Quick. What’s your banker’s name? When was the last time you had a sit down with him or her to discuss your business. The Retail Owner’s Institute (ROI) recommends 17 ways to improve your relationship with your banker. Among the suggestions:
Shop around for a banker you can trust to negotiate for you, one who will develop a genuine interest in your business and with whom you’ll have good rapport. The bank nearest your business is not necessarily your best choice. Check with other retailers, professional advisers and associates who may know loan officers adept at working with retailers.
Know you banker. He/she will represent you to the loan committee, so you should know each other well. Develop a solid working relationship. Don’t play one banker against another, looking for the best deal. Find the right banker for you and stick with him/her.
Realize that bankers can be creative. Sometimes they will make loans on a personal guarantee with a 48-hour turnaround without dragging your business through the commercial loan department.
Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed if you need assistance. Remember that you and your banker are businesspeople on equal ground.
ROI also reminds that bankers are, in fact, retail businesses, too. They’re out to make a profit, just like you are. Find the rest of ROI’s suggestions here.