In our last session we discussed where we fit in the BSC industry. You may recall that if you have a 100 employees or so you are in the upper 2% of the industry in volume.
That makes one feel really good but the group of BSCs that have around 100 employees or less, is also the group that usually has the most difficulty growing to the next stage and the major reason is a shortage of cash and credit.
What about you? Do you have a relationship with a bank that would allow you to add 50% or 75% to your volume. Here are some helpful hints that just might allow you to grow without cash restrictions. Space is somewhat limited but we will highlight here the main points.
1. Establish a relationship before you need to borrow--When you choose you bank, borrow a small amount, for say 90 days, and then pay it back in 60 days. Then borrow more and pay it back before the maturity date. In this way when you go to ask for some serious money, you have a track record they can look at. Since the issues of the 2008 and 09 recession, banks are under stricter guidelines than in the past so start that relationship as soon as possible.
2. Meet with your bank regularly--Let me suggest you treat you banker just as you would a key client. It can be argued that the bank is just as critical to continued success as additional clients. You may just need the bank to get additional clients. I met monthly with my banker and that relationship led to him loaning me money when I wouldn't have loaned me money, but we had established an open relationship and we did what we said we would do.
3. Provide the bank with professionally prepared current financial statements. They like to have some background on your performance when you go to get that serious money. I recommend at least quarterly, I did it monthly. Please note, I said professionally prepared, not a bunch of number scribbled on a napkin.
4. Keep the banker informed---Chances are that at sometime during the life of your business, cash flow is not going to go as planned (how about right now?). When that occurs, meet with the banker and tell him or her the situation before it becomes painfully apparent. Believe me, I had that opportunity on several occasions during the nearly 35 years I owned and managed my own company.
Present a payment plan, in writing, that makes sense. They are more prone to work with you when they see you are working diligently to "get back on track". Remember, always PRESENT THEM WITH FACTS, NOT THINKS. If you aren't being realistic they will find it out soon enough.
Now before we put the bank on too high of a throne, it is important to remember that they make their profit by loaning us money. They need our business just as we need their help. They rent their money and we want to rent some from time to time.
How about it? Do you have a relationship with your banker that if you secured that big account you are chasing, you could call and have the money deposited in your account? If not, might want to consider starting now.
Just a reminder, we are here to help you in growing the sales, infrastructure and profits in your business as well as discussing a plan for your banking relationship. Check us out at www.consultantsincleaning.com.
Till next time.