Have you ever thought …
- The financing process is too hard.
- It’s a game where I feel like my lender is an adversary.
- Financing takes too long and makes me feel like I’m on trial.
These are just some of the comments that emerged from recent third party research about financing for small businesses.
And if you have ever felt like this…just know there is a better way.
Here’s how it should work:
People matter most.
A commercial lending relationship has to go beyond a one-page application, an interest rate and a payment. While speed and simplicity are important, a lender without the qualitative understanding of your business, specific project understanding, where you’ve been and where you’re headed will likely leave you with unreliable experiences sooner or later. A lender that invests in you, just as much as they do “the transaction” is interested in a relationship. They understand that this is not the only need you will ever have and if they take the time to really understand your business, offering competitive solutions in a simple straightforward process, they’ll keep you coming back.
What we say…we should do.
Poor expectation setting leads to long maybe’s, what if’s, complicated processes and eventually disappointment. These actions, unfortunately, deliver too many negative experiences for too many small businesses. But a real professional relationship is built on trust. And that starts with doing what you say you are going to do. Trust must be earned. A lender should return calls promptly. They should correctly set expectations on timing, documentation required and deliver within the parameters of those expectations—every time.
Knowing Business and the ‘Process’.
If you have ever tried to finance a specific collateral or asset class with a lender that clearly doesn’t know anything about your business, you understand the importance of this statement. Knowledge of your business can lead to better terms of financing along with easier approval and funding processes.
Some lenders only offer one finance option. You either fit their “box” or you don’t. If there is one thing we can all agree on, is that fitting all or many businesses into a single “box” is an unreasonable expectation. Because of this, financing with a company with few options can feel inconsistent, unreliable and produce generally poor customer experiences. Their single option simply can’t be flexible enough to adapt to the dynamic issues affecting your company. A great long term commercial lending relationship should be able to grow with you or be there for you when business situations become more challenging. More financing options power more flexibility and the best lending partners can offer this.
At SLS, we’ve helped small businesses succeed uncomplicated finance programs for more than 30 years. While our finance programs are competitive and flexible, what sets us apart is our people. We may have Wall Street caliber financial resources…we’re Main Street kind of people. And maybe that’s why so many small businesses and dealers trust us time and time again.
If you want to know how to establish or grow a finance program for your company…let’s talk.