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Tips for financing your small business

March 12, 2019

By Adam Lervik for The Bellingham Business Journal | The Bellingham Business Journal

Adam Lervik is a commercial banking officer at Peoples Bank with 15 years of experience in the banking industry.

From multi-generational farms to craft breweries, small businesses form the backbone of Whatcom County. When you walk down the street in our communities, locally owned businesses continue to outnumber national brands. As a commercial banker at Peoples Bank and a lifelong resident of Whatcom County, it’s rewarding for me to help local businesses find success.

I occasionally hear small business owners discuss how challenging the financing process can be. Those challenges often surround arduous documentation processes or uncertainties surrounding qualification guidelines. Here are a few ways small business owners can better prepare to discuss borrowing needs and strengthen their case for financing.

Know your business. Before we ever discuss your balance sheet or a prospective loan structure, we’ll sit down for a simple conversation. I’d like to learn about your business, but along the way, I want to connect with you as the entrepreneur behind that business. How is your company organized? How do you create the products/services that you sell? Who are your competitors? What are the largest risks and opportunities for your business? How is your business impacted by regulation? How do you recruit and retain talented employees? What metrics do you use to measure success? How does your company use data to gain insight into existing and potential clients? Answers to questions like these not only provide an overview of the business but a level of insight into a small business owner’s management ability, character, strategic outlook, and appetite for risk. Read more...