Establishing a long & happy relationship with your Bank

Get to know your banking contacts

View your banking contacts as friends. Invest some time in getting to know them as people. Show them around your business, invite them to the occasional meeting and introduce them to the senior team. Look to build a relationship and rapport. Friends help each other.

Share your vision and plans

Let the bank understand your vision for your business. What will it be like in the future? Then share your business plan to achieve this and inspire confidence as a consequence.

Measure your business and communicate well

Produce accurate and timely information covering not only management accounts, but also forecasts, cash flows and key operational measures. Track and summarise important information as trends comparing actuals against plans. Ensure that you really understand your own business and let the Bank know. Provide comment and explanation. Take the lead in discussing issues and implications in demonstrating that areas being measured are also being managed.

Focus on working capital and cash management

All banks see these areas as being critical to success, if not survival. Make it obvious you do too.

Be aware of your banking terms and covenants

Regularly review and understand your position against them, as indeed the bank will be doing for its own comfort.

No shocking surprises

Be open and honest and don’t wait until you are in difficulties to share bad news. Problems that are anticipated or shared early are more easily resolved. Relationships will grow stronger too, as a consequence of openness and honesty.

Negotiate rather than demand

As you do with friends, negotiate towards agreements rather than make demands. The best outcomes meet the needs of both parties.

Invest time and effort

When life is easy, relationships are easy. Business life is not easy at the moment. Sometimes you need to work at relationships and invest time and effort in them; your relationship with your bank is one of your most important business relationships. If you want your bank to be your friend simply try to treat them accordingly.

If you feel you need to improve your business banking relationship in any of these areas we can help at Trade & Export Finance Ltd. Please contact Philip Hyde on 07768 496332 or 0121 794 0280 or email philip@taefl.co.uk.

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