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How to Work with Your Business Banker

You want your business to grow and be profitable. Your banker wants that too. Think of your commercial banker as an objective ally. An experienced advisor. A strategic partner who wants to guide you in your success. Whether it’s helping you secure funding, manage cash flow, streamline payroll and payments, reach a savings goal or make a real estate decision, your business banker is your go-to person. To get the most out of this partnership, it’s important to know how to work with your banker. Here are 3 tips.

Develop a relationship. When establishing a relationship, think long-term. Invite your banker to your business. Give them a tour. Introduce them to your employees. This is an ongoing relationship. Try to meet regularly, about once a quarter. Give updates on your finances, share your goals and express your concerns. The more your banker understands you and your business, the better equipped they are to develop solutions specific to your needs.

Know your financial information. Your banker serves your best interest. It’s important that you know your financials inside and out so you can discuss realistic strategies for improving them. In addition to providing a balance sheet and profit and loss statement, do you know business performance indicators like debt coverage ratio, A/Rs payable and inventory turnover ratio? Review the information together so your banker has a clear picture of your company’s financials. With this knowledge, your banker can help you point out trends, determine ways to optimize your company’s operations, and plan for future growth.

Communicate pro-actively. It’s one thing to share all the good news happening with your business. But don’t be afraid to share negative news with your banker too — and quickly. They are in a position to help you turn the problem around. A good banker will take your ups and downs in stride, with an eye on steering you toward future growth. 

 

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