- Ask the hard questions: How well do prospective bankers know your marketplace or industry? Have they been around the block, perhaps through a recession?
- Toot your own horn: Give your banker confidence in your management skills by telling him about awards you’ve won or important clients you’ve snagged.
- ‘Fess up if trouble is brewing: Bring your banker into the loop early, and together you may be able to avert a funding crisis.
- Understand the agreement you sign: Many banking agreements contain conditions you must keep your eye on. If you need help, ask your CFO or accountant.
- Bring your accountant to bank meetings: “That provides third-party objective input,” says Vancity Credit Union banker Brad Baird. “They’re obliged to be honest, and they tend to be conservative in their views.”
- Don’t ignore your banker: Keep in touch regularly or you risk becoming a number.
- Have reasonable expectations: Banks, like all businesses, must follow rules and standard operating procedures to protect their interests. Ask yourself, “Would I lend me the money?”
- Shop around: If you can’t find the right partner at your current bank, then court another lender.
Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com