can.”

People living in Pierre have many banking options. Kim says, “The thing that makes AB&T stand out among the crowd is that we pride ourselves on commitment to the customer and providing outstanding service. I am accessible to our customers at all times, in any situation and work to find them resources to assist when a need arises.”

Keeping good relationships is a courteous and honest way to do any business. Value every interaction and you will find much more joy on those stressful days.


Be Smart with Your Time

Hard work has always been a point of pride for we Midwesterners. There’s nothing wrong with that. But success requires smart work too.

What is smart work? Eliminating unnecessary distractions from your day. Smartphones are a great tool, but do you really need to distract yourself with that new game? Email is an excellent way to streamline communications, but get in the habit of responding once or twice a day.

Also, make the most of your banking technology. Remote deposit, mobile banking, mobile deposit and ACH manager are great cash management tools to make your work easier. Sometimes people in the early stages of business believe they always have to be hands on.

That sounds good in theory. But time running deposits or doing books can be better spent on tending to other business needs.

“We have learned to ebb and flow with the market, listen to our customers and respond with new and improved ideas and tactics. It’s not a stagnant business, you constantly have to keep things fresh,” adds Emily.

Having a banking partner that understands is important. American Bank & Trust is not just a lender or the place you have your accounts. We’re here to introduce you to services and products that will ultimately help you succeed.

Do you have a business idea or are looking to grow your existing one? Talk to American Bank & Trust about any of our business banking services. We’re excited to share our knowledge of business with you and in turn help grow yours.


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