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5 tips for building a better relationship with your banker

5 tips for building a better relationship with your banker

Posted on: June 24, 2014
Author: ATB Business & Agriculture

Establishing a good rapport with your banker can make all the difference when it comes to the success of your business. But, just like any relationship, it takes work to build it up and keep it strong.

Here are five simple tips to maximizing your relationship with your banker.

  1. Choose the right bank (and banker).

    Every business needs a supportive and reliable financial institution. When shopping around for the best fit for you, consider not only your current needs, but also what needs may arise in future.

    You may only require a simple business checking account right now, but as you scale your company, you may need more complex banking services. Once you’ve chosen the right institution, make sure that there’s someone working there with whom you feel comfortable dealing with. If possible, ask friends, family or business associates for a referral.
  2. It’s all about communication.

    Frequent and open lines of communication are a necessary component of a strong business banking relationship. Set up a periodic meeting plan with your relationship manager—one that meets both of your objectives—and be sure to keep them in the loop when it comes to positive company news and changes in your financial projections. Every once in a while it’s also worth inviting your relationship manager to stop by and see your business first hand.
  3. Report good news as well as bad news.

    It’s as important to keep your banker informed of any bad news happening within your business as it is to share the good news with them. If you think you might miss payments or require additional capital, talk to them sooner rather than later. If you take control, explain your situation frankly, and discuss your future plans for repayment, you’ll likely receive a much more positive reaction.

    By being forthcoming in sharing any issues you may be facing you allow your relationship manager to become a part of the solution while demonstrating your own problem-solving abilities.
  4. Do your homework.

    A great way to build a relationship with your banker is to demonstrate your competence as a business owner. Provide him or her with regular, properly prepared financial statements and forecasts; this shows that you have a good handle on the overall health of your company. Show that you understand your business by sharing a copy of your business plan with your relationship manager as and when you update it or make changes.
  5. Your relationship works both ways.

    Your relationship with your banker is a mutually beneficial one—you need them and they need you. Let your bank know if they’re not meeting your expectations and give them an opportunity to make it right. It’s important to take a proactive approach and communicate your expectations as a business owner regularly. Your relationship manager should be your biggest advocate and ally, not your adversary.

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