“We’re Not Just 9-5 Bankers”: Q&A with Robin Wells About Business Banking
As spring approaches, new business ideas in Kansas City are beginning to bloom. In the startup phase of any business, our clients are bound to have questions about where to start, what steps they need to take and what resources are available to them. That’s why I sat down with Robin Wells, our senior vice president of Business Banking, as I continue my quest to learn more about all of our bank associates. A UMKC alum, Robin is celebrating 20 years with Country Club Bank this month.
First of all, congratulations on 20 years! How long have you been in the banking industry?
Thank you! I’ve been in the banking industry for more than 30 years.
What is it about Country Club Bank that’s kept you here for so long?
My clients and my associates. We have great rapport here, and I love what I do.
What do you enjoy most about working with small businesses?
I'm really amazed by the number of businesses out there and the number of ways to make a living. Small businesses do so many different things, and they're also the leading drivers for employment in the metropolitan area. Helping these businesses succeed helps our community.
Which of your services can business owners benefit from?
I assist business owners with finding the correct loan product for their needs and offer expertise in commercial banking.
From a small business perspective, what’s the basic difference between business banking and personal banking?
In a way, they’re both pretty similar. Both are all about cash flow, but business banking is more complex. You’ve got clients; you’ve got orders to fill. You have employees to pay and goods to pay for. You’ve got to manage the bottom line, which has many more moving parts than a typical personal banking situation.
After spending so much time in the industry, you’ve seen plenty of startups in their early stages. What advice can you give new business owners applying for loans?
If it’s a brand-new business, they need to have a good business plan that basically sells the business. That business plan needs to prove this would be a viable business for a bank to lend money to; they really have to put pen to paper and find out how to connect with their audience.
What should a business plan include?
Your business plan should include an executive summary. It should describe the company and what you’re going to do. It should include a market analysis with information on how you’re going to sell your product or service, and list the service and product lines you’re going to offer. The bank will also need to know what your funding request will be, what your financial projections will be, and how they tie in with the funding request. Also include a personal financial statement and resume. These aren’t typically standard, but banks will ask for them anyway so you may as well include them.
What online features do you offer to make business banking easier?
We’ve got a number of online features, from e-deposits to e-verify, to the ability to transfer money from one account to another. We offer all of the bells and whistles.
Where should new business owners start?
Small businesses can start by reaching out to us. If they’re brand new and aren’t quite sure of what they’re doing, we can direct them to agencies around Kansas City that will help them get a business plan together and understand the many aspects of it. Kansas City has fabulous resources for small businesses, and most are free! A lot of people don’t realize that.
Outside of banking, how does Country Club Bank stay involved within the community?
Last year our bank won the Nonprofit Connect Business Philanthropist of the Year Award for our support of charitable and civic organizations in Kansas City. We help in that way, but we also assist in a number of other ways, including the volunteer activities of individual bankers who provide mentorships to Kansas City area youth. I’ve been on the board for the Academy of Finance for the past 17 years, and other officers and associates also provide countless hours of service in the community. We’re not just 9-5 bankers. Giving back to the community is the right thing to do!
What does Country Club Bank offer that makes you stand out from your competitors?
Country Club Bank is known for its customer service. When we work with new businesses, we help them as much as we can, but we also have them do their own research. We make sure they’re prepared to run a successful business from the beginning. And they appreciate us for that.
A Dedication to Community
As I get a chance to visit with our various associates, I’m continually impressed by how involved Country Club Bank is with the Kansas City community. This team is truly committed to helping our friends and neighbors transform their business ideas into so much more!
While she's not yet to the 30-year mark, Marla Youk has worked many years herself in the banking industry throughout the Midwest. She now serves as a senior vice president and the director of marketing for Country Club Bank. Tweet to her @CountryClubBank or share your thoughts on the Facebook page!