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Leverage Your Bank for Success

If you’re a business owner, you already know that the relationships you create across business lines will play a vital role in your success.  You also know that sound financial management is a key cog in the wheel that keeps your business turning. This is why building and fostering a healthy relationship with your local bank is such a crucial piece of business ownership. Here are a few ways that you can leverage your community bank to set your business up for success.

1. Fund your business with working capital

Acquiring new capital is necessary to the development and growth of your business, and more than likely you’ll need a business loan to make that happen. Banks are often a business’ primary investor and one of the first places new business owners go, even before their business is operational. A good bank will assign new business owners a Relationship Manager – someone who will serve as your main point of contact throughout the duration of the lending process and beyond. It is common for your Relationship Manager to be a Commercial Lender. They will manage your relationship with the bank by providing you with expert advice on all of your business banking needs.

Building trust with your Relationship Manager means that whenever you need to purchase real estate, renovate, refinance, consolidate debt, or invest in any type of growth opportunity, your contact is only a phone call, email or text away. If you don’t have the time for a call or visit and prefer to initiate the process online, you can access C&N’s Business Financing Center, answer a few questions and you’re guaranteed a response within one business day. Online request options can be a great way to open dialogue between you and a lender.

2. Increase Cash Flow

Once open for business, you’ll need to manage your finances to ensure that your business operates smoothly. Your Relationship Manager should ask you questions and get to know your business to set you up with only the products and services that you need to increase cash flow. By setting up a regular meeting with your banker to review your cash flow, payables, balance sheets and other important financial aspects, you can receive tailored recommendations to help you manage and grow your business.

Banking technology has come a long way in recent years and can simplify managing your business finances. Working closely with a bank’s Treasury Management department can give you a leg up on your competition. By understanding all aspects of your business, such as the industry, your transaction volume, or the importance of fraud protection, a good Relationship Manager will collaborate with the Business Services team to recommend the products and services that are right for your business - not sell you things that you don’t need. And, as new products and services roll out, they will let you know if you could benefit from them.

3. Protect your business from fraud

It can be very frightening to think about handling your business’ money management through the internet. You’ll want to ask your Relationship Manager about the services they offer for fraud prevention and protection. If they offer merchant services technology, you will want to make sure they are kept up to date with EMV, or chip reader, technology because that will protect the merchant in the case of fraud. You can never be too careful and a good bank will always be evolving its methods of fraud prevention and protection.

4. A lasting business partnership

You’ve heard it several times before: “It’s the little things in life that matter.” The same can be said for maintaining a good relationship with your bank. Developing a strong bond between your bank and your business will ultimately pay itself off in many different ways. Your Relationship Manager may give back by taking you out to lunch to discuss how things are going or invite you along to a local sporting event. They may share articles or other items they come across that would keep you informed of news and developments in your industry. A good relationship with your bank should include intangibles that can’t be found on a spreadsheet and don’t come with a price tag. Plus, it’s a great way to get a fresh perspective on your business and have someone to count on when needed. 

One of the most important relationships you can build as a business owner is with your local financial institution. When a local bank partners with your business, it is investing in its community. You should look at deep ties and strong heritage when deciding where to go for your banking needs. A bank that prides itself in giving back to its community is more likely to take pride in partnering with your small business.