Canadian Franchisees and the Elusive Banking Relationship
Developing a relationship with a Canadian bank can be very valuable for a franchisee. More specifically, developing relationships with individual banking officers often benefits you in terms of service and satisfaction. When you become more than just a name and number at your chosen bank, you'll be in a better position when it comes to financing and later expanding your franchise business. It's never too late to form a banking relationship for your business, so if you haven't already, here's where to start.
Find your bank
It's better to go with a financial institution that has already shown a commitment to and understanding of your industry. You won't have to spend as much time explaining certain actions, decisions and factors if the person you are speaking to has knowledge of your industry already. Talk to colleagues and other professionals, such as your attorney, about their banking and see if you can get any referrals if you are not sure which bank to approach.
Whether you're looking to finance your first franchise or you need a bank for your business needs right now, you still want to go to your first meeting prepared. Bring a full company profile that is complete with your business needs and future plans. When you meet with a bank official, you'll want to gauge three things before deciding what to do: how interested they are in your business, whether you want to work with them, and your level of confidence in their abilities.
Maintain regular contact
Once you've got your financing secured or your banking needs met, keep in regular contact with the banking official to foster the relationship. Giving them updates on your business plan and budgets, for example, and informing them of bad news about your business before it comes from somewhere else can go a long way. Ask your banker for advice on the services your business needs; over time, your banker can become a valuable resource in this area, particularly as their knowledge about your specific business grows.
As a franchise business owner, you have the opportunity to form a mutually beneficial relationship with your banker to help your business in the long run and make your financial transactions go more smoothly. Don't just visit your local bank when you need something; take the time to form a relationship that will benefit your franchise overall.