In these tight times obtaining bank credit is much more difficult than it has been. Your bank manager is on your side. Remember that they are successful if they can loan you money.
It is important to understand that your Bank Manager does not have the final say in approving your loan. Effectively they are acting as your business champion through their credit department and credit processes. You need to make their job easy by making your business easy to fund.
Having six month old financials is just not good enough anymore. You need to show them that you are on top of your cash position every day. Often there will be covenants on loan agreements that mean that you have to supply financials each month.
You should start your relationship with your bank manager as soon as you can. We recommend strongly that small businesses get into the habit of sending your bank manager management accounts every month, and as timely as you can. Being open and proactive with your numbers creates a long term trust relationship as you are being open an honest about your business. You are showing you have nothing to hide from the bank manager, even if they never read it.
Every 3-6 months you might invite your bank manager into meet you and your key staff and see your business. This allows them to build a real picture of your business and build a relationship with it.
Another easy thing to do is to make a point of sending in any positive press and commentary on your business. Bank managers are well connected in the business and community and will help spread the positive word about you.
Your Bank Manager may be your lifeline at some point in the future. Your relationship with your Bank Manager is important to invest in so that when you need them, they will go into bat for you, to get you that loan.