Keys to a successful business relationship

5 keys to a successful banking relationship.

You know choosing the right bank is important. Even more important is the relationship you have with that bank and your banker. You rely on them to provide sound advice and help identify financial opportunities. They fill a critical role for your business, so it makes sense they should be someone you trust and who understands you and your operation. The right bank should be your ally, advocate and adviser. It can take time to find the right fit, but it’s worth it. Here are five things to consider when evaluating a new bank:

1. Honestly assess your needs.

Consider your personal needs and those of your business now and into the future. Where do you want to be five years from now? What are your long-term goals? The right banker will listen to understand where you’re hoping to be down the road. They should help you assess your growth potential and work to support business and personal financial growth now and in the future.

2. Look for technology for the long-term.

Thoroughly evaluate a potential bank’s technological capabilities. Many banks may offer the latest innovations but don't ask the right questions to see if these innovations are right for you. Ask your bank if they have the technology you need for your business today, but also ask if they have the technology you’ll need as you grow. The technology they recommend should help you manage your business better. If you're a smaller operation, you may only need something like online banking to track transactions and move money back and forth between your business and personal accounts. As your needs become more complex, you may need your bank to support global payments, advanced fraud security and more.

3. Know your expectations and share them.

Once you’ve identified several banks that meet your criteria for current and long-term needs, arrange for a banker from each organization to meet you and your team at your place of business. A frank discussion of your situation and goals will help facilitate understanding between your team and prospective bankers. With more information, those involved will better understand each organization’s goals, expectations and capabilities.

4. Determine your potential banker’s passion for their business…and yours.

Look for a banker who is passionate about your business. They will make a superior financial partner because they care about your success, and they understand the unique nuances of your operation. They will be willing to go the extra mile to find banking resources and services that best fit your needs, personally and professionally, now and in the future.

5. As a business owner — look for experience.

Banks often offer specialty areas, and you’ll want to look for one with knowledge of your industry. The more a banker knows about your industry, the more they can tailor strategies and solutions to meet your unique situation. Your banker should be able to help you anticipate challenges, whether it’s government regulation or cash flow, and make helpful suggestions. It also saves you time explaining your business to them. One of the best ways to identify a banker who understands your industry is to ask other business owners with similar size operations for a reference.

Enjoy the Payoff!

The right bank provides more than money. It provides a true financial ally who cares about your business and your personal success. A good banking relationship supplies support, service, and structure — everything you need to succeed with financial matters.

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