How to manage your lender

Given the take up of the government backed loan schemes, it seems timely to write about the importance of managing your lender.

This will be new to some, who have neither wanted nor needed debt before, but have been left with no other option in order to survive.

Financially speaking, lenders are often the biggest investor in your business. As such, they should be viewed and treated as a priority stakeholder, but that isn’t always the case.

Effective, honest, two-way communication is vital. As payment holidays come to an end, and the economic recovery unfolds, difficult conversations are on the horizon for many.

Ask for help if you need it. Do it early. Often people will bury their head in the sand, hoping the problem will go away, and when it comes out it’s too late to act.

Most lenders will require you to provide them with management information on a regular basis. If this is the case, do your best to provide useful, easily digestible information in a timely fashion.

Don’t just send them the figures, go one further and add your own commentary regarding performance. This dialogue can lead to healthy, proactive conversations about what help and support is available.

It’s understandable that some businesses are wary of their lenders, as they may have endured negative experiences or read stories in the press.

However, these days, there is a concerted focus, by lenders and the regulators, to treat customers fairly and do the right thing

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