Many business owners think of their bank simply as a place to hold their money. Others associate the bank as a conduit to a line of credit or a business loan.
However, your bank – and specifically a knowledgeable commercial lender – can be a far more valuable partner than you may realize. Here are five reasons why a commercial lender can make a difference in the success of your business.
Borrowing money is not always easy
If you didn’t already know, banking is a heavily regulated industry. As a result, if you’ve never borrowed money for your business before, the amount of required documentation can be extensive.
A commercial lender will walk you through the process and, from this point forward, become a trusted resource and in many respects an extension of your team.
If you’d like a head start going into that first meeting, here’s a quick list of some of the documentation you might need:
- Articles of organization
- Tax ID number for borrowing entity
- Operating agreement and/or corporate by-laws
- Social security numbers and copies of identification for beneficial owners/members/shareholders
- Two years-worth of tax returns (business and personal)
- Personal financial statement for guarantors
Having a good commercial lender and banking relationship provides significant value to your business outside of access to capital. They can help you manage your cash flow better, automate key business functions, protect against fraud, and help connect you more with the business community.
Not only that, but experienced lenders can provide solutions tailored to your business, assist in financial reviews, and partner with other experts to ensure you have a well-rounded team in your corner to help your business succeed.
Stay proactive, not reactive
A quality commercial lender works with their clients to look behind the curtain and manage fluctuations in cashflow before there is a problem.
A good banking partner will help set their clients up for success - everything from examining accounts to finding solutions for quicker customer payments. A lender can even help implement financial tools like lines of credit to manage seasonal or other irregularities in cashflow.
Heading off issues before they escalate ensures you as the business owner can focus on the day-to-day operations of your business and spend less time putting out fires. Too often, small businesses wait until they are in a cash crunch to apply for a loan. The right lender can help a business owner assess and address business needs proactively and better prepare for the future.
Teamwork makes the dream work
In addition to identifying future credit needs, your commercial lender may also introduce business owners to the Treasury Services team at the bank. Treasury management services are designed to monitor and manage a company’s cashflow, streamline its accounts payable and receivable, and manage risk.
As a business continues to grow, fraud and risk management become increasingly important. Obtaining professional treasury management services is a great tool to protect against fraud risk, reduce the burden on your internal financial team, lower costs, and help maximize efficiency.
The value of a warm handoff
The last benefit of a strong commercial lender, and perhaps most underrated, is their vast network of community contacts.
These contacts can include other business professionals, community leaders, and potential referral sources for your business. Community bankers, like those at OMB, work with a number of organizations and people, providing firsthand experience and ample insights into a variety of industries.
Your lender will be able to provide you with professional recommendations such as attorneys, accountants, HR consultants, marketing agencies, and so much more. Having someone to make that warm introduction for you can be a tremendous benefit and increases the likelihood of a successful partnership.
OMB is proud to offer an extensive range of business solution offerings including term business loans, working capital and equipment loans, SBA loans, and commercial real estate loans. When you’re ready to take your business to the next level, you can contact me using this form or by calling me at (417) 553-9104.
OMB and its affiliates do not provide legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decision.
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