You own a business, with all its satisfactions and headaches. Or you’re wanting to leave your mark and become an entrepreneur.

Either way, you’ve devoted long thought to success and the path it requires. Maybe it entails tinkering with your mix of products or an upgrade in services. Or it could be an energetic marketing plan. Perhaps it’s expansion or changing your array of clients and vendor relationships.

Yet, when putting together your must-haves, a solid business banking relationship should be at the top of that list.

To entrepreneurs, a bank should be more than the place to keep money or get the occasional loan. Instead, think of your business bank as an ongoing repository of both products and wisdom, a place to find going support when it comes to reaching your goals.

In short, for guidance, a banker’s wealth of knowledge and experience should rank right up there in importance with your attorney and accountant.

“Our business bankers can provide much more than a collection of products. Our most successful clients come to us for advice and counsel, too,” asserts Shana Peterson-Sheptak, PNC Bank’s Head of Business Banking. “Regardless of the business you’re in, we have a lot of specific expertise to lend.”

In fact, the smaller your business, the more important a banker’s advice can prove in those critical early stages of growth and development. With his or her mix of products and wisdom, you can reap rewards in terms of better tools to manage money, facilitate transactions, finance growth, and mitigate risks.

“We’re in the business of helping businesses,” Peterson-Sheptak continues, “We have a wide range of products and advice that can have a positive impact on operations, depending on the size and type of your company.”

What are the components of a successful relationship? Fortunately, it boils down to a simple set of principles.

Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

All strong relationships—personal and business—hinge on clear, honest, and frequent communications. That means you should have a trusted sounding board to share worries, opportunities, and knotty business issues that defy easy solution.

“We do take an active interest in the success of our clients. And the more we know about your progress, the more on-target and tailored the guidance becomes.”

What works best? Regular (and proactive) updates, whether in the office, on the phone, or over coffee can stimulate ideas on how to keep true to your objectives. At the same time, your talks will likely foster ideas to keep day-to-day operations flowing smoothly. The result? A strong banking partner in your corner, not to mention a more complete understanding of all the tools available to help you grow.


All relationships are built on trust. Yet trust is as much about transparency as it is about honesty.

Everybody wants to tout their wins, but few enjoy dissecting their setbacks.

Yet giving your business banker the clearest, most unvarnished picture possible of your current situation is crucial.

“A relationship with your business banker is different than a business relationship with, say, a vendor,” points out Peterson-Sheptak. “With that in mind, it’s important to always provide a realistic picture of your current business situation, not just accentuate the positive. The better we know your current situation, better advice you’ll receive.”


Good fortune isn’t happenstance. It’s when preparation meets opportunity.

Have you dotted every “I” and crossed every “T?” Are your books accurate and up to date? Do you have a solid business plan? Are you ready for when reversals take place? Because, trust us, they will.

The right business banker will be at your side, helping safeguard your future with a variety of potential scenarios.

Help us help you. Have clear ideas about sales projections over the next six months, year, and two years. Just as importantly, understand your future cash flow. And while your banker has a lot of knowledge to share, it never hurts to do a little teaching in return.

“Mind you, a veteran business banker has plenty of experience,” Peterson-Sheptak states. “At the same time, it’s important to know that your business and industry are unique. That requires a two-way conversation, one where you’re learning from your banker even as your banker learns from you.”

Most of all, a solid business banking relationship isn’t transactional, reduced to a matter of loans and checking accounts. It’s your mutual investment of time and energy to fully understand where you’re headed, and the support you’ll need to get there.

One Succeeds Alone. Enlist Some Help.

Ask any long-time business owner. Success can be a lonely thing.

That’s why it makes sense to surround yourself with capable and knowledgeable advisors, people who are genuinely interested in watching you succeed. One of those should be a banker who is there with you every step of the way.

“People often think of bankers as dollars and cents kind of people,” Peterson-Sheptak concludes. “Yet I’ve never had a colleague who didn’t treasure the lasting friendships and satisfaction that comes from helping a client succeed. No one loves being a player in a company’s success story more than we do.”

Are you ready to start a business? Or are you ready for a new phase of growth? The right relationship with a banker can make a big difference in your outlook. Talk to us today about the future of your business. And learn how a strong relationship will prove one of most valuable assets your business can have.