C.H. Brown - September 2022

Take a look at our September newsletter!


307-322-2545 • CHBEF.COM

ARE YOU READY TO SEIZE IT? This Isn’t a Recession — It’s an Opportunity!

Well folks, it finally happened: After months of speculation from economists, business leaders, and reporters, the U.S. officially entered a recession this July. It’s always worrying when the economy stumbles, but in our view, a recession is only a recession if you look at it like one. You can choose to see this downturn in a different way — for example, as an opportunity to grow your business while others falter. Here are five things you can do right now to weather the storm and take advantage of the possibilities it will bring. 1. Learn from the past. Odds are you’ve already made it through at least one recession: The economic crash that COVID-19 kick-started in 2020. Here at CHB, we’ve survived that collapse and several others, including the Great Recession in 2008. If this isn’t your first rodeo, ask yourself, “What did I do in 2020? How did that experience change my way of thinking? What did I learn?” Putting yourself back in that headspace and thinking like a survivor will help you become one. 2. Be nimble. As we said, you need to shift your mindset. Expand your horizons, and reconsider the way you’ve been doing business, while also staying true to the processes and procedures that work. The marketing and sales strategies that succeeded in a good economy may not work in a bad one. How can you think on your feet and make adjustments to match your efforts to this new reality? Don’t go overboard on experiments, but don’t hide in the sand, either.

this economy, so you put away money for a rainy day. So did we! Now is the time to lean on the reserves you allocated for just this type of situation. 4. Secure new resources. While you should rely on your reserves, you don’t have to lean on them entirely. This mental reset is a good opportunity to explore new resources that will allow you to do business in different ways. Are there avenues you haven’t explored because you assumed they wouldn’t be fruitful? Look that way — you might be surprised by what you find. 5. Lean on strong partners. Businesses with extensive connections and reserves will continue to thrive in this recession, and you should both BE one of those businesses and SEEK OUT those businesses. Keep your lines of communication open. You’ve already found one. Here at CHB, we set aside reserves to help us through the tough times. We’ve weathered financial storms for the past 25-plus years, and we’re ready to help you through what’s next.

That said, the news isn’t all doom and gloom. The Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation’s Q3 2022 Industry Snapshot listed slower economic growth and surging inflation — but it also pointed to a strong labor market and thriving manufacturing sector. Investment in software and equipment is trending upward, which is excellent news for our industry. Ultimately, a recession is a paradigm shift. It requires a new way of thinking and doing business — without throwing the old fail-safes out the window. As we learned back in ’08, the open- minded risk-takers will win the day. We hope you won’t overlook this silver lining to the recession cloud. When there is a reset, there is also an opportunity. If you’re prepared to take advantage of that opportunity … well, that’s the definition of luck, isn’t it?

–Kit West & Ed Meyer

If you use these five strategies, you will not only get through this recession, but have the chance to take market share from folks who don’t.

3. Rely on your reserves. You’re no fool: You knew that eventually there would be a storm in




Protect your cords. Smartphone and laptop chargers aren’t cheap by any means. Since we use them so often, the cord that attaches to the device is susceptible to fraying and breaking. If you have some painter’s tape lying around, take a small piece and wrap it around the cord close to the connectors on both sides! The tape acts as a brace and keeps your charger cord sturdy. Organize extra cables and cords. If you’re like most people, you probably have a bag or box of tangled wires and cables somewhere. It can

Technology was created to make our lives easier, and though it simplifies our daily routines, it can be a hassle to maintain — especially if there are cords involved. Keeping the power flowing to multiple devices requires a plethora of cords that can get tangled and annoying. Also, as time goes by, cords may break or simply stop working. Organizing and preserving the quality of your electronics is the best way to extend their longevity, and with these tips, you can save a few headaches along with some money. Tidy up your cords. When you have tons of cords and cables attached to your desk and power strips, they can

become an organizer’s worst nightmare, but there’s a better way. First, find an old shoe box and several empty toilet paper rolls. Then, place the rolls upright in a shoebox, wrap each cord up separately, and place them inside the rolls (one per roll) to keep them separate but together.

become a tangled mess. You end up pulling the wrong cord because they all look the same, and it’s a pain to figure out which is which. A great way to fix this is to use binder clips! You can clip them onto your desk to keep cords separate and in one place. Take it up a notch by using colored/ patterned binder clips. Assigning specific colors to certain cords lets you find the one you need at any moment.

Maintaining our electronics, especially the cords, allows our technology to continue working for us without worry or breaking the bank. Try these hacks and watch how untangled your cords and life can be!

Value-Based Selling Is an Underused Tactic HOW CAN YOU USE IT IN YOUR BUSINESS?

How do you implement this strategy in your business plan? 1. Know your clientele. Understanding your customers’ needs drives better sales results. If you’re familiar with them, you can find what they’re looking for to add value to their lives. While researching, understand their background, industry, demographics, and pain points. If you’re attempting to sell to other businesses, look at their website and social media pages to see their company news and updates. 2. Ask questions. Your prospects and customers want their voices heard, and asking questions is the best way to show them you’re listening. Encouraging them to tell you what they want and need has two benefits. First, it increases your customers’ confidence in your service and reassures them you’re interested in their situation. Second, you’ll discover how your

You may use sales tactics to persuade potential customers to purchase something from your business. But this strategy won’t work for some people. They may question the price of the product and how it benefits them. Instead, try value-based selling to provide greater value to your customers than your competitors. This is an underused sales tactic because many businesses focus on the price instead of the value their product or service offers their customers. What is value-based selling? Value-based selling presents the value your product or service creates for your customers instead of focusing on the price. Placing your customers’ needs before your revenue will generate a long-term and reliable relationship with them.

product or service benefits your clients and why they should purchase from you.

