8 benefits of working with a banker

January 30, 2024 | 4 minute readEn español

Running a business requires overcoming obstacles, such as the challenges of rapid growth or facing soaring costs and sagging sales. Maybe you’ve experienced these or similar situations and tried to manage the finance or cash flow issues that accompany them on your own.


The truth is you don’t have to handle everything alone. Bankers have the background and resources to become important, trusted advisors in helping small business owners succeed. “Bankers can help you in every phase of your business — from starting a new business, to obtaining the capital you require to run and grow your business, to providing the advice you need to thrive,” says David Woell, Small Business, Specialty Banking & Lending division executive for Bank of America.


"Bankers can help you in every phase of your business — from starting a new business, to obtaining the capital you require to run and grow your business, to providing the advice you need to thrive."

How can a banker help my small business?

  1. Serve as a trusted advisor. Bankers are trained to be aware of your business’s needs and priorities and recommend potential solutions. If you need creative ideas for growing your business, your banker can help determine next steps. Bankers can also advise on trends in your field and potential risks. “A banker can share knowledge of industry insights gleaned from working with other clients and provide advice and solutions to help you stay competitive,” says Woell.


  3. Be a part of your community. Every region in the country has a unique mix of industries and cultures that can benefit from localized expertise. As a part of your local community, bankers are aware of business events, entrepreneurial programs, grants, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and other resources to support the small business community. Bankers also help business owners identify local real estate and business acquisition opportunities. 


    Being in tune with local concerns and resources, many banks also offer comprehensive tools developed with the needs of minority small business owners in mind, such as access to capital directories


  5. Assist with access to capital. You can also receive valuable advice on gaining access to financing. From determining how much credit you need, reviewing loan options, to helping prepare a loan application and troubleshooting it, a banker can be there every step of the way. “We can look at your tax returns, financials and help you address questions and concerns that may come up in the loan process,” explains Woell. “We can analyze trends, liquidity, cash flow, and anticipate any potential problems. This can make the difference in getting approved for a loan.”


  7. Monitor cash flow. Some small business owners may wait until they encounter a cash flow challenge before reaching out to their banker. You can proactively work with a banker to uncover causes of financial problems and help streamline your business by reviewing cash flow management solutions.


  9. Recommend digital tools. Bankers can point you to digital tools — online and mobile — that can analyze cash flow, track business trends, and send and receive payments. Some are a few keystrokes away on the bank’s website. “We’re also able to walk you through how to use the tools if you find that helpful,” says Woell.


  11. Automate payroll. Using powerful digital tools, you can also work with a banker to automate payroll. Whether your business requires a full-service payroll or a mobile payroll option, bankers can advise on payroll solutions to meet your needs.


  13. Establish relationships. As a business owner, you know the value of personal relationships. Your banker can introduce you to new clients and vendors; they can also share ideas for growth that businesses in the same industry have executed successfully.


  15. Post-tax time check-up. There’s no better time for an annual review of your business’s financials than after tax season. By reviewing how your previous fiscal year unfolded, a banker can help spot and analyze business trends, discuss how you stack up to other businesses in the same industry and prepare you for the upcoming year. 


It’s also smart to introduce your CPA to your banker so they can join forces to help you achieve your goals. No matter what size business you run, it’ll be easier to succeed with your banker on your team.


How to get started

The easiest way to discuss your financial goals and business priorities with a banker is to reach out by email or phone and schedule time to connect. Bankers will often meet at your place of business, the financial center or over the phone. You can also schedule an appointment anytime through the bank’s website. Depending on your relationship, some banks will even assign a dedicated client team that will serve as your dedicated point of contact.  “You can engage your banker how and when you need,” says Woell. At a minimum, he recommends meeting with your banker twice a year.


Communicating regularly is essential, particularly when you’re facing challenges. “Be candid about your needs,” advises Woell. You may have never considered doing so, but Woell recommends inviting your banking team to visit your workplace as well. The more your banker knows about your situation, the more they can help you. “With specifics, we can focus on priorities,” says Woell.

Important Disclosures and Information


Bank of America, Merrill, their affiliates and advisors do not provide legal, tax or accounting advice. Consult your own legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions. Any informational materials provided are for your discussion or review purposes only. The content on the Center for Business Empowerment (including, without limitations, third party and any Bank of America content) is provided “as is” and carries no express or implied warranties, or promise or guaranty of success. Bank of America does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, completeness, usefulness, non-infringement of intellectual property rights, or quality of any content, regardless of who originates that content, and disclaims the same to the extent allowable by law. All third party trademarks, service marks, trade names and logos referenced in this material are the property of their respective owners. Bank of America does not deliver and is not responsible for the products, services or performance of any third party.


Not all materials on the Center for Business Empowerment will be available in Spanish.


Certain links may direct you away from Bank of America to unaffiliated sites. Bank of America has not been involved in the preparation of the content supplied at unaffiliated sites and does not guarantee or assume any responsibility for their content. When you visit these sites, you are agreeing to all of their terms of use, including their privacy and security policies.


Credit cards, credit lines and loans are subject to credit approval and creditworthiness. Some restrictions may apply.


Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as “MLPF&S" or “Merrill") makes available certain investment products sponsored, managed, distributed or provided by companies that are affiliates of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp."). MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, Member SIPC, and a wholly owned subsidiary of BofA Corp.


Banking products are provided by Bank of America, N.A., and affiliated banks, Members FDIC, and wholly owned subsidiaries of BofA Corp.


“Bank of America” and “BofA Securities” are the marketing names used by the Global Banking and Global Markets division of Bank of America Corporation. Lending, derivatives, other commercial banking activities, and trading in certain financial instruments are performed globally by banking affiliates of Bank of America Corporation, including Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC. Trading in securities and financial instruments, and strategic advisory, and other investment banking activities, are performed globally by investment banking affiliates of Bank of America Corporation (“Investment Banking Affiliates”), including, in the United States, BofA Securities, Inc., which is a registered broker-dealer and Member of SIPC, and, in other jurisdictions, by locally registered entities. BofA Securities, Inc. is a registered futures commission merchant with the CFTC and a member of the NFA.


Investment products: