Let’s face it, banks have not won any popularity contests over recent years.
The truth is though that your bank can be one of your greatest assets as long as you know how to leverage the relationship. If you aren’t making the most of your relationship and feel they aren’t interested in your organisation, a part time finance director can set you on the right path.
The media have ridden roughshod over the banks since the early days of the financial crisis and although there has doubtless been a fairly widespread pandemic of irresponsibility we would urge entrepreneurs not to get caught up in the mud-slinging.
Armed with the right knowledge and strategic approach you can forge a highly beneficial, trusted relationship with your bank, which will pay dividends over the years as you grow your business.
It is true to say that without the right insider knowledge banks can be good at stacking the cards more in their own favour than might otherwise be the case. But this is the same with many business types where the customer is not well informed.
Banks have also be known to cancel overdrafts when you most need them and force onerous commercial terms on customers who do not have the time or experience to reject them.
When our part time finance directors talk to entrepreneurs about their relationship with banks they often moan about their bank’s disinterest; an unwillingness to put much effort into trying to understand their business. Getting hold of anyone in authority at the bank also seems to be a constant challenge.
When it comes to applying for loans, a lot of business owners have simply given up and those who battle on are usually disappointed by the vague and convoluted process which seems to take up far more time than it should.
Managers seem to be held back by approval committees which rarely convene making the whole process of dealing with the bank painful and draining.
Although these complaints are not without foundation they are usually a result of a lack of understanding of how banks work and through a failure to closely manage the relationship to ensure that your company rises to the top of the priority list.
As with many things, he who shouts loudest often gets heard. Our approach is less about shouting loud though and more about building a strong relationship and making it easy for the bank to support you.
Our part time finance directors role is to work with our clients and take on the responsibility of the bank relationship so the bank becomes a true asset; a partnership rather than a supplier/customer relationship.
Your part time FD will manage your relationship with the bank so that our clients don’t have to.
In essence we work will work on your behalf to:
- Develop a relationship with key personnel at the bank
- Share information about your business with the bank and keep the bank fully updated. The more trust that can be built the more the bank will be willing to help
- Provide the bank with a credible business plan which takes into account previous track record including debt and cashflow history
- Provide independent advice on bank products and their suitability
- Negotiate the best deal on facilities drawing on our experience
- Provide access to senior contacts in the bank where required
- Introduce new banking options if required and negotiate terms
Benefits To The CEO, MD and Senior Team
Managing the relationship with the bank on our clients’ behalf takes another significant task away from the company CEO/MD.
The bank may hold the key to funding and improved facilities. A strong relationship will give our clients ‘priority service’ opening the door to a much stronger long term partnership.
We know when the bank is offering a good deal and how to communicate with them to ensure we always get the best for our clients.
We know where to go for supplementary funding to go alongside bank finance (it is not always a case of choosing one solution over another).We can also benchmark funding deals for our clients for peace of mind.
Our carefully selected partners in banking will work with us to fully scope out funding applications and make time to understand the specifics of your business. Again, we can fast track our clients due to our special relationship with the banks.
Having an FD Centre part time FD on board gives credibility to credit applications and it makes life easier for the banks because they know that we understand their language.
We understand too how banks make their decisions and therefore can position your application for funding appropriately to stand the best chance of success.