Guide to successful business borrowing

It is important for businesses to maintain a good relationship with their bank in order to safeguard their future access to funds.

1. Prepare a strong business plan.

This is one of the first steps to ensure that the bank will identify it as a low risk business and therefore someone they are willing to give funds to. A solid business plan highlights the viability of the business, information about the experience and success of the owners and managers, expenses which the loan will cover,as well as detailed sales expectations.

2. Establishing a personal relationship.

Over time, an owner establishes key contacts within their bank that are familiar with their business and financial needs. Keeping these contacts informed of any changes to the business or cash flow projections before it comes as a surprise will build trust between the bank and the business.

3. Knowing your business inside out.

By keeping themselves updated of their own financial status, by obtaining credit reports and public records, business owners will know what research the banks will obtain when deciding on the amount, if any, to loan to the business.

4. Learn the banking language.

Understanding banking terms such as credit ratings, cost of capital and other financial drivers will place business owners in a strong position when negotiating the terms of their loans.

5. Keep the adviser informed.

Financial advisers are there to advise and will have an intimate knowledge of bank processes. Keeping them posted of any plans or changes will allow them to better advise the business on the best course of action, and ensure that the business will continue to prosper.

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