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Picking a Bank and a Banker

I recently spoke at a Clothier & Head event and one of the other speakers was Dan Dierdorff with Fortune Bank. Dan had shown me a outline of questions a business owner should ask his or her banker and I found it valuable enough to share with you.

When most business owners are seeking financing, they often start with two questions:
How much can I borrow?
How soon can I have my money?
However, the first questions they should ask are:
Does the banker know me and my business?
Has the banker provided value for me in the past? (i.e. useful information, loans, personal service)
Does the banker know my industry?
Does the banker offer creative, value-added financing options which address the business’ needs?
Is the bank financially sound? In the future will the banker and the bank be available to address the needs of the business? (i.e. change in loan terms, additional borrowing, servicing actions)
Do other business owners recommend this banker and the bank’s services?
If you can’t answer yes to at least 4 of the last 6 questions, there is no need to proceed with the first 2 questions. By employing these questions, a business owner will not only receive direct benefits, but will also receive indirect benefits from a banker who supports her/his local community.

“It is a rather pleasant experience to be alone in a bank at night.” Willie Sutton

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