Who is your banker and when was the last time you talked to them? Depending on your bank, you might not have a specific person that you work with, even if your transactional needs are being met. If this is the case, you might be missing out on an opportunity to give your business a leg up as you grow.

Developing a personal relationship with your business banker means you have someone checking in to see how things are going and offering support – even when you might not realize you need it. It’s about more than just opening an account, and the right partnership can help pave the path to success.

Start by setting the stage

Just like with any relationship, there’s a “getting to know you” period when you begin working with a new banking partner. If you’re already established and banking somewhere else, providing a few months of statements is helpful so that your banker can analyze statements and see who you’re already using for payroll or merchant processing and where there might be gaps. This review will give your banker a good idea of cash flow and how your business operates.

Christine Cram, AVP Business Banker. Image provided by Machias Savings Bank.

It’s also helpful for your banking partner to understand your history in the industry. Be prepared to discuss how you got your start, your goals for the future, and what areas of the industry interest you the most.

Be clear about what you’re looking for from the bank. Your banker will want to know how they can help you achieve your goals. It can be beneficial to sit down and make a list together, reviewing areas where you need support so that your banker can fill you in on how they might be able to help with each one.

Utilize your banker as a resource for determining your specific banking needs

As a business owner, you’re juggling a lot of responsibilities. Banking can often end up on the back burner until something stops running smoothly, so it’s important to work with a partner you can rely on to figure out your specific banking needs and anticipate any changes that need to be made to avoid headaches down the road. For example, if your business is new, you might be working out of your personal banking account, which can get complicated – particularly when other employees have a hand in business finances. Your banker can help you get organized by setting up separate business accounts for operations and payroll.

Choose a partner who is easy to work with

Look for someone who will be there when you need them, every step of the way. New products and services can really benefit your business – but there can also be hiccups that arise. Find a banking partner who follows up after recommending new services to ensure things are running smoothly and adjusts for you if needed. As your banker gets to know your needs, they’ll be able to get in touch when new products come out that might be a fit for your business.

Find a bank with user-friendly online services that work well for small businesses. These days, many bankers can also communicate through channels that are easiest for you. Account openings can take place through phone and email, or your banker may be reachable through text as well to make staying in touch easier.

Leverage the relationship to prepare for long-term planning

Establishing a relationship and opening business accounts early on can put you a step ahead when it’s time for the next phase of business. Launching accounts with a bank you trust helps build your credibility now so that your banker knows your track record when it’s time to consider a commercial loan or other tools for growth.

Meet our Business Banking team.

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