6 Questions That Can Help You Evaluate Your Business Bank Relationship

September 01, 2022

Halfway through 2022, companies in every sector are still managing through inflation and rising interest rates, not to mention ongoing supply chain and labor issues. Given the range of today’s economic uncertainties, now might be a perfect time for your Southern California business to evaluate the relationship with your business bank. 

When every dollar and every decision count, taking a closer look at your banking relationship could save you money, create new efficiencies and even help you grow your business. 

Here, we break down six questions to ask to get a clearer picture. 

Is my banker proactive about contacting me?
Good relationship managers want to know how things are going with their clients. They reach out not only to sell new products, but just to check in. Does your banker understand your business and suggest solutions that are right for you? If not, or if you get the feeling that you are just a name on a client list to your banker, it may be time to look elsewhere. 

Does my banker ask questions about my business — and listen to my answers? 
In a strong partnership, asking the right questions leads to a conversation. To truly understand your vision for your business, bankers look forward to having these conversations and will offer constructive suggestions, even helping you shape your goals. The 80/20 rule applies to these conversations, in that your banker should be listening 80% of the time.  

Does my bank understand my market? My industry? 
What differentiates your business from your competitors? What revenue targets are realistic in your sector in the next quarter — and in the years to come? How is your company perceived within your industry, and where do you stand against the competition? And most importantly, what comes next? Whether you’re in manufacturing, real estate, retail, tech, gaming or any of the myriad sectors that power Southern California, a good financial partner will have deep experience and a detailed understanding of your market.

Does my banker understand the day-to-day in my business? 
The big picture is important, but a good relationship manager understands the day-to-day details you deal with as a business owner. For example, having a thorough grasp of your cash flow enables your banker to offer you treasury management solutions that fit your specific needs. Having a handle on your industry timelines means your bank can work to help you keep projects on track. To succeed, you know you need to deliver on customer expectations, and your bank should understand precisely what that entails.

Is my bank evolving with my business? 
Finance is a fast-moving sector, and whatever business you’re in, chances are there are new technologies that can help you reach your goals. You’re keeping pace with rapid developments in your industry, and your banker should be doing the same. Ideally, your bank will offer financial products and services — perhaps even proprietary solutions for your industry — that are right for you. 

Is my banker a trusted advisor? 
As a business owner, you turn to certain people for advice. You know they have your best interests at heart, with no hidden agenda. That may include your lawyer, accountant, and mentors or coaches from your business journey. Is your banker on that list? Do they respond promptly to your calls and messages, give sound counsel and make meaningful suggestions? In the current economic climate, those things are more important than ever. 

Whatever stage your Southern California business is in, it’s always a good idea to consider the strength of your business banking partnership. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help, reach out to your Torrey Pines Bank relationship manager today.