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How Do I Find a Banker and Build a Relationship?

by Debi Enders

When selecting a bank, find out whether the bank has a small-business banker. A small-business banker will truly understand the needs of a small business versus a business banker that deals mainly in large corporations. A small-business banker will ask the right questions about your needs, goals, and plans and work to develop a customized solution specifically for the small business.

Before meeting with your banker, compile your personal and business financial data. For a startup business, your banker will likely want to see:
-Income and expense projections
-Personal financial records
-Savings and other sources of income you can rely on until your business takes off

-Your business plan. Be sure to “paint a detailed picture” of your plan to show that you know who your competition is, who your targeted audience is, and what your growth plan is for the next few years.

Why is all of this important? Because honesty about your situation and goals will facilitate a good exchange with your banker. If you share freely, both you and your banker will be building the foundation of a relationship that will best fit your needs, personally and professionally, now and in the future.

Debi Enders (debi.enders@commercebank.com) is assistant vice president, small business banking at Commerce Bank. 
Submitted 10 years 111 days ago
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