Starting and running a business is incredibly challenging. From lack of capital to inability to find talent, to navigating industry regulations and global economic shifts, business ownership can be a difficult endeavor. Having the right support can help businesses navigate obstacles to achieve success.
A community banker is an important part of a small business’ support team. From having access to useful financial products to a large network and more, your community banker offers benefits designed with you in mind. Below are six challenges small businesses face, and how your community banker can assist you:
- Profitability Many community banks offer lower fees or better terms and interest rates. For small businesses, every dollar saved or earned makes a difference.
- Business Growth Small business owners often feel isolated because others don’t understand their unique challenges, however community banks are small businesses as well and truly understand what it takes to succeed. That first-hand knowledge creates a different approach designed to help small businesses thrive rather than offering them services that are out of touch with their needs.
- Taxes To reduce a business’ tax burden, business owners typically show the least amount of income on tax documents. This strategy can backfire if the company needs an emergency line of credit, however, as your banker reviews tax returns and other financial documents to determine how much funding a business can receive. Conducting an annual meeting with your banker and tax accountant to discuss the company's goals enables everyone to work as a team to achieve them.
- Work/Life Balance Business owners wear many hats and often put in long hours. This can lead to lost time with family and burnout. Your banker has an extensive local network that can be leveraged to give business owners more margin in their lives. Whether it’s an executive assistant or a marketing agency, explain the role you need to fill to your banker and ask them to tap into their network to make introductions
- Money Management Managing cash flow is one of the hardest challenges young businesses face. While revenues are inconsistent, planning for expenses and navigating payroll can be difficult. It’s best to speak with your banker before a cash crunch occurs so they can help prevent a crisis. From examining accounts receivables and payables to find ways to get paid faster to identifying tools and strategies to manage seasonal or other irregular cash flow, to exploring alternative funding through factoring, your banker can dive into the business and make appropriate recommendations to help it flourish.
- Efficiency As businesses grow, they often find themselves in need of new technologies to increase the company’s efficiency and productivity to remain competitive. New technology, whether equipment or software, can be expensive and stretch businesses farther financially than they’re comfortable. Fortunately, your banker has access to financial products and programs that can help businesses invest in the tools they need to grow. Stellar Bank provides SBA loans through a partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 7(a), 504 and Express loan programs. These loans typically provide business owners with financing terms not available elsewhere under conventional loan guidelines. SBA loans offer a lower equity injection (as low as 10%) and longer payment terms (up to 25 years – depending on the use of proceeds). These benefits allow small business owners to retain more working capital and improve the cash flow of the business. Stellar’s SBA Lending Team has over 75 years combined experience in SBA Lending, and all loan decisions and loan closings are local, which improves the SBA loan process.