Your small business, your banker and economic recovery

A small business is like the human body in at least two ways: To survive, it must have both nutrition - food and water - plus oxygen. For a business, nutrition is profits, and its oxygen is cash flow. And similar to the body, a business can survive for a while without the nourishment of profits but not very long without the breath of cash flow.

Arguably, the greatest reasons small businesses fail is they run out of cash. And as improbable as this may seem, even businesses with plenty of sales revenue - if cash is not collected in time - can fail. Every growing business, large or small, needs access to cash resources that can smooth out the operating cash rough spots. But for a small business, those resources are few in number, with the primary source being a loan from a bank.

If there is one thing that I have harped on for the past dozen years, it’s the importance of a small business establishing and maintaining a close working relationship with a bank. Furthermore, a decade before the financial meltdown of 2008-9, I began encouraging small businesses to make sure at least one of their bank relationships was with an independent community bank.  That advice turned out to be prophetic.

Recently, on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked about getting your small business ready for the coming expansion and building better banking relationships with an outstanding member of my Brain Trust, John Dini. We discussed some of the elements of growth that you should begin planning for right now, including a capitalization plan that includes a closer relationship with your banker. John is the leading Tab Boards franchisee in the U.S., President of Management Performance Network and author of 103 Tips for Better Hiring.

Take a few minutes to listen to our conversation and, as always, leave your thoughts on banking relationships and how you’re getting your business ready for the coming expansion. Listen Live! Download, Too!

2 Responses to “Your small business, your banker and economic recovery”

  1. 2
    Jim Blasingame Says:

    All other things being equal, the answer is yes, the way a community bank works will more closely align with the requirements of a small business. But remember, some community banks are as troubled as the big banks have been, however, those are in the minority. Unless the community bank is troubled and/or the small business’ credit-worthiness has significantly diminished in the past year or so, most loans with this kind of bank shouldn’t be in jeapardy.

  2. 1
    Calvin Says:

    Hi Jim,

    I am hearing that some small businesses may have trouble getting their balloon payments re-financed this year. Do you think the odds are better at a community bank or is the banking crisis going to cause liquidity problems for all small businesses?

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