“I think one of the most important things going into a conversation with your bank is to always come prepared,” says Jenny Siman, VP & Market Lead, Vancouver District, who offers these four general tips.
Number 1: Know what you want to accomplish. What are your goals? And make sure you’re being clear and realistic about those goals. For example, maybe you want to grow your revenue by 20 per cent year over year, and double it in five years. It’s important to know where you want to go, so we can start making a plan to help you get there.
Number 2: Have a good, realistic grasp on what could be helpful in meeting those goals – and what might pose a challenge. Where are there strengths, where are there weaknesses, where are there opportunities, and where are there possible threats? Let’s take for example the goal and forecast of doubling a company in five years.
Some key things to think about would be:
a) How much financial capital do you need and how do you accomplish it – e.g. debt? equity? And what are the pros and cons to both?
b) Human capital – does the company have the expertise and capacity to support the projected growth? What macroeconomic factors (such as foreign exchange, interest rates, etc.) might pose a challenge to achieving this goal?
c) Materials and supply chain considerations – can your suppliers manage the increased demand?
Number 3: Keep it simple. Don’t set out to accomplish 100 things at once. Zero in on what’s most important–- what’s going to have the biggest impact on your current situation?
And finally, Number 4: Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to have honest, ongoing conversations with your banking partner. Your bank should be there to support you, without judgment –- to provide objective advice and guidance on where you need to go next.
“At the end of the day, we want people to know that we’ve got their back -- especially in a pandemic when talking to your bank might seem like a really scary thing,” says Siman.
Have more questions? Let us know here!