1. Understand the basics. Large or small, banks are interested in the same fundamentals-such as cash flow, collateral and the viability of your business.
2. Sell the bank on your company. Provide solid information on its financial history, your business plan, and information about the kinds of loans you need and the terms you want.
3. Look for a good fit. Let prospects know what kind of a relationship you want with a bank.
4. Ask the right questions. Find out where decision making takes place, how many people you will have to deal with, and if the bank is open to meeting with you and your advisors fairly regularly.
5. Commit time and energy to developing your relationship with the bank you choose. Get to know more than one person at the institution so that if your bank is merged or acquired, someone familiar with your business will probably still be there.
Brought to you by SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business.”