How to Find the Right Banker for Your Small Business



A common misconception is that a bank is just a place for your checking account. However, almost every bank has dedicated business bankers who can offer much more, especially for small businesses. These professionals help manage cash flow, assist with payroll, and provide strategic advice on taxes and debt management. They can even help you prepare for significant future investments by monitoring your financial health and advising you on the best times to make these moves.  

Working with a bank should be about building a strategic partnership that supports your small business’s financial health and growth. Here’s a guide on how to find and work with a banker who can truly make a difference for your small business. 

The Benefits of a Strong Banker Relationship for Small Businesses 

  1. Proactive Financial Management: Bankers can help you plan for major expenses in advance. Whether you’re looking to buy a building, invest in new equipment, or expand your operations, having a banker who understands your finances today means they can help you achieve your goals tomorrow.

  2. Cash Flow Assistance: For small businesses that operate on a large order basis, managing cash flow can be challenging. Bankers can provide solutions to bridge the gap between large expenditures and incoming payments, ensuring smooth operations. 

  3. Investment Preparation: By discussing your investment plans early, your banker can help you prepare for loan applications and other financial requirements, making the process smoother and more efficient. 


Tips for Finding the Right Banker for Your Small Business 

  1. Local Knowledge: Choose a bank that is close to your location. Local banks often have a deep understanding of the community and can connect you with other local businesses and customers. 

  2.  Business Size Fit: Ensure the bank specializes in small businesses of your size. Whether your annual revenue is $50,000 or $5 million, you need a bank that caters to your specific needs. 

  3. Industry Expertise: Work with bankers who understand your industry. Different industries have unique financial needs, and having a banker with relevant experience can be highly beneficial. 

  4. Product Offerings: Evaluate the financial programs a bank offers and if they meet your needs. A small business banker can help you navigate checking and savings accounts, credit support, investment performance, and tax liabilities, as well as many other specialized services. 


Determining if a Bank is Aligned with Your Small Business Values 

  1. SBA Programs: Ask if the bank offers SBA loans. When they do, it typically means they are more capable of providing the services and support needed by small businesses. 

  2. Service and Flexibility: Evaluate the level of service they provide. Local bankers may offer more personalized service and flexibility along with the technical assistance your small business needs to grow.  

  3. Community Reinvestment: Consider banks with strong Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) ratings. These ratings indicate how well a bank is reinvesting in the local community, which can be a sign of their commitment to local economic health. 


OSDC Can Help 

Most loans that OSDC provides to small businesses are done in coordination with a local bank. So we understand that choosing the right banker is a strategic decision that can significantly impact your small business’s success. Building a strong, proactive relationship with a banker who understands your needs can ensure better financial management, smoother operations, and more effective investment planning. Remember, your banker should be more than just a place to deposit money; they should be a partner in your financial journey.  

Contact OSDC to learn more about how we can help you find the right banking partner.