Why you should get to know your local business banker

Running your own business is enormously rewarding but it’s also hard work. Not only do you have to be your own accounts department, you’re also the sales team, human resources manager and paymaster.

The key is to focus on your strengths while accessing advisers you can rely on to give you support when you need it. That way, you don’t have to be an expert at everything.

The good news is that expert financial advice is closer than you think. Here are five reasons why you should get to know your local business banker.

1. An expert on your side

In the same way you would engage a lawyer to help with your contracts, it makes sense to have a banking expert help with your financial systems.

With your business banker on your business support team you can tap into a wealth of free financial expertise. You’ll have access to a financial expert who knows you and who’s taken the time to get to know your business, whenever you need advice.

2. A plan for the future

Do you know how much cash you have on hand right now? What about your cashflow prospects over the next month? Or your profit margin so far this financial year?

A business banker can help you forecast and improve your cashflow so you can anticipate and avoid a potential cashflow crunch, such as a seasonal slowdown. They can also give you advice on creating a financial plan for the future so you can make revenue and expenditure decisions with confidence, creating a strong platform for growth.

3. Systems that hum

The health of your business depends on the financial systems you use to keep cash flowing from day to day. Your business banker can help you fine-tune your finances by creating a robust and secure solution tailored to the way you do business, and keeping you up to date with new products and services that could help your business.

In particular, they can help you harness the latest electronic banking tools to accelerate cashflow, cut overheads and reduce the time you need to spend managing your money.

4. Extra cash on call

Almost every business needs some extra cash from time to time—especially if they’re growing rapidly. That’s when a strong relationship with your business banker really pays dividends.

With a huge range of financing options to choose from it’s important to have expert advice from someone who knows your business. By choosing the right option you can drive down your after-tax cost of funds while still achieving the flexibility you’re looking for.

If you think you might need a financial safety net at some time in the future it’s best to discuss putting an overdraft or line of credit in place now. You’ll only pay interest on the money you use and the fees involved are a small price to pay for peace of mind.

5. Time to use your strengths

Let’s face it: very few people who start a business set out to become financial experts. What makes your business successful is the unique set of skills and experience that you offer your customers, based on your own strengths and the vision you set out to achieve.

The more time you have to focus on your strengths, the more chance of success your business has. By working in partnership with a business banker you not only get their expertise and industry knowledge, you free up time to work on the things that will make your business everything you want it to be.

This article first appeared in Giftrap Magazine, the Australian Gift and Homeware Association’s member magazine.