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In fact quite a bit. As Rhinebeck Bank Relationship Managers, one of our roles is to attract, retain, assist and empower our customers. The same holds true for business owners in their respective businesses. Over the years through interactions with business owners, we have realized that we do many of the same things in order to be successful, and I’d like to share a few of these things we have in common.
The most important aspect of financial planning for a small business owner is cash flow. Cash flow is the collective term for the money that is moving in and out of a business in a month. Whether a business is newly opened, or well established, understanding cash flow is essential. Successful business owners understand the cost of the movements, the cycle of movements, and the types of vehicles for moving funds. More importantly they anticipate shortfalls and temporary surpluses, and best short- and long-term solutions to both. As a Rhinebeck Bank Relationship Manager, we must also understand their cash flow. A Relationship Manager’s ability to analyze this thoroughly and offer solutions to increase cash flow, reduce expenses, and solve shortfall or surplus issues is key.
Another important common aspect is attitude. We all “sell” ourselves everywhere and anywhere we go, regardless of whether or not we know it. The way we conduct ourselves to the public, to family, and to friends creates a perception within the minds of others. The attitude we have about the business we are in, and the resulting perception others form, will contribute to the success or failure of a business or bank. We should be positive, supportive, confident, and a pleasure to deal with during every interaction.
As a banker, it is imperative that we network, and the same holds true for business owners. Networking is not just about being at an event or function, but is about making new acquaintances, getting to know your competitors and introducing yourself to as many people as possible. Attending local events allows you to make new connections, re-establish old connections, and strengthen existing connections. Social Media is also a key component for networking. Sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and others allow businesses to communicate with customers, receive feedback, and network in new ways. Furthermore, we are fortunate to be in the Hudson Valley where Dutchess, Orange and Ulster Counties often have many active networking events making the area a great place to do business.
Communication is a skill that separates great businesses and bankers from the rest. While there are many components of good communication, the most important thing is to follow up. Many businesses and bankers make promises but fail to deliver and/or do not call or visit after a sale or service to ensure satisfaction. Customers remember their experiences, and those experiences are what will cause them to either continue or discontinue doing business with someone. Consistently following up with your customers, and being accessible when they need you, tends to increase repeat business as well as lead to quality referrals.
These are just a few things that small business owners and our Relationship Managers have in common that contribute toward success. Rhinebeck Bank understands the importance of cash flow, a positive attitude, diligent networking, and following up. If you are looking for a banking partner that shares these core values and more, stop by one of our branches and talk to a Relationship Manager.