The Visit to the Banker– Then What Happened!
One of our consultants had lunch with a banker today. The banker called and wanted to have lunch. She said that she had a client that could use our services! However, the conversation did not go very long before we both realized that the client needed not only a business consultant, but also some financial help.
The business owner had lost his bookkeeper in 2012. She left– not sure what happened– makes no difference, but what does make a difference is that it took the business owner all of 2013 to find a suitable replacement. Ummm??
The business owner brought in tax returns from 2010, 2012, but none from 2011 because he could not find them. He told the banker that he needed a short term loan of $25,000 to “tide him over” from now, December 2013 to April 2014. The banker asked to see the balance sheet– all he brought was a profit and loss statement– not enough data for the banker to work with. However, this banker is in a small community bank and is very willing, we believe to work with clients.
As the banker and the business owner talked, the business owner told the banker that he paid cash for everything– the equipment was old and fully depreciated, thus showing no assets. In the banker’s eye, this business owner did not have records to document anything he owned. She pointed that out and gave a couple of simple suggestions that the business owner would need to do before she could see if she could help.
Sadly, the business owner left, not satisfied and today, sent a secretary in to retrieve the remaining financial paperwork left with the banker.
The banker told our consultant that this business needed help. We agreed. However, if there is no money to work with, we won’t be able to help.
Here is what we suspect happened. The business owner “shopped” around several other banks– however, we suspect that the answer was always the same– we need more documentation in order to assist you.
The key here is to be sure that you have all of your documentation available when you go see the banker. Many bankers that we have dealt with want to help– if they can. Banker’s are not in the charity business– they are in the business of helping business owners run their business and make money. The bank has to make money as well– that is just the way it is.
If you go see a banker– he/she will do the best that they can to help. However, if they say no, it is generally believed that most other bankers will probably say no as well. You can help yourself by having all of the documents you need the first time. As consultants, we work with both the business owner and the banker to insure that your business grows and is prosperous. Our goal is to help! We want you to be successful! Help us to help you!