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Businesses: I'm Talking To You!

Posted by: Chris Caldwell on Monday, January 16, 2012 at 12:00:00 am

New Yearís Resolutions... nope, I donít subscribe to them.  I also donít subscribe to fad diets (although there are times when I should), the latest fashions, or much else that seem to be the latest topics, trends, or crazes.  However, what I do believe is necessary and appropriate is to use the calendar as a good benchmark for various aspects of life.  Spring and Fall time changes are good reminders to change the batteries in the smoke detector.  Anniversaries are a good time to reflect and make a special effort to thank that special person for putting up with me.  Well you get the idea...

And, this is the time of year that I encourage our lending team to get out and talk to our clients and vice-versa.  Businesses traditionally are ramping up for the year and looking forward.  They are thinking about meeting with their CPA.  They are looking at the year ahead and trying to determine what sales goals are for the year.  And it is at this time of the year that bankers should be taking the time to visit with their clients.  Here is a list of conversation topics that your banker needs to be having with you (who initiates the conversation is not as important as having it).

  • How do you (the business owner) think 2011 will end up and why? (Did revenue go up, down or sideways?  What kind of bottom line do you expect and why? )
  • What are your 2012 expectations Ė where do you see this year differing from last and why?
  • Major acquisitions of fixed assets (equipment, real estate) on the horizon?  What will that do for the company (does it make sense to invest hard earned money into something Ė will it make the company more efficient?)
  • Any other potential changes on the horizon (staffing, ownership buy outs, possible acquisition of additional lines of business)?
  • Expectations of what you (the business owner) want from your banker (number of meetings each year, communications channels, etc.)

You should expect your banker to be of assistance, giving you good guidance and advice.  If the banker canít understand your business, it is difficult for him/her to be able to help you.  Meet with your banker, make sure he/she ďget itĒ, and open up those communication channels for both of you to succeed.  The bank doesnít do well unless its clients do well, and businesses donít do well unless their bank is by their side helping them achieve the goals and aspirations of their companies.

Go ahead and start these conversations today!
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