With the season of love at hand, there sure hasn’t been a lot of love between banks and businesses this past year. There has been an alarmingly high divorce rate between business owners and their banks. This is a relationship where one partner (i.e. the bank) has the full force of a team of dedicated divorce lawyers and endless amounts of capital to make their experience as painless and fast as possible. The relationship feels almost surgical, like they’ve done it before, and maybe never really loved you in the first place. The business owner however is trying to balance running a business while moving through this experience while speed dating other lenders to see who finds him or her attractive. Does this seem fair?
The Business Lending Relationship Is a Two-Way Street
I don’t want to be negative towards banks and might even go so far as to say the business owner isn’t entirely blameless either. Banks are large institutions with competing interests and might not have all the time for all your business needs. What peer group ever advised an entrepreneur that they should put all business with the bank? Yet, over and over business owners seem to think the bank is the only way to go.
Can One Lender Fit All Your Business Needs?
As business owners, we all want everything all the time out of one bank. However, we all know there are trade offs. The banks have the lowest cost of capital (attractive) but there is an ugly side here in terms of credit policy (bad breath), performance covenants and blanket security agreements (aka control freaks). Not to mention they can slow to respond (aka dismissive). In summary, they can be really attractive (nice to be seen with) but are control freaks who aren’t there when you need them most, and let’s not forget that bad breath… Doesn’t sound like a healthy relationship, does it?
Find the Right Match for Your Business Needs
The good news is that business owners don’t have to be tied down to one institution or bank when it comes to debt and financing options. There is always a lender who will find their business and immediate needs as beautiful; in fact, there might be a few you need to work with at once. There are a lot of fish in the pond with companies, like finance brokers, who assist business owners in obtaining successful financing and lending matches day after day.
“When entrepreneurs start thinking in terms of matching the lenders to their desired business outcomes they have less stress, increased profits, and take more control of their business.”
After working with thousands of businesses owners, from start ups to larger well established companies, I can say from experience that when entrepreneurs start thinking in terms of matching the lenders to their desired business outcomes they have less stress, increased profits, and take more control of their business. No one lender will ever love your business through all the time but there is a lender (or more) for every situation. The right match exists – and it can be yours!