What’s the formula for a successful business? Can’t-miss services or products served up with efficient execution. But regardless of how well you master these, viability always boils down to working capital. Because if costs consistently outpace your earnings, the business model collapses.

Not all lenders are alike

When every decision has the power to shift the bottom line, your choice of lender is a key element in the formula for business success.

To find that lender, look beyond the promotional rate. Seek a banker that’s invested in your success. Such lenders take time to understand your goals and the workings of your venture. They will also offer tools, reliable guidance and tailored loans that meet your needs.

How do you locate such a lender? Speak to several in your community before you choose. The helpful commercial lenders at Minnwest Bank have created a list of questions so you’ll know which lender is best equipped to help you succeed. We also explain our tailored approach.

By the way, these meetings cost nothing, so don’t be shy. If you’re looking to expand, book appointments at multiple banks that offer commercial lending in your community and ask away.

Questions to ask a small-business lender

How much does it cost?

If this is your first-ever business loan, this can be eye-opening. From origination to appraisal fees, you’ll want to know the lending expenses as fully as possible so you can be financially prepared.

How much time will this take?

It’s common for business owners to underestimate the time needed to close a loan, especially when it comes to real estate and construction financing. A knowledgeable lender will be transparent and explain the steps, so you understand the process. Having an accurate, well-informed estimate for your closing date is key to executing your business expansion smoothly.

Who makes the lending decisions?

This is a question few think to ask. Unless you’ve worked for a bank, you may not be aware of how often loans are sent out of state for approval. This is common practice at larger financial institutions. However, Minnwest Bank’s commercial loans are decided by an in-house credit committee. That means your lender works closely with this team, so they have a deep knowledge of what they’re looking for in a borrower. Not only that, but the credit committee is also made up of people who live and work right in your community. If your business fills a much-needed niche, they’ll have firsthand knowledge of the value of your proposal.

What is your approach to small-business lending?

Here’s another thing few people realize about business lending: Many lenders are going to put you into a box. This means they use a scorecard of predetermined underwriting criteria and eligibility requirements. This can create a couple of hazards for business borrowers. If their credit score is less than 700 — which is well within the “good” range — their application can be automatically declined. Or if they do get approval, the payment terms may not necessarily align with their cash-flow needs.

Minnwest Bank lenders are empowered to tailor loans to the borrower’s needs and circumstances. We have the flexibility to offer terms that cater to your working capital.

Also, we’re well aware that entrepreneurs use more credit than most consumers because it’s a necessity to launch a business. So we think it’s only fair to consider your credit score in context of your unique situation.

What services and products do you offer to help me grow my business?

If you like what you hear from your prospective lender, find out what else they have to offer. From business checking accounts to cash management tools designed to streamline and protect your payments, Minnwest Bank has everything needed to run your business smoothly.

How can I get started?

At Minnwest Bank, we believe that finding the right banker is crucial for small-business success. Minnwest is a local lender that can offer the same caliber of loans and cash management services you’d find at mainline banks, but with personalized services and customized lending.

Connect with our many helpful Commercial Lenders at Minnwest Bank. We live here too, which is why we're invested in your success.

Related Posts