Whether you’re just starting up or you’re looking to take your small business to the next level, talking to your bank manager can be the way forward. They’re the ones who will be able to approve any loans for your small business and to all intents and purposes, the future of your small business rests in their hands.
And it’s for this reason why you need to be certain any meeting you have with them is going to be as successful as it can be.
You of course can’t make the bank manager’s mind up for them, but by following these three points, you can ensure you do your utmost to make the bank manager believe lending you the money is the right thing to do.
1. Have a written business plan
No matter how well you may know where you need to spend any money loaned to you, if you don’t have it down on paper in a professional looking business plan, your bank manager is almost guaranteed not to take you seriously.
They need to see that you’ve taken the time to work out how much money you actually need and where you will spend all of it. They will need to be convinced that your business has grown – or has substantial room to grow – and that investment is not only needed, but will be of considerable benefit.
If you don’t know how to write a business plan, look online – there are numerous free resources – but the simplest rule to follow is that it must explain what your business is, why it needs the money, where the money will be spent and the benefits of doing so and proof that you will be able to afford the repayments easily.
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2. Know your business inside out
Having a written business plan in place is an absolute must, but it’s vital that you know every aspect of your business.
If the bank manager asks you a question about your finances to date, do you really think having to refer to your business plan is great? You of course might not know the exact figure, but saying “Last year, we turned over around $100,000, with a net profit of approximately $35,000” is a lot more professional than saying “Erm, I think our turnover was around $100,000 or something”.
And if you can show professionalism, you’ll put confidence in the bank manager – and it’s confidence in you and your small business that will help to make the bank manager decide whether or not to loan you the money.
3. Remember first impressions count
You’re going to meet your bank manager to ask for what could be a substantial amount of money. You’ve got your business plan that looks fantastic and you have all the stats in your head.
So why would you let yourself down by wearing jeans, a t-shirt and sneakers?
Your small business may not be one that offers a professional service and your customers may like the fact you’re relaxed in your attire, but you’re going to the bank – a professional, formal organisation.
If you’re looking casual – or even slightly scruffy – what impression does this give to the bank manager? That you can’t be bothered? And if you can’t be bothered getting dressed in a shirt and trousers, what does this say about your management of your small business?
Whether you love or hate your bank manager, they’re the ones who are going to potentially help your small business grow and develop and it’s therefore imperative you do your utmost to ensure any meeting you have with them showcases just how professional you are in every approach to business.