Date your bank. Think like the Underwriter. Be transparent. These are a few of the gems I learned from The What Now Movement’s Masterclass on Small Business Funding. It was given by Lakendra McNair, Vice President of M&T Bank and she kept it honest with us. You will have to be apart of our What Now Movement Mastermind Group for the full presentation. But trust me, its worth it.
Date Your Bank.
A good banker knows your story, knows your industry and understands the ins and outs of your business. A great banker becomes part of your story and helps you dissect your business to get the mos capital you can raise based off those important netrics.
So how do you get to that level when you’re starting out on your journey. You date the bank. We should do the Google searches to determine the culture of the bank. For me, a black women, I should look at the diversity makeup of the team on the site. When we’re able to visit without feeling like its a health risk, go into the bank and get to know the team.
Its important for us to know who we’re banking with as it is for the bank to get to know us…beyond our credit score. And the banker needs to let us know how the underwriter thinks. Relationships are crucial.
Think Like an Underwriter
To be honest I had no idea what an underwriter was and its role in getting funding for our business. And if you’re like me, here is the definition.
An underwriter is a member of a financial organization. They work for mortgage, insurance, loan or investment companies. They assess, evaluate and assume the risk of another party for a fee. Often, you’ll see this fee in the form of a commission, premium, spread or interest.Smart Asset
What I do understand is that I have to know my numbers and the banker needs to translate my numbers to how the underwriter thinks. She mentioned the 6Cs of business credit and these are ways that we need to think like our bankers:
- Cash Flow
If we understand what the bank we’re dating looks for then we can increase our chances of getting the capital we need to grow our business. To me, these are a great starting conversation when dating the bank.
For me, as I look toward growing by business post pandemic I will shop for another bank. Of course, I will give the opportunity for my current bank to date me but as hard asI work for my money. I want to make sure that my bank interests and my interests ( no pun intended) are what’s best for me and my business.