Inland Empire Business Loans… Relationships or Robots?
By Eugene E. Valdez AKA The Loan Doctor
If you are a CEO of an Inland Empire based business you should devote a certain number of your weekly hours to engage in strategic planning. Purpose is to tweak your business model in response to changes in the environment (both external and internal) in which you compete. Thoughtful strategic planning will allow you to remain in business, grow and garner more market share vis a vis your competitors.
A subset of strategic planning is the financing piece which answers the questions; what size and what loan type do you need to implement your strategic plan. Different loan purposes dictate different loan types…..one size does not fit all, despite what the legions of SBA Loan business development officers out there will tell you.
So now we move on to the purpose of this article. You know what size of business loan you need, what purpose and what loan type. What’s your next step? Schedule a meeting with your current bank and relationship manager. If neither of you having taking the time to develop a relationship based on mutual respect the chances of your loan request being approved is very low!
So what do you do if your current banker turns you down or makes a counter offer that will not meet your needs? You have two choices; forget about growing your business or find another lender. Most of the CEO’s I have met or worked with want to grow; it is in their DNA as an entrepreneur. Since that’s not an option you will now have to find another lender which is a difficult thing to do.
Don’t get desperate in your attempts to find Inland Empire business loans by contacting other lenders such as factors, asset based lenders, SBA lenders, on-line lenders, merchant business funders or robots masquerading as loan officers. The interest rates they charge are high versus a traditional bank loan. Loans transactions in the $300K range or above is best conducted by humans not computers.
The root of your financing problem is that you and your current banker did not take the time to develop a mutual beneficial relationship. Had both of you done this, your original loan request would have likely been approved and you wouldn’t have had to go “loan shopping”.
So how do you develop a mutual beneficial relationship with your banker?
- Make your banker a part of your “inner circle” of advisors. Share with them you future strategic plans. Teach them the nuances of your business. Introduce them to your CPA, attorney, commercial insurance broker and personal financial advisor.
- Earn their trust by never surprising them with negative things about your business after the fact. Be proactive, share with the bad stuff before it happens and why it happened and what you are going to do to rectify the situation.
- Be a good operator by making consistent profits and providing quarterly financials in a timely manner financials.
- Refer your banker to a fellow CEO that is seeking a banking change.
- Meet with your banker and your banker’s boss at least once year for an annual recap of the year.
- Try as best you can to consolidate all of your banking needs personal, (car loan, credit card, checking, savings etc.) and business with your current bank.
- Share with them all the activities you are engaged in to improve your overall executive skills.
- Send them articles on new developments in your industry
Remember this is mutual right?
Tell your banker you expect all of your phone calls and emails returned within 8 hours and that you want all of your request both minor and major, to be handled expeditiously. Lastly tell your banker you will be loyal and not shop banks for lower rates under the condition you receive consistent superior customer service. Share these issues with your banker over lunches and make them pay the bill!!
For more information about Inland Empire business loans call (909) 230-0024. We’ll be happy to assist you.
Eugene E. Valdez is President and CEO of The Loan Doctor and Associates, Inc., a full service banking and finance consulting company located in Upland, CA. He can be reached at 909-230-0024. Like and follow him on social media Facebook, LinkedIn.
*Have a question for our business advice column or an issue you would like to see addressed in our weekly column? Let us know at email@example.com. Contributors to the column are Inland Empire professionals who are experts in their particular discipline.