Key takeaways

  • Business bankers help their clients manage finances, set and achieve goals, and plan for their businesses’ futures.
  • Certain situations can call for a business banker’s expertise, such as general financial health checkups, business expansion planning, fraud prevention, market shifts, and succession planning.
  • Open-mindedness and a willingness to discuss weaknesses as well as strengths are key to successful meetings with your business banker.

If you’re a business owner, you know that running a business comes with its fair share of challenges. And one of the biggest challenges is ensuring that your business finances are managed appropriately.

Luckily, you’re not alone when it comes to managing your finances — your business banker is standing by, ready to connect with you and help you plan for your future.

Below are five reasons our clients typically reach out to connect with us, as well as how to prepare for your meeting.

1. You need a general financial health checkup

A general financial health checkup is a great reason to get in touch with your business banker. Whether it’s your first meeting with them, or it’s just been a while since you last talked, your business banker is more than happy to discuss your business’s overall financial health.

We want to understand your business at a high level, giving us an idea of who you are, your business’s direction, plan, and goals, and your client base. We’ll also take a deep dive into your financials as we look at trends year over year and understand the unique challenges your business is facing. In doing so, we’ll examine whether your business’s margins are growing or shrinking, as well as evaluate the reasons this is happening.

When we’re able to get the full picture of your business, it helps us review not only your business’s financial health today, but it also allows us to consider your next steps.

 2. You’re planning an expansion of your business

If you’re experiencing business growth or planning an expansion of your business, a good business banker can help support your strategies and help you see your finances from several angles.

By connecting with your business banker, it gives us the opportunity to “dig in” to understand your business, your competition, your vision for the future, and your leadership style. Once we have all this information — and more — we’re then able to use the financial tools and instruments at our disposal to help you achieve those goals.

In order to grow, businesses need capital. And while that can come in a variety of forms, from bringing on a partner to obtaining a loan, your business banker is there to help you decide the best option for you. By discussing and understanding your business’s growth strategy, we can make a recommendation on the right moves for you and your business.

3. You’re concerned about fraud prevention

As  digital transformation continues to evolve, the risks of fraud and data breaches continue to be major challenges for business owners. While the threats aren’t new, the ways in which these scams are executed are becoming more sophisticated, making fraud prevention even more difficult.

However, having a close relationship with your business banker may be another fraud prevention tool in your toolbox. As business bankers, we want to know you and your key employees, and we’re here to help with validation processes, authentication, and more. When your bank knows you, your associates, your day-to-day transactions and your financial plans, we may be more able to spot something that doesn’t look right.

4. Your industry is experiencing a market shift

Over the past several years, many industries have been impacted by economic conditions, global events, technological advancements, changes in consumer preferences, and more. When your industry is experiencing a market shift — for whatever reason — your business banker is here to help you navigate those changes.

We’ll be by your side as we review external factors causing the market shifts and help you plan for the changing conditions. As every business is different, it’s important for you to have someone by your side who understands the complexities of your industry and the nuances of your business.

Together, we can create a financial plan that takes into account the impact of market shifts and helps your business adapt as necessary.

5. You’re working on succession planning

With more than half of all business owners age 55 or older, business succession planning is on many people’s minds. And succession planning looks different for everyone — whether the owner is selling the business, transferring it to a family member, liquidating, holding an internal business sale, or something else.

Because no two business owners’ succession plans look the same, working with your business banker is important for building a successful strategy . And, don’t wait until you’re ready to sell to start having those conversations.

The earlier you discuss with your business banker your plans, hopes, and vision for the upcoming ownership change, the more time we’ll have to help develop a plan to meet your goals. We can give you an idea of what you can do in the time between now and then to put you in the best possible position for your future.

How to prepare for your meeting with your business banker

You likely have a team of financial professionals working for your business — an attorney, a CPA, a business banker, and more — and each plays an important role. A business banker’s job is to ensure you’re making enough money to sustain your business. And nobody wants your business to be successful more than your banker.

The best thing you can do to prepare for your meeting with your business banker is to come with an open mind. If you’re willing to look at both your strengths and weaknesses, have tough conversations, and be receptive to new methods or ideas, you’re going to get more out of the conversation.

By looking at your situation from an objective financial standpoint, you and your business banker can develop a relationship and work toward a plan to support your business’s success.

If you are interested in learning more about how UMB can help your business, visit our website.