As a business owner, you know your business like no one else. You understand its peaks and valleys – and the corresponding financial and cash flow needs that accompany them. Though we may not work directly in your field, a business banker is a valuable asset when it comes to understanding the challenges of running a small business.
Your banker’s expertise, no matter what stage of your business you are in, is a beneficial resource that we want you to take advantage of. We care about the same things… the success of your business, and the success of the community in which you live and work.
Here are three easy ways you can leverage your business banker’s expertise:
Find Out What Your Banker Knows
No matter your circumstances, chances are our bankers have experienced similar situations and have gained insight into what has worked well, in addition to opportunities for improvement. For example, let’s say you are looking to expand by adding a new piece of equipment or build a larger facility. Your banker can work with you on review projections, and highlight some areas that you may not have considered. They may ask questions such as:
1) How long will it take to generate the additional revenue to support the cost of the machine or building?
2) Can the current income support the increased cost? Or is there enough cash on hand to support the project until the expected revenue is recognized?
3) Have additional labor and implementation costs been accounted for? Remember, employees will be spending time learning how to use a new machine, and or moving/ relocating equipment…neither of which are revenue-producing expenses. Your banker can help you work through these questions.
Bankers are continuously being provided with business information through several different channels while also being exposed to many different industries. We have the benefit of not only our own personal experiences but the experiences of others in local and extended markets. Bankers have knowledge and expertise in a multitude of industries, from manufacturing to service industries to real estate development. Through these experiences, we can identify common trends throughout these industries that can benefit each individual business. This knowledge allows us to better prepare you for your next steps.
Develop a Relationship
Your interactions with your business banker should not just be simply transactional. When establishing a relationship with your banker, think long-term. Knowing how your business works and your plan for the future allows us to serve you better. Don’t hesitate to share your goals, concerns, and what issues keep you awake at night. The more your banker understands you and your business, the better prepared we are to develop solutions or strategies specific to your needs and adjust along the way.
You should meet with your business banker regularly to account for any market or industry changes that may arise. These meetings also provide the opportunity for discussions on the progress of the solutions and strategies implemented. We can help you anticipate any capital needs that may arise, and perhaps begin the steps to procure additional financing, if needed.
Consider including your banker as part of your professional network. Your banker should have a relationship with your accountant, lawyer, insurance agent, and financial planner where it is related to your business. These connections can be extremely beneficial for long-term strategic planning. For example, financing for an expansion or succession planning can be complicated, and how these transactions are structured can limit options. Your banker can work with your professional team to make sure all bases are covered. Additionally, having these individuals connected can eliminate miscellaneous tasks. For instance, providing annual tax returns or updating insurance can be easy tasks if your banker is authorized to go to the source directly.
Utilize Available Resources
You have a business to run, and your time is valuable. It is your business banker’s job to continue to learn and stay educated on programs and resources available that will best fit your needs. We work with multiple programs such as the Small Business Association (SBA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Wisconsin Business Development (WBD), to offer you the most beneficial financing packages for your business. We will keep you apprised of resources, products and new technology that can potentially save you time and money when it comes to processing your banking transactions. Tools like remote deposit capture, mobile deposit, or merchant card processing can be a lifesaver for businesses. Bankers also work closely with accountants and lawyers to stay informed of upcoming changes in regulations and laws that could impact you, including tax law changes and the ever-changing interest rate environment.
Your banker’s expertise can be of value to you when leveraged. Here at Investors Community Bank, “we walk in your shoes.” It is not just our tagline but our belief system. It is important for us to provide you with the best information, relationships, and resources to meet your banking needs, so you can focus on what is important to you - running your business.
Watch Dick Okray's Story
See how Investors Community Bank walks in the shoes of Okray Family Farms!
Visit InvestorsCommunityBank.com/walkinyourshoes to view more customer success stories!