What to look for in a banking partner

A reliable, trusted banker is vital to the success of any small business.

Your banker is a great resource for helping you grow your business. They can help you solve problems, effectively meet challenges, and provide sound advice.  Generally they bring years of experience working with businesses across many categories, providing them with a wealth of knowledge. It’s important to develop a good relationship, so that you can make the most of what they can offer.

A reliable, trusted banker is vital to the success of any small business. Not only will they provide sound advice and help with planning, but they can also point you in the direction of others in your industry who can help you, and provide you with networking opportunities.  You should expect your banker to be a true business partner; someone who celebrates your success as much as you do. 

The biggest secret? All of the advice, the planning, the recommendations, and access to their knowledge and expertise…it’s at no cost.  Of course there may be costs for products and services that they provide, but the biggest value they can provide is the guidance based on their years of experience.

Gain expert advice

Your banking partner will support your business’s goals for growth and will aim to offer the right advice. They are an extension of your team, and there to help you:

  • Apply for a suitable business loan. They can discuss their options with you and help you find the ideal loan for the type of asset you intend to purchase. Most banks have suitable loans for long and short-term asset purchases.
  • Manage your cash flow. Cash flow is one of the keys to keeping your business running, so being able to manage it well is crucial – and may require some advice from your banking partner.
  • Streamline your accounts. Your business accounts should complement each other to help you manage your finances as easy as possible. Your bank manager can suggest a package of accounts that would suit the type of business you’re operating.

Your banking partner can be your very own personal business consultant – and at no cost.

Set up introductions

Your banker may be able to introduce you to possible new clients, or even potential suppliers. They may be able to help you as a source of networking the very people you’re looking for to help grow your business.

They’ll probably have a number of accounts they manage, so you never know who they might be able to introduce you to that could result in a mutually beneficial relationship.

Bankers can also help refer you to the free guidance and advice available from SCORE, the SBA, your local SBDC, accountants and industry associations.

Use your banking partner as a sounding board

Aim to build a rapport with your banker where you can trust their judgment and use them as a sounding board. Their advice might prove to be useful during:

  • Stages of growth, such as when you plan to open a new store, export overseas, develop new goods or services, or enter new markets. Anytime your business is transitioning into a new phase, consider your banker as an essential source of advice.
  • Signs of trouble, like when debtors aren’t paying, your cash flow is weak, the economy is trending down, and you’re struggling to pay your creditors. When your business is going through tough times, talk to your banking partner about your options.  Remember, what’s in your best interest is also in their best interest.

What’s really important is to be up front and honest with your banker at all times. It’s the best way to make sure they’ll be able to help your business in the short and long term.  Building a relationship based on trust is a two-way street.

Get advice on re-evaluating loans

If you have a bank loan for your business, it’s vital that you discuss it regularly with your relationship manager. Over time, your business will evolve and may need less or more credit. Reassessing your loan with your relationship manager means you can:

  • Restructure to lessen financial problems and gain more cash on hand.
  • Reduce your debt quicker by making voluntary or extra payments.

Look at specific financial solutions

Finding the right financial solution can sometimes be difficult. But with the help of your banking partner and a variety of products, including loans, cash management services, payroll, and savings accounts, you’ll have access to the right solutions for your business as it continues to grow.

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For informational purposes only. There is NO WARRANTY, expressed or implied, for the accuracy of this information or its applicability to your financial situation. Please consult your financial and/or tax advisor.

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