Business Planning – Part Three

How to prepare for meeting the bank manager

Observing entrepreneurs pitch their business opportunity on the BBC Dragon’s Den programme will give useful pointers, both good and bad, about how you should present your plan to the bank manager.

In most cases it is likely to be the first time a new franchisee has ever presented a business plan to a bank. But don’t worry, help is at hand, most good franchisors will offer guidance to assist you. Having a robust business proposal is not enough if you are unable to articulate your plans and answer the bank manager’s questions with confidence.

The business plan should be succinct and a common mistake is to make it too detailed. Presentation of the plan is important to create a positive impression and you should practice delivery of your plan beforehand so that you have it clear in your mind how you wish to pitch your business plan and come across confidently and professionally.

You must take ownership of your plan which must be well researched and prepared. Take into consideration that yours won’t be the only business proposal the bank manager will be looking at that day, so make it stand out and capture the bank manager’s interest. Let them have a copy of the business plan well in advance so they can prepare for the meeting. Appointments late in the day should be avoided as you will want your mind to be fresh for the interview.

Your own comfort is also important so if you are not used to wearing a suit and tie then you don’t need to. But you should ensure that you dress appropriately for the meeting. Ripped jeans and a dirty T-shirt won’t create a very good first impression.

Building a good working relationship with a bank manager is important. They are well connected in the local community and it is important that they are kept up to date on progress with the business. They will often go out of their way to help, sometimes sending new customers your way.