When your business is growing, a bank that puts community first may be your best friend.
When it comes time to start a new business or expand an existing business most of the time entrepreneurs turn to a bank for a loan to make things happen. There was a time when business owners would head first to big, corporate banks and fill out paperwork for a loan but that is not the norm anymore. These days, the community minded, local lending institutions are the top lenders to small businesses.
The reason why is pretty awesome, it’s because relationships have become very important in the banking industry. If you ask small business owners why they are banking with community institutions, they will tell you it is because they have an established relationship with their bank. Don’t get the wrong idea either, it’s not that it’s easier to get a loan from a local bank, all banks have requirements for lending and the rules aren’t more relaxed at a local institution. The reason is that relationships really do make a difference.
Local banks know the communities they live and work in. They get to know the people that make up the community. If you have been with a bank for a significant period of time, they often have a clearer picture of your finances than the paperwork might show. If you fell on hard times, like many businesses did recently, but kept moving forward and turned things around, a bank that you have invested time with will understand that in a way a new institution you approach will not. In this case, history counts.
More than a Yes or No
The best part of building a relationship with your bank? When your banker is your best friend you gain a trusted partner. A one on one discussion about your business on a semi-regular basis, even when you are just stopping by to make a regular deposit, means that you have an experienced financial advisor to bounce ideas off. Your banker can give you ideas that could help your business grow, they can help you solve potential issues before they become big problems and they can provide small pieces of advice that make a difference in the livelihood of your business. When you have a relationship with your banker, you are gaining more than a yes or no on your loan application, you are gaining a friend.
Don’t have an already established relationship?
Here are some tips for finding your new best banker friend:
- If you already have an account established with WVFSL or another community bank, make an appointment with a branch manager or business banker to talk about your business. One on one, face to face chats are often a great way to establish relationships.
- If you do all of your banking with a larger corporate type bank, consider opening a business checking or savings account with a local bank. Use the time you spend opening the account to make a connection with the branch manager. Share your business goals with them in order to open a line of connection and communication.
- Seek out a banking relationship by heading to your local Chamber of Commerce. Find a mixer, breakfast or networking event that fits into your schedule and make it your goal to speak to a few of the bankers that are also attending the event. If you seem to develop a natural rapport with one, great! You are on your way.
- Stop by and find out more about Wallkill Valley Federal Savings and Loan. We believe in community. We believe in building solid relationships with our customers in order to better serve the community. We would love to talk to you about your business, so please stop by and find out what we are all about.
If your business is growing, let us help you on the road to success.
Wallkill Valley Federal Savings and Loan, banking that puts community first.