The common objective of this partnership is the sustainability and development of your business, around the identification of the needs of your activity and your projects.
The bank advises you and strives to provide you with solutions, it searches for you adapted services and financing, in response to your expectations.
Your relationship with your bank is first of all based on trust. You work with it and you entrust it with the financial activity of your SME because you know its products and services, that they are adapted to your activity and because you know your bank advisor and other experts from your bank.
Your bank also has confidence in your SME: your advisor knows you, he understands your activity and he shares, with his managers in his bank, the strategy that you lead in your business. Your bank supports you in your regular needs, in your new projects, and perhaps also in periods when activity is tenser.
For the relationship of trust to be reciprocal between you and your banker, you must first discuss together transparently about your SME: review the past period, your business prospects, the strategy pursued, and the financing needs that may result. Your bank needs clear information about your business and to discuss your strategy in order to anticipate possible responses.
Anticipate projects or difficulties
One of the keys to your relationship also lies in anticipation… It is easier for you, the owner of an SME, to exchange upstream with your bank advisor on opportunities that you identify (development on new products or markets, October 2014 Practical sheet HOW TO DO WITH MY BANKER (
external growth operation…) and even more, if you encounter any difficulty. The sooner you get in touch, the better you can find solutions together; the range of these solutions will also be more extensive.
Warning: in case of difficulties, concealing the reality from your banker or trying to “save time” is generally not beneficial. In effect, you prevent yourself from looking for viable solutions: this contributes to deteriorating relationships.
Dialogue with your banker is based on communicating reliable data: you need clarity in managing your SME to know where you are going. Your bank must also have access to realistic data on your company, its activity, and its prospects, to adapt its possible answers in terms of financing.
Different dashboards on your SME which will be the subject of discussions: financing plan, treasury, forecasts1… These elements can be prepared with your advice (like your chartered accountant). They will be used during regular follow-up interviews between your bank and your SME, as well as in support of financing requests. It is also an opportunity to take stock of the evolution of customer orders, the commercial plan, and major projects of your SME.
As with any relationship (those with your customers, suppliers, other companies in your sector, etc.), differences of opinion are always possible between you and your banker. First, try to meet as quickly as possible and set out the points of view in order to find the best solution with your advisor. If the points of view still differ, you can ask to meet another manager of your bank or contact the customer relations department.