5 C’s every business startup needs to know

How to prepare before you request a business loan

Business couple in front of organic store

Is this the year you have resolved to start your own business?

First, I suggest you get to know four people:

  • A banker
  • A CPA
  • An insurance agent
  • An attorney

Building good relationships with these invaluable resources will help you and your business succeed.

Now, let’s talk about applying for your business loan.

Prepare a solid business plan

Before you apply for a business loan, you need to have a good business plan. A lender’s main concern: are you going to be able to repay the loan?  You need to be clear on how you plan to build and sustain your business.

Understand what lenders look for

When deciding to loan you money, most lenders look at the five C’s of credit.

  1. Credit – Your credit report is a detailed list of your credit history and provides insight on how you manage credit and make payments. Lenders are looking to see if you pay back your creditors.
  2. Capacity – Do you have the means to repay your loan? How much debt do you have compared to how much you earn? Lenders want to know if you can comfortably manage your loan payments.
  3. Character – Character is tough for a lender to assess in the brief time loans are considered. This is where a good-standing relationship with a banker, who is likely to be your lender, is beneficial. They want to know if you are trustworthy. Will you repay your loan? Lenders will review all available information, such as credit reports and public records, to see if you’ve met past obligations or have a history of legal problems.
  4. Conditions – These are economic and other outside circumstances that may affect your ability to repay, like your business industry, the local market and competition to see how your business may fare.
  5. Capital – Do you have some of your own assets invested or a financial base to help you weather changes in the marketplace? Trying to start or sustain a business without any owner investment is considered very risky – what’s to keep you from walking away in hard times? Most lenders want to see some financial investment from the business owner.

Build relationships

While you want to score as high as possible on each of the five C’s, all loans are different and not every borrower will have an A+ rating on each category.  Having high scores on some factors may compensate for less-than-perfect scores on others. The key is to be open and honest with your lender.

If you’re interested in starting a small business, check out local resources available to help, such as:

Our lenders and business services representatives are happy to answer your questions, even if you are not an RCB Bank customer. Connect with a lender and/or business services representative in your area.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only.  RCB Bank is an Equal Housing Lender.  RCB Bank NMLS #798151. David Goodwin NMLS#449727. Member FDIC.
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Bring spirit of Mayberry to your business

Remote Deposit Capture allows you more time with customers.

Waitstaff welcoming guests

When I think of small town local businesses, I’m reminded of Mayberry from The Andy Griffith Show. In Mayberry, everyone is treated like family. Life was slower and townsfolk looked after one another with genuine care.

Things are little bit different now, but even in our fast-paced modern world, the spirit of Mayberry can still exist at your business. It begins by cutting down on the time you spend away from your customers.

Skip your daily trip to the bank.


Ask your bank about Remote Deposit Capture (RDC)*, which lets you process and deposit checks from your customers into your bank account without leaving the office.

Let’s look at two business owners. Are you business owner A or B?

Business owner A: You collect checks. Fill out a deposit slip, adding up your total once, twice and however many times until it balances. You leave your shop and drive to the bank. You wait in line to make your deposit. Then, you head back to the shop; maybe run an errand on the way.

Business owner B: You don’t have time to run the bank every day, so your checks pile up in a drawer until you make your weekly trip. Did you know the longer a check sits un-deposited, the higher risk it may bounce?

Streamline cash flow and save money.

Both business owners can improve efficiency with the convenience of RDC.  Plus, they can keep their cash flow going by adding funds to their accounts quicker.

Did I mention you can save money and possibly a lot?

If you want to see just how much, check out the RDC Business Value Calculator, available at remotedepositcapture.com. Enter in a few details and you can see your personal cost savings for mileage, labor and productivity by using RDC.

Miles cost money. If your bank is just one mile from your business, that is two miles a day round trip, 10 miles per week. That’s 520 miles a year; and with the standard mileage rate at 54.5 cents, you’re spending nearly $283 a year traveling to the bank. How far are you from your bank?

Time is money. If an employee makes $10 an hour and they spend half an hour a day processing your payments, you’re paying roughly $1,300 in wages for trips to the bank each year.

Things have changed since Opie walked the streets of Mayberry, but one thing remains the same – the value of quality customer service.

RDC lets you focus on building relationships with your customers by spending less time managing your daily finances.

Ask your banker for details.

Our business services representatives are happy to answer your questions, even if you are not an RCB Bank customer. Connect with a business services representative in your area.

* See your Business Services Rep for more details. Funds may not be available for immediate withdrawal.
Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. Member FDIC.
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How to save on credit card processing

Credit Card being used in card reader at business

By Eddie Curran, RCB Bank Business Services

Ever wonder if you’re paying too much for credit card processing? Follow this guide to discover if you can reduce your costs.

1. Gather Knowledge

To know if you’re getting the best deal from your merchant service provider (MSP), you first need a basic understanding of credit card processing and fees, according to Eddie Curran, RCB Bank vice president of business services.

Fees vary among companies, based on a wide range of variables.

“Familiarize yourself with the interchange rate,” Curran says. “This is the fee credit card companies charge MSPs to process their cards. This isn’t a flat rate fee but a range.”

Multitudes of factors affect it. For example, is the card a debit or credit? How is the card information entered, swiped, inserted or hand keyed? Is it a consumer or commercial card? Are there rewards like miles or points?

“These variables impact the interchange fee per card transaction,” Curran says.

MSPs decide how they charge for interchange fees and other costs for credit card processing.
A popular payment method is a flat rate. You pay the same price per transaction plus additional costs.

Another option is a cost-plus, or interchange-plus-pricing rate. You pay the actual interchange rate per transaction plus additional costs. This fee option adjusts per transaction.

“While a flat rate may sound convenient, you may get better transaction pricing with a cost-plus program,” Curran notes.

2. Compare Pricing

Processing fees and services are not the same across the industry.

Compare pricing to make certain you are getting the best deal.

Request an itemized list of all fees and services. Then, ask questions. When are fees taken out? How are they calculated? What assistance is provided in the event of a chargeback? What happens if there is a problem with the equipment? Am I buying or leasing equipment? When will I get my funds? What are the terms? What support is available and when?

“In any discussion, answers to questions should be very clear,” Curran advises. “If you feel you’re getting the run around or you don’t understand completely, step away and seek help before you make any decision. Not paying attention to details may get you locked into a long-term contract that may end up costing you lots of money in the long run.”

3.Choose Wisely

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Get a second opinion. Understand the terms of the deal completely, and have it spelled out clearly in writing.

“Take time before you sign,” says Curran. “Make sure the service provider is working to secure a deal that works best for you and allows you to process cards in the manner you need.”

Our business services representatives are happy to answer your questions, even if you are not an RCB Bank customer. Connect with a business services representative in your area.

Invest in yourself.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. Member FDIC.
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