I have to admit I have generally been very disappointed with banks; they are never there when you need them, but what I have learnt is how to deal with them to get the best out of the relationship.
The problem with banks they are only supportive of cast iron companies, when it comes to trying to get a loan to start your business. The problem is that the relationship is based on a points system the computer gives you. If you learn how to play the system you can get the best out of it.
The most important thing to remember is to go with a bank that has a face to the business, someone who is allocated to help and give support but remember some of these people are not that qualified so ask plenty of questions and see more than one bank.
At this point I have an opportunity to get my own back with Barclays Bank, because my experience with them apart from the fact they were unprofessional i.e. they didnâ€™t even know who was my local chamber of commerce was, but they actually managed to steal Â£5000 from me, I know this is a strong statement but the only correct one, unfortunately I didnâ€™t have the money to take them to court even though I had all the documented evidence, I just didnâ€™t have the time the resources or the money and it was more important to focus on the more immediate issues at the time. If Barclays take offence to this entry I look very much to meeting them in court.
Now I have got that off my chest I will give you a few pointers
â€¢ Always keep the banks full informed
â€¢ Keep them up-to-date with changes in the company
â€¢ Never go overdrawn unless it is to an agreed amount and never go beyond this
â€¢ Ensure good regular turnover
â€¢ Never give personal guarantees for overdrafts
If you do all this when the time comes and you need a loan etc you will find it much easier and even though you where refused at the beginning, it may only take 6 months to get the green light next time.
My final advice is never go into the red, look at your business and adjust the way you operate, fire those that are not productive, be smart with your advertising and stick to the basics, because banks can pull the plug at a whim. This is a true test of ones ability to manage a company, asking for more money isnâ€™t dealing with the true issues it just delays the inevitable.
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