3. Be genuine. Every interaction must be meaningful. Show your prospects that you care about them and don’t want to waste their time. Speak to them as if you’re friends. You don’t want them to feel like they’re talking to a salesperson but a trusted advisor. People buy items based on how it makes them feel. So focus on the benefits you can provide and place yourself in more of an expert role rather than a salesperson. Although value-based selling requires more work, it’s ultimately worth it. Not only will you show how valuable your service is, but you will build lasting relationships with your customers, which will bring more retentions and referrals. So, give this strategy a try and watch your business grow!




Grape, Goat Cheese, and Honey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Inspired by HowSweetEats.com

INGREDIENTS DIRECTIONS • 4 sweet potatoes • 2 cups seedless red grapes • 1 tsp grapeseed oil • 1/4 tsp salt, plus a pinch • 1/4 tsp pepper, plus a pinch • 4 oz goat cheese, divided • 2 tbsp honey, plus additional for drizzling • Pinch of cinnamon • Pinch of nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 2. With a fork, poke holes in potatoes. Tightly wrap each in aluminum foil. 3. On a baking sheet, place potatoes and roast for 45–60 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Remove and unwrap foil. 4. With a knife, slit each potato down the middle. 5. Increase oven to 450 F. 6. On a nonstick baking sheet, drizzle the grapes with grapeseed oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for 20–25 minutes. 7. Using a spoon, remove sweet potato flesh while keeping shape intact. 8. In a large bowl, mash sweet potato flesh with 3 oz goat cheese, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and honey. 9. Scoop filling back into potatoes. Top with remaining goat cheese, grapes, and drizzled honey.

This was an exciting summer for our team. Not only did we accomplish a lot for our clients, but we also added three new hires to the CHB family: Anika Baker, James Meyer, and Liz Dike. Anika is a new face in our Client Services Department, so it’s possible you’ve met her already through your borrowers. Anika came to our team with a fantastic positive attitude. From day one, she was ready to build relationships, and she’s passionate about her work helping borrowers come up with solutions to their financial predicaments. As you know, our Client Services Department is here to help your borrower through the difficulties that come with servicing a loan. We help them avoid repossession and put them on a “get well” plan that will heal their business and lead them toward success. This approach to “working with” instead of “dealing with” the borrowers has paid dividends — we currently have the lowest default rate in CHB history! In addition to expanding our Client Services Department, we’ve also added James and Liz to the team as loan technicians. Both of them have proved to be excellent choices for the position. They have strong communication skills and pay close attention to the tiny details that can make or break a successful loan. Thanks to James, Liz, and their coworkers, our broker associates are highly informed and the loan application process is running smoothly.

Online Access Is Finally Here!

We’re so happy to have Anika, James, and Liz on the team here at CHB. To celebrate their hard work and the efforts of our whole company, our office will be closed on Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 5). We will resume our normal operating hours on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Good news: We are now providing online access for CHB active loan account holders! Your borrowers will love this new tool. With it, they can check their loans online, gain insight into their businesses, and more easily access their end-of-year tax information. Online access will connect the CHB Team to our mutual, borrower clients from anywhere so they always feel supported and secure. When you’d ready to learn more about this new tool, contact CHB’s Client Services Department at ClientServices@chbef.com or 307-322-2545. Our team is available during normal duty hours to provide you more information about this new capability which increases borrower visibility of their account data and monthly payments.




C.H. Brown Co., LLC A PLATTE VALLEY COMPANY 20 W. Frontage Rd. • Wheatland, WY 82201 307-322-2545 • chbef.com


1 5 Ways to Recession-Proof Your Business 2 Don’t Cross Your Cords! 2 3 Strategies for Value-Based Selling 3 Grape, Goat Cheese, and Honey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes 3 Meet Our 3 New Hires 4 Stargaze Like a Wyoming Pro


2. Invest in binoculars. You don’t need a fancy telescope to see the constellations, but a cheap pair of binoculars can do wonders to enhance your stargazing experience. The Guardian recommends a pair of 10x50 binoculars, which are available on Amazon starting at less than $30. 3. Download a helpful app. Yes, technology can be your cheat sheet to the stars! Apps like Stellarium, Sky Map, and Star Walk will help you pinpoint your location, spot constellations and planets, and put names to the stars you see. Stargazing is a wonderful fall activity for the whole family. Even if you can’t make it to Jackson Hole, don’t miss your backyard view.

Wyoming is one of the best places on the planet for stargazing. Light pollution is low, smog is nonexistent, and the crisp mountain air shows off extraordinary stars. In Jackson Hole, the nonprofit Wyoming Stargazing has taken advantage of these conditions since 2013. And it has big dreams, including offering up to 100 public astronomy programs every year and building an observatory and planetarium at the Snow King Mountain Resort. Construction on the project already started in the spring of 2022. If you enjoy stargazing (or just loved the recent space photos shared by the James Webb Space Telescope), you should definitely add a visit to Jackson Hole to your bucket list. Wyoming

Stargazing offers free public stargazing programs for tourists and locals alike. In the meantime, use these three tips to enhance your stargazing at home, wherever your backyard might be. 1. Prepare your eyes. If you walk straight from your brightly lit house into your backyard and look up, you’ll miss out on a lot of stars! That’s because your eyes won’t be “dark adapted.” To prepare yourself for some serious stargazing, turn off the lights in your home and stay away from screens for 30 minutes before you head out. (If you absolutely need light during this time, use a flashlight with a red bulb.) This will let your eyes adjust to the dark and give you a better view of the night sky.



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