Page last updated at 22:59 GMT, Wednesday, 18 May 2005 23:59 UK

Get inside your bank manager's head

Seeing your bank manager about a business loan need not be too scary
Coming up with a decent business plan is worthless unless you can secure the financial backing to get your business off the ground.

In most cases people ask their bank managers for help, but how do you best go about it?

Paul Lynam, chief executive NatWest & RBS Business Banking, reveals the questions you are most likely to face.

QUESTION Dom Gallagher, UK
When people come to you for a business start up loan, what questions should they be prepared to answer, assuming they do have a business plan?

ANSWER Paul Lynam, chief executive NatWest & RBS Business Banking
Preparing a business plan is a great place to start, as this will enable you to put your ideas into a format that can help you decide how viable your business proposition is.

This will prompt you to ask yourself questions about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your potential business.

In addition, it will provide you with a working document that can be used to demonstrate the commercial viability of your business to your bank manager.

You would need to demonstrate your experience, knowledge and ability in successfully managing the business.

As part of this planning process I would suggest you consider and be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • How will this fit in with your current lifestyle?

  • Do you have the right qualities?

  • What is your unique selling point?

  • How will you market your business?

  • Will you make a profit?

  • What is your cash flow like?

  • What are your set up costs?

  • How will you fund the venture?

  • Will you need to employ staff?

  • Who and where are your competitors?

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