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Business banking: Your banker as adviser

Small Business BasicsDon't just look for a bank, look for a banker. For the owner of a small business, getting close to the people who run your bank means getting closer to the money, in forms of loans, lines of credit and possibly a reduction in some fees. A good banker also can provide valuable community networking opportunities.

Developing a friendship with your banker takes time and trust. To create a lasting alliance, you need to be open and stay in contact.

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Some relationship-building exercises might include:

  • Inviting the banker to visit your company
  • Establishing a good track record before you ask for favors
  • Reporting negative developments if they're significant
  • Letting the bank know about important events and progress

While it's important to let your banker know when unforeseen events are battering the business, don't call until you know what went wrong and how to fix it.

And don't tell them if your dog runs away or your kid flunked elementary school. Bankers can make good advisers, but not necessarily good confessors.

 

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