How is your relationship with your banker? Do you have a true rapport? Or do you only call your banker when you need something?
Business experts agree it is important to build and maintain a close, long-term relationship with your banker especially if you own your own business or are an entrepreneur. The more comfortable you are sitting across the table from your local banker, the more support you will find when creative solutions are needed to help you meet your financial goals.
When choosing a bank for your business, look for a banker who has decision-making authority. This enables the banker to personally assist you with the loan, and provide a quicker response time for your loan approval. The better your relationship with the decision-makers at the bank, the greater the chances your loan will be approved.
Building a relationship with a banker also gives you a trusted financial expert to turn to for sound business advice. A good relationship banker will believe in you and your business, and become a champion for you in the market. He or she will take a personal interest in your success, and will help you network with other business owners who can help you in various ways.
Community banks are a great place to find a successful banking relationship. Sometimes called relationship or boutique banks, these financial institutions can offer more flexibility and don’t have a bureaucracy to deal with, so they’re able to provide your business sufficient funding.
Choose a bank that values strong one-on-one relationships with its clients, and caters to small businesses and business professionals. A community bank can give you personalized service in a way that large lenders cannot offer. Make sure the bankers are seasoned experts who understand the importance of providing quality, highly personalized service. Look for examples that demonstrate the bank’s ability to think outside the box to offer creative, customized financial solutions.
Beyond providing an excellent one-on-one relationship, your bank should be full-service, offering traditional forms of banking, including CDs, personal and business checking accounts, and money market accounts, as well as a variety of loan products for personal and business use.
Many business professionals also enjoy the fringe benefits of boutique banking, which may include no teller lines and a relaxed office setting; clients can enter the privacy of their banker’s office to handle all their banking needs. Some say they experience more trust and flexibility from spending one-on-one time with a banker who has decisionmaking authority.
Once you have chosen your financial institution; maintain contact with your banker. Keep the relationship healthy by staying in touch and letting your banker know periodically how you’re doing You never know when something you say may make your banker think of a product or service that could help you maximize your productivity and your bottom line.
Cultivating a relationship with your banker is well worth the effort and can be invaluable to your business, so get started today. When the time comes to ask for something special, you’ll find it much easier talking with someone you know.
To learn more about relationship banking, call David Renaker at (843) 842-9444 or visit BankMeridian online at bank-meridian.com.