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Great Tips From Cadence Business Bankers

Successful business owners are always looking for key business tips & advice that will give them an edge.The business bankers at Cadence share their knowledge.

As a business owner, you likely solicit business advice from a core team of advisors, such as your CPA, attorney, banker and perhaps a board of directors. The most successful owners and entrepreneurs are usually the ones who are willing to seek business advice, tips and opinions from others and then put into practice the things they learn.
 
Business bankers, in particular, are in a great position to offer helpful advice to business owners and CEOs. They work with many different types of companies across a wide range of industries so they have a broad base of knowledge to draw on and share with owners.
 
In honor of National Small Business Week, we decided to ask several Cadence Bank business bankers to share some tips and advice they offer to their business clients.
 

Question: What are the biggest keys to financial success for a business?

Brandon Thomas, Vice President and Small Business Relationship Manager: Make sure you have your financials in order. It’s critical to have a great office manager, bookkeeper or CPA who can focus on your financial documentation. This documentation is the key not only to getting an approval on loan requests, but to the health and growth of your business.
 
Salomon Saucedo, Vice President and Small Business Relationship Manager: Be aware of your current financial situation at all times. This includes knowing your current sales, profit (gross and net) and growth rate. Many business owners who approach us in need of a loan don’t have accurate income information, which makes approving their loan request more difficult.
 
Amy Gronert, Vice President and Branch Manager: First, a business must have a unique concept with a service or product that is in demand. Then they need to choose the right market and carefully research demographics to help ensure ongoing financial success.

 

Question: What about business success in general, beyond finances?

Saucedo: I believe that business owners should align their businesses with their personal backgrounds and interests. Put another way, they should offer products and services that align with their experience and their strengths.
 
Delpha Bartley-Jones, Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager: Have a strategic plan for growth and diversification. This includes planning for the day when you will eventually exit the business — or in other words, planning for business succession. Are you grooming next-generation leaders and preparing them to take over for you some day in the future?
 
Gronert: Business owners in the small to middle-market realm must invest their time and energy in their business and have a passion for success. The most successful businesses I see are those where the owner has total dedication to the job and the company. They are focused on growth and increasing revenue and are open to change if necessary.
 

 

Question: What can business owners do to strengthen their relationship with their bank?

Saucedo: I always advise my clients to bank at a single institution. This will make their bookkeeping and financials much simpler and easier to manage in the long run. It may also help your bank provide better service — for example, a faster response to your loan request — since your banker has access to all the information about your business at his or her fingertips.
 
Thomas: You want to have a relationship with a banker who will have your back. Your bank shouldn’t be there just to handle a one-time transaction — your banker should want to be an integral part of helping you reach your business goals. If you don’t have this kind of relationship with your banker, look for another bank.
 
Bartley-Jones: Get to know your banker well. Meet with your banker periodically to discuss your company's long-term goals and objectives and how he or she can help you accomplish them.
 

 

Question: What is the most important key to getting my loan request approved?

Gronert: Good credit and strong financials are the two biggest keys to getting a business loan request approved. It’s essential that business owners understand the importance of financial statements that show strong revenue and income. For example, businesses sometimes write off all or a majority of their annual expenses for tax benefits, thus showing a low amount of annual business income (or even a negative figure) for the year. However, this significantly impacts the business’ ability to get any type of loan or line of credit — even if it has strong credit scores.
 
Saucedo: Report income from the very beginning of your business. Banks don’t like to see businesses in the red. Seek assistance from a CPA in preparing your financials to be submitted along with your loan request.

 

Question: Any other helpful advice you have for business owners and entrepreneurs?

Thomas: Make sure your bank accounts are protected. Unfortunately, fraud is running rampant these days. Financial institutions have products and services that can help deter fraud on your accounts. These services may incur a minimal cost, but the peace of mind you receive is priceless.
 
Saucedo: Whatever you do in business, you should have a passion for it. The most successful owners and entrepreneurs I’ve worked with love running their businesses and serving their customers. There’s no substitute for passion when it comes to owning a successful business.
 
Gronert: I advise every business I work with to create a strong business plan with growth goals and annual revenue projections — and to put this plan in writing. Businesses that do this and continually review and work toward their growth goals are the most likely to achieve or even exceed their goals.
 
Find more great advice from Cadence business bankers on running and growing your business at cadencebank.com.
 

This article is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the content in the article. The article is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.

 

 



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