There is a saying that all banks are alike until you need a loan. Today, this is truer than ever, so having a qualified banker on the advisory team will put a new venture in a better position to seek a line of credit for operating capital or a loan to purchase equipment. The firm’s banker should be thought of as a business partner who can be a source of information and networking, help make decisions regarding capital needs, assist in preparing pro forma operations and cash flow analyses and evaluate projections, and assist in all facets of financing.
To narrow the search for a banker, entrepreneurs should prepare a list of criteria that define the banking needs of the new venture. They should also talk e=with other entrepreneurs in the same industry to identify a bank that works well with the type of venture they plan to launch. Another approach is to ask an accountant or attorney to suggest the best bank for the new venture.
choosing a banker, seek out an officer with a rank of senior manager or higher, because these officers are trained to work with new and growing businesses and have enough authority to make decisions quickly/ In particular, it is important to ensure that the lending officer can approve loans and lines of credit in the amounts needed.
Today many of the largest banks have moved their lending facilities to a central location, so it is difficult to establish a relationship with the person who has responsibility for approving a request. That is why many entrepreneurs seek out community banks that have a vested interest in supporting local businesses.