A farmer’s relationship with his or her ag lender is one of the most important business relationships. And creating a healthy relationship with your ag lender creates a strong foundation for your financial strategy and business success to build on.
Just like any relationship, the one between a farmer and a banker has many components. Here are a few key tips for building a strong relationship with your ag lender.
Have open lines of communication.
Communication is key when creating a partnership with your ag lender. They are the person you want to bounce ideas off of and have help you dig deeper into your finances. But they can’t serve as your financial advisor if you don’t keep them informed on the financial aspects of your business. Bring ideas and questions to your ag lender right away.
Let your ag lender serve as your advocate.
Your ag lender should be a good listener. Someone who takes the time to know your story and your business goals and helps you achieve them. When choosing a lender, look for someone who understands the agriculture industry and the economic trends that could impact your business outcomes. When you allow your ag lender to serve as your advocate, they can connect you to other tools and resources that will support your business.
Your ag lender is positioned to help you through the good and bad times. But they can only do that if you keep them informed on any circumstances (personal or business) as they arise. You can avoid being surprised when a financial problem or emergency arises by taking a proactive approach. It’s a lot easier to create positive outcomes and avoid serious financial problems when you work with your lender to determine changes that can be made.
Set goals and share them.
Goal setting is a major component of business development and growth. Goals give you focus, direction and motivation. In short, goals help guide you on a focused path to your desired outcome. When you share your goals with your ag lender, they can help position you and your business to achieve them. For example, if you’re interested in purchasing additional land, they can explore this opportunity with you. They will walk through the numbers and do a total debt service to determine the financial impact on your business. And if you move forward with the purchase, they can help you through the land loan process.
No matter your size, an ag lender is an invaluable partner for your agribusiness. They serve as your advocate and trusted advisor and connect you with financial tools and resources.
To learn more about how Northwest Bank can help support your agribusiness, contact one of our bankers today.
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