Funny how it works. When you’re a young, wet-behind-the-ears wage slave in need of a loan, you visit the bank and you wait. And wait. And when someone finally steps up to help you, you walk out some time later suspecting that you’ve just been sold the same package as the schmuck before you.
Of course, later you start a business of your own and feel like you have a bit of weight to throw around. Maybe you do. Maybe you wait a bit less. But you still get the sneaking feeling you’ve been served up the same bank products everyone else gets. Of course, you keep working hard and your business grows. You grow. You’re pretty confident that you really ought to have some clout at the bank. You are spending more and more time waiting at the bank, talking with the bank…yet you always walk out feeling a bit like that wide-eyed young wage slave.
And this is the first reason why every business needs a Commercial Finance Broker. Get yourself a broker and you won’t have to deal directly with the banks anymore. (If you rushed through that sentence, read it again just to see how good it makes you feel.) Despite what they will tell you, bankers are not on your side. They don’t really work for you. If they did, they’d be on your payroll, right? They just want to package you up in a Commodore and tell you that you just bought a Mercedes. You weren’t born yesterday, so wake up to yourself, stay away from the banks and concentrate on running your business.
The second reason every business needs a Commercial Finance Broker is specialization. The first time you hire an amazing specialist to take care of a job for your business, it really turns the lights on, doesn’t it? You start to understand the value of the results only a specialist can get you. Brokers are specialists. Their job is to understand your business needs and deliver the best possible deal for your situation. They are not loyal to any one bank, they are working for you. A bank can only offer you one product. A broker might wind up comparing thirty or so, playing one against the other. So, the right broker is going to get you the best possible deal, where a bank can only ever railroad you into one thing.
Thirdly, let’s talk about what you can realistically expect in the way of expertise from your bank’s business finance ‘specialist’. This is a person who might well have worked their way up from the teller’s window to their present position. And the depth of their knowledge is very likely limited to the training the bank has given them in the products and services they have to offer. Don’t get me wrong, the person you talk to might be pretty sharp, but what they can do for you is always going to be limited by their own bank’s products and flexibility…or lack thereof. Knowing all the ins and outs of ducks arses is going to be a pretty short course if you’re limited to just one duck!
Okay, so if after all of this sparkling logic is yet to convince you that every business worth its salt needs a Commercial Finance Broker, here’s the acid test I apply to every business operator – the $64,000 question if you will:
“What’s your business banker’s phone number?”
The only excuse not to know is if your business banker phones you up to check in and compare notes every second day. Because if you’re not very familiar with them, either your bank isn’t trying hard enough, you’re not trying hard enough, or neither of you are! Plenty of business owners I consult with couldn’t even tell me their bank guy’s name, let alone his (or her) number. That’s just not how business finance is done.
Depending on your situation, the difference between rubbish business finance and a competitive deal can be hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. Even more if you’re, say, Clive Palmer. So saving yourself all those trips to the bank and getting a Broker onto the case starts to look like a no-brainer, don’t you think?
Very few small-to-medium business operators in Australia continue to engage directly with banks for their business finance needs as they grow. Realistically, there’s simply too much at stake. And besides…after all that time they made you wait over the years, it feels good to know that your broker is making the banks squirm while you get on with business.
Wishing you the best for your week,
Jason Smith l Director
Capital Plus Finance