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Are You an Aspiring Entrepreneur?

Here are tips from a relationship banker for starting a business

Owning a business is not without risk. It’s best to pick an industry you are passionate about and one you have researched. Talk to other business owners about their experience to see if you have what it takes to turn your aspirations into achievements.

Passion Project

To get your business off the ground, you need to have passion and dedication to make it successful, it isn’t just about the business plan. When you are passionate, you are more motivated to find creative solutions and take risks that ultimately help the business grow.

Once you feel confident about your idea, Ben Trehey, VP, Business Banking Officer at Coulee Bank in Rochester recommends getting your thoughts on paper. Many times, your first stop should be your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The SBDC provides support to new businesses, offering free consultations to help them strategize and formulate a thorough business plan. They work closely with community banks and have an understanding of their expectations and requirements. By leveraging this resource, you will be equipped with the tools and insights you will need to confidently prepare for the meeting with your banker.

Support from Your Relationship Banker

Do your research before choosing a bank and a banker. You and your new business have unique needs, and you want someone who is committed to your success. Trehey says his philosophy is to not be transactional but would rather build long-lasting relationships with his clients by understanding them and providing insightful solutions.

Since Trehey builds relationships, he can also help you build and develop relationships that become vital to your business. “I consider myself a connector. My goal is to connect people within the community to build mutually beneficial partnerships,” says Trehey. It’s a team-building approach he uses for all his customers. Each person he connects with may have a different skill set to provide you with the appropriate support to manage your business.

Capital to Start Your Business

Once you have developed a viable team, now you can apply for a loan. Many times, the best option for a new business is a loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA). If the business is a start-up, it may not qualify for conventional financing due to a lack of capital or collateral. The SBA incentivizes banks to provide financing in these situations by guaranteeing loans provided by the bank to qualified applicants.

Coulee Bank is an SBA Preferred Lender and can help process these types of loans. If you are thinking about starting a business, talk to your local Coulee Bank Business Banker.