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In a FinTech World, Personal Relationships Still Matter to Small Businesses

Laurel and Hardy, Peanut Butter and Jelly, JayZ and Beyonce. All great combinations, all complementary relationships. Well, that’s what counts when you are picking your funding partner, too.

There are almost seven thousand banks in the US across fifty states. The number of banks in the United States peaked at nearly fifteen thousand in 1986. There has been a steady decline over the last thirty years, and it is not likely to stop any time soon. So, don’t look for long-term relationships at your bank. That probably won’t last.

There are almost seven hundred small business lenders that report to the government according to the requirements of the Community Reinvestment Act.

When it comes to online lending, there are hundreds of sites, but most are lead generation sites. That means the Small Business Owner gives all their personal information and then the site that collected it tries to find a funder to match. While that is happening, your personal information is actively spread across the information superhighway. Sharing this confidential information—social security number, bank access information, private facts about your business revenue, number of employees, your personal credit information, etc. in the days of the data breaches and the dark web; as we know, is a bad idea.

So, what’s the small business owner to do?

My research tells me the main reason the Small Business Owner seeks working capital is for offensive purposes rather than defensive, meaning they are ready to invest in innovative ideas for their business. These findings are very compelling for a company like Reliant Funding. Small Business Owners aren’t trying to fight off default; they are trying to expand and grow. These new ideas expand revenue, create jobs and when they work, increase the personal wealth of the business owner. At Reliant this is the best part of what we do.

We all agree that providing easy funding is for growth is very energizing.

Okay, so what do I recommend?

I recommend looking for a relationship. Big corporations all have “bankers” dedicated to helping them with Cash Management and funding for acquisitions and investments. I say it’s time for Small Business Owners to get that level of service. In fact, they should demand it.

At Reliant funding, one hundred percent of our fundings are done by a live person at our San Diego or New York offices. These are all highly trained folks who specialize in servicing Small Business Owners across many industries. There are no robots and “Alexas” or “Siris” involved.

Each Small Business Owner who calls Reliant is assigned a personal account executive. They get to know your business and what’s important to you. They work within your timeline hours and are focused on your success.

And that’s the way it will always be.

I had a boss at one of largest Financial Institutions in America who made a great impression on me. One of his key strategies was to deliver the service level of a local banker on a national scale through remote delivery channels. We do that today at Reliant.

Think about your favorite local clothing store. You always visit with the same salesperson. You may even walk out if they aren’t there. The reason you keep going back is that they know you, they care about you and want you to look great.

You can never get that level of experience or service through a digital-only relationship. Sure, the internet is fantastic and has brought the world closer together. But critical financial decisions need the human touch. And a busy small business owner needs a relationship with a company and an individual who is passionate about their success.

Just like other aspects of your life, having great relationships makes everything better.

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