What They like and What's Ahead: A Peek Inside the 9th Annual Small Business Banking Conference

By Britt, Phillip J. | The RMA Journal, December 2004 | Go to article overview

What They like and What's Ahead: A Peek Inside the 9th Annual Small Business Banking Conference


Britt, Phillip J., The RMA Journal


American Banker and RMA cosponsored the 9th Annual Small Business Banking Conference in Chicago at the end of October. Two sessions summarized here show what small business owners want from their banks and what's on the horizon for this market; watch for more from this conference in the February 2005 issue of The RMA Journal.

Personalized service is a top issue for small business owners

Every small company looks for a bank that can provide personalized service to meet its individual needs, agreed members of a panel of Chicago-area small business owners.

Gordon Campbell, CEO and founder of Award Concepts, Inc., said MB Financial, Inc. "treats us like a large company and gives us what we need." MB Financial is a $4.4 billion bank that has grown through aggressive acquisition of community banks throughout the Chicago market. The bank increased the product and service offerings to its customer as Awards Concepts grew--from a small, secured line of credit, to a larger secured line of credit, and then to an unsecured line of credit.

In selecting a bank, "we looked at service, not at interest rates," Campbell said. "Service means I can pick up the phone and [the bank] will provide everything we need and take care of our growth." Service to Campbell also means working with top people at the bank, rather than working with young, inexperienced bank managers and employees.

Small business owners often feel alone and fearful. So they need a bank that will take the time to understand those feelings and the business itself said Sharon Dalenberg, owner and president of Continental Courier, Ltd., a 300-employee company that banks with Fifth Third Bank ($21 billion), Cincinnati, Ohio.

Though she's pleased with the service that Fifth Third provides, as an entrepreneur herself, she will occasionally listen to other bank pitches as a courtesy. Banks' relationship managers need to stay on their toes, realizing competing institutions are always after their customers.

One of Dalenberg's major concerns stems from working exclusively with one banker at Fifth Third. The banker handling her account provides all the products and services she needs, meaning she need not go through one person for a credit line, another for a checking account, and so forth. While this is desirable, Dalenberg's concern is what would happen to her service if the person handling Continental's account left the bank.

She told a Fifth Third representative that meeting some of the product and service line managers would help alleviate that concern because it would give her secondary Fifth Third contacts.

Dalenberg cautioned bankers to do their homework before trying to land the banking business from a small company. "Another bank contacted us, but they sent someone who wasn't knowledgeable about our business," she said going on to say that "the person who came was different from the person who called me."

Consistency is another important factor for small business owners, according to Thomas Collins, president of Collins Engineers, Inc. Even with the mergers and acquisitions that resulted in the company's original community bank becoming part of Bank One, the banker handling the company's business has changed only five times in 25 years. The company also has been able to stay with the same local branch. There have yet to be any changes as a result of Bank One's merger with JPMorgan Chase.

Collins Engineers has offices in Chicago and in Ireland, so the company needed a bank that could provide letters of credit, as well as credit cards, direct deposit, and similar services that smaller businesses may not need.

Additionally, Bank One helps when Collins Engineers needs fast service, like short-term over draft protection. Collins explained that his company works under a number of government contracts, which are notoriously slow paying. Therefore, the company has occasionally needed Bank One to extend credit for a few days so that Collins could meet payroll. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

What They like and What's Ahead: A Peek Inside the 9th Annual Small Business Banking Conference
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.