Grow your business with the five C’s of credit

Chris Goller is the new Milwaukee regional president at PNC Bank. He has put forth a high-growth strategy for PNC, which entered the Milwaukee market in 2010, including 12 new branches in southeastern Wisconsin. There are five steps every business pursuing growth should take, he says.

“There are many different ways to grow and advance a small business. Whether it’s investing in training or new technology, or purchasing a new facility to expand your inventory, establishing separate business credit and using it wisely is critical to growing any business. With that in mind, consider the five C’s of credit to help you grow and expand your business:

“Know your capacity: There are numerous financial benchmarks such as debt and liquidity ratios that banks use before providing a loan or line of credit. What is your company’s borrowing history and track record of repayment? How much debt can your company handle?

“Personal capital: It’s best not to put all of your personal assets on the line, but if you have invested in your company, it demonstrates to the bank a personal commitment, and could make the banker more inclined to lend to you.

“Monitor economic conditions: One constant with the economy is change. If your business is sensitive to economic downturns, the bank wants to know that you are adept at managing productivity and expenses through good and bad cycles.

Chris Goller

“Make use of business collateral: Unless you are a business with a proven payments track record, you will almost always be required to pledge collateral. While cash flow is usually the primary source of repayment of a loan, bankers also look at secondary sources of repayment such as real estate, inventory or accounts receivable.

“Your good character: Simply put, banks want to put their money with business owners who have the best credentials and references.”

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