3 Ways to Leverage Your Small Business’ Banking and Partner Relationships
running-a-business | Read Time: 3 minutes
By Steven J. Cunningham | Published: August 2023
At the core of every great relationship, whether business or personal, is trust and understanding. Small business owners need to be able to know that their banker, accountant, suppliers and even customers can be trusted and counted on to understand their business’ needs.
And when supply chains, budgets and revenues get tight, like has occurred for many businesses at times over the past few years, these characteristics are even more important for small business owners and operators to look for in their partners.
Relationships really do matter. Here are three tips to use banking and related partner relationships to give your small business a boost.
Get Local Decisioning
A lot has been reported in recent months about some lenders tightening their lending, making it harder for small businesses to get the funding they need in a high inflation, high interest environment.
While this may be true for some lenders, it is certainly not true for all. Many local community banks are open for business, understanding that if local small businesses are doing well, it has positive, ripple effects through the local economy.
Lean on your local business banker and lender to identify the best ways to access capital for your small business, and if you don’t have these established relationships, seek them out. Look for banking partners that know the area, your community, and your industry well.
Take Your Relationships to the Next Level
Sometimes, banking, accounting and supplier relationships can be more transactional than relationship-based by nature of your business, proximity, or time to have face-to-face interactions.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Your business bankers, accountants and suppliers can be extensions of your team, helping you streamline costs, revenue streams and business continuity strategies, going beyond deposits, savings, taxes, and trading invoices.
Building these relationships can help your small business thrive during the good times, and help you manage the more difficult periods.
Discover the “Other” Services Your Partners Provide
Did you know that your bank may provide services that make accounts payable and receivable more streamlined, cost effective and better protected against fraud? Or that your small business can use smart safes for cash logistics, have onsite ATMs, or finance and purchase equipment with a big tax write-off?
Your business banking and lending partners can work closely with your accountant to set these and many more solutions in place, while your non-banking partners can also help you “find” money through programs like the IRS’ Employee Retention Credit.
All these benefits to your small business, and more, can be quickly discovered through conversations with your local business banker, lender, accountant and other partners by cultivating and building relationships for the short-and long-term.
About the Author – Steven J. Cunningham
Steven J. Cunningham is Senior Vice President, Director of SBA Sales at WSFS Bank. He has 30 years of banking and financial services experience with an extensive background and knowledge of SBA programs, business banking, commercial real estate, and more.
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