Growing your business doesn’t just happen
Published: February 1, 2013
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One of the biggest reasons many businesses don’t grow is because the financial institution they are working with either doesn’t take the time to listen to their needs or has forgotten they exist.
First National Community Bank, a leader in providing small business banking solutions in Northeastern Pennsylvania, isn’t your typical financial institution. Their experienced business development team is dedicated to understanding the needs of local businesses to not only help them get started, but also to help them grow the most important thing — their bottom line — which, in turn, helps our economy and community grow.
They realize growing your business doesn’t “just happen” — it takes a dedicated partnership built on three simple concepts: Service, solutions and strategy.
Unlike most financial institutions, FNCB doesn’t believe their job is done once you sign on the dotted line. Instead, FNCB believes businesses require greater competence and responsiveness from a bank that understands their more complex needs.
“Exceptional service and personal relationships are what set FNCB apart from every other bank in our market,” said Vice President and Business Development Officer, John Dorneman. “Our relationship managers help businesses grow by taking the time to understand their goals, current financial situation and anticipated financial needs. Once the paperwork is complete, we don’t hand them off, we stay with them through every step of the business cycle.”
With numerous banking options available, including completely online banks, a personal relationship with your banker may seem less important. It’s not. In fact, it may be the most important factor in the success of your business.
“Developing a personal relationship with your banker can make all the difference when you have an urgent need or run into difficulty,” he said. “There is no substitute for the service a dedicated local banker can provide who has a vested interest in you and your business.”
With a large branch network and over a 300 person workforce based exclusively in Northeastern Pennsylvania, FNCB business customers can be assured all decisions and “service after the sale” is being handled by members of the local community.
“If they have a question or concern, they are not going to be directed to an out-of-state call center,” said Dorneman. “We take great pride in providing the high level of service and understanding that can only be offered by local people. In most cases, we can be there in ten minutes, try getting that level of service from a big bank in Philly.”
One area where local decisions by local people have the greatest impact is lending. In contrast to big national banks, where lending decisions may be based purely on numbers or computer models to determine whether to make a loan, FNCB takes the time to understand local businesses and what their needs and goals are both short and long term.
Their lending decisions go beyond just the financial statements. They look at all aspects of a business applying for a loan before any decisions are made. It’s this kind of flexibility — and willingness to look beyond the traditional — that makes FNCB a better option for business lending.
By drawing on qualitative information — getting to know the borrower, learning about the business, and understanding the local market — FNCB can better assess risk and successfully make loans to a wider group of businesses.
“Sure numbers are important, but they don’t always tell the whole story,” said Senior Vice President, Regional Commercial Lending Manager Patrick Barrett. “When we sit down with a business, we take everything into consideration, not just the raw numbers on a spreadsheet. There is more to it than that.”
This “let’s get this done” approach with an emphasis on superior customer service is what has allowed First National Community Bank to continue to help businesses grow, even during the recent economic downturn.
As a trusted advisor, many times, the advice a banker gives is far more important than the product or service they offer — by providing knowledgeable solutions tailored to a business’s current financial situation and plans for the future.
To execute this mission, your banker should ask questions, understand your business objectives and obstacles and offer a customized suite of services and rates that will help you meet your goals. Unfortunately, many bankers often take a transactional approach to client relationships and tout the product of the day instead of recommending services you really need.
While FNCB offers a wide-range of business deposit and loan products and services that include lines of credit, checking accounts, online banking and remote deposit capture, none are offered until a full needs analysis is complete.
Getting started with FNCB is effortless — an initial meeting gathers basic information about the business which assists relationship managers in the development of a plan that offers the most value to the customer.
“By carefully analyzing the needs of our customers, we can offer specific, targeted solutions to help their business grow,” said Dorneman. “We don’t offer products just for the sake of offering products. We put together detailed, customized solutions based solely on the needs of the customer.”
Whether a business wants to increase working capital, needs help reaching growth objectives or simply wants to take advantage of a business opportunity, FNCB offers flexible solutions to help them attain their business goals.
Do you have a business plan that covers the best, most likely, and worst case scenarios? We all know that things in life don’t always work as planned; a good banker must understand each of the three scenarios because bank support is needed through good times and bad. The benefit of developing alternative business plans also shows that you understand both risks and opportunities of operating in your industry regardless of financial climate.
In today’s economic times, creating such plans can be challenging. FNCB makes the process simpler by offering business owners and start-ups team-based solution strategy sessions to keep them focused and on track.
In addition to offering clear solutions on how to save money in your banking relationship, FNCB recommends working with trusted advisers like an attorney and CPA, because each member of the team offers wisdom and solutions that can help you grow your business.
“Our relationship managers are trained to sit with the business owner and their attorney or accountant to develop a comprehensive strategy because we know without a strategic plan, identifying solutions is just an empty promise,” added Barrett.
Having a trusted locally based community banker like FNCB on your team offers an additional benefit over big national banks.
“Because we are exposed to many local businesses and industries, we can be a great resource for ideas to help them strategize ways to reach their growth objectives,” Dorneman said. “We are their advocates not just in the beginning of the relationship, but also in the future should a need arise.”
So, while it’s true growing your business doesn’t “just happen,” the exceptional service, flexible solutions and innovative strategies offered by FNCB helps ensure local businesses achieve their business goals. And ultimately, that in-kind approach helps fuel local economic and community growth.
To learn how FNCB can provide solid solution strategies that can help you discover your growth potential and offer ways to achieve your desired results, call 1-877-TRY-FNCB to schedule a free, no-obligation solution strategy session customized for your business.