Whether you’re formulating a plan to turn an idea into a money-making venture or already growing a fledgling firm, it’s clear that being an entrepreneur takes skill and so much more. Getting the most from limited resources is a top priority, and having a trusted bank in your corner can help.
A bank can be an integral partner on the road from being a start-up to growing into a full-fledged business. While most banks offer an array of products and services geared to businesses, it’s fair to have some expectations beyond the basics when it comes to finding the right financial partner. Before simply selecting any bank to be your go-to, consider how it can meet these four expectations:
However you choose to use a bank, whether for straightforward money management services like business checking or for accessing loans or lines of credit, it is important to understand fully the terms –and especially the costs – of any agreements. Find a financial partner who clearly outlines all the fees upfront, not just the benefits, of their offerings so you can prepare and plan around them.
A bank should also provide clear answers to any questions you may have about lending decisions and timing, as further business decisions may hinge on both. Of course, not all loans are the same, so a bank should be able to provide and compare options for your business, from commercial to government loans, so you can optimize any available resources.
Starting a business is no easy feat, but being better informed can help entrepreneurs make important decisions to get off the ground. An experienced and dedicated local banker should be able to help entrepreneurs from the outset, such as by reviewing business plans and offering input based on what they know about the industry, the market and working with similar companies.
In addition to educating entrepreneurs about banking products and services, a banker should get educated on your business so that they know which products will make the most sense and integrate seamlessly with operations. Moreover, a banker should be able to offer some advice and options throughout the ups and downs of a business’s cycle, from preparing for growth to preserving good credit during a downturn.
If a banker is fully educated about your start-up, they can serve as a strong advocate for you and your business goals. It is essential to find a banker willing to learn the ins and outs of a business and meet regularly to check in on progress and share in new information. By investing time to build a relationship, you may be able to have some influence when it comes to certain decisions that may not be so cut and dried for your situation.
With the advent of online banking, entrepreneurs have more flexibility than ever in accessing their funds and conducting transactions whenever and wherever they want. While it is important to find a bank that offers robust online capabilities, including money management and financing applications, a personal relationship is a must.
Having a dedicated representative who can respond promptly and anticipate your business’s needs is invaluable. If a bank is truly committed to the success of its clients, then it is fair to expect you can rely on a dedicated contact who will provide the individual and timely attention needed to help you on your entrepreneurial journey.
A Relationship to Help Business Grow
As an entrepreneur, you are entrusting a banking partner with your assets and livelihood. Consider investing some time in establishing a relationship with your bank; through mutual understanding, you can forge a strong partnership that provides your growing business with the clarity, education, advocacy and service it needs to be financially awesome.