As an entrepreneur, it is not uncommon to feel as if there is a strained relationship with the bank. However, this does not have to be the case. Banks are in the business of lending money and in reality, the right banker can be your ally. How can entrepreneurs prepare and negotiate to get the necessary line of credit and best terms?
The entrepreneur can prepare for the negotiations by analyzing the bank advisor’s situation and anticipating how the banker will think, feel, and act. Try to take the bank’s perspective. Ask yourself the questions a banker will ask an entrepreneur:
- How much capital does the entrepreneur need?
- Does the investment make sense?
- What is the reward versus risk?
- How likely is it that the loan will be repaid?
The Bank Binder
The banker will want to understand how the loan will be used. The investment overview, risk analysis, and budget will help the banker understand the entrepreneur’s vision and plans.
- The investment overview details all the investments needed to move the company forward and forecasts the potential return on investment (ROI).
- The risk analysis identifies the company’s risk, the likelihood the risks will occur, and the countermeasures to be taken if the risks occur.
- The budget will help the bank understand the timeline in which the business will break even and how the investment will be paid back.
In addition to the investment overview, risk analysis, and budget, the entrepreneur may choose to provide additional materials and important documents to the banker such the company’s legal information, financial statements the product information, customer account information, and marketing materials.
Professional Presentation & Negotiation
For a professional delivery, the entrepreneur can collect and organize all the important documents and materials into a bank binder. The bank binder will help facilitate a productive meeting with your banker and increase the likelihood of a successful meeting. The bank binder provides the foundation for the negotiation of the loan amount, loan terms, and the collateral or security for the loan. For the bank to take on the risk, the entrepreneur typically has to take some personal risk as well.
Ultimately, the entrepreneur needs to create confidence in the company and its management. The bank binder and professional presentation helps build the company’s credibility and provides the foundation for negotiation. With the foundation in place, it is up to the entrepreneur to negotiate well. Once the terms are agreed upon, the entrepreneur must continuously work to build the bank’s trust in the business by providing periodic updates on the company’s liquidity and stability.
If you would like guidance on controlling your bank and getting the credit you want, contact us to coordinate your GrowthWheel one-on-one consultation.