Posted on 2/7/2019 2:01 PM By First Bank
When I ask family-owned and other privately-held businesses about their competitive advantages, one of the most common answers I hear is about their ability to create a great environment for employees to thrive. Often, the culture of the organization is described as having a “family feel” in which employees feel closely connected to their colleagues, more engaged, face less turnover, and can be more nimble in how they anticipate and react to their customers’ needs.
So, how do successful family-owned and other privately-held businesses create great cultures? By playing to their strengths. Such businesses may not have the resources available at larger organizations to help them develop a strong culture, such as large human resource departments to maximize team engagement, and the depth of talented leaders at the top of the company. Yet what they lack in resources, they make up for in other ways.
By MICHAEL DIERBERG, Chairman of the Board, FB Corporation
Posted on 1/29/2019 9:14 AM By First Bank
Whether you conduct your business out of a storefront, a factory, a farm, or an office, you’re among the multitude of businesses that operate out of a commercial space. Astute business owners are responsible for taking inventory on a wide variety of elements in their business’ success – be it accounting and payroll, managing employees, and even down to evaluating their existing workspace and property. It’s important to assess your needs in terms of workspace. As your long-term business needs adjust to fit the demands of your business’ growth, owners should weigh the pros and cons of renting or owning a commercial property.
Much like owning a home versus renting one, a commercial mortgage can also provide a more practical alternative to leasing a workspace. As a business owner, however, you also know that not every business evaluation offers a “one size fits all” solution. Whether you’re a startup or an established business that’s expanding, explorin ...
Posted on 10/17/2018 11:03 AM By First Bank
By Tom Lynn, SVP, Senior Group Manager, First Bank Commercial Real Estate
Originally published in the San Francisco Business Times
Since there are so many variables in commercial real estate (CRE) lending, not all transactions fit all lenders. This raises many questions for investors and developers who are seeking financing.
As a trusted advisor, some common questions asked by many borrowers are:
When seeking a commercial real estate loan, what’s your typical deal size? Deal sizes are dependent on the size and risk tolerance(s) of the lender. For example, at First Bank, the size of loans generally don’t exceed $15MM, although exceptions can be made. • What types of properties do you finance? Most real estate investors and developers want to purchase properties like office buildings, industrial properties, retail space, residential developments, and storage buildings. Often, lenders will also provide financing for specialty niches like churches and senior care facilities. Alt ...
Posted on 10/17/2018 7:00 AM By First Bank
Family-owned businesses in the United States are as common as hometown parades and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. Family-owned businesses, like the one where I work, represent 80-90% of all businesses, and generate between 40-60% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). We exist in all shapes and sizes, from small corner stores to huge companies, with over $100 billion in revenue. We also face common opportunities and challenges that are different from publicly-traded companies, such as managing intra-family conflict, shareholder control, distributions, and engaging the next generation.
Yet, despite our ubiquity and common opportunities and challenges, far too many of us treat the issues we face as family-owned businesses as if we’re the only ones to confront those issues. Our isolation in addressing these challenges is reinforced by the lack of well-known resources regarding these topics. Many of you might be able to name several good books about how to be a great leader, but how many can name a good book ...
Posted on 9/25/2018 9:08 AM By First Bank
By Lisa Bulaich
Originally published in the Sacramento Business Journal
In the course of many business owners’ journey to success, they’ll find themselves considering a lease, a purchase, or the refinance of a commercial property. Perhaps the business has outgrown its current space or a second location is needed for expansion, or continuing to pay the rising cost of a lease just doesn’t make good business sense. The motivating factors are many.
When these situations occur, business owners often find themselves evaluating new lease arrangements, researching purchase options, or evaluating the details surrounding a refinance. A lease can make sense, however, if the business owner is not quite ready to put down roots. Purchasing a commercial property can be a better option when the business owner is ready.
Purchasing enables business owners to reap the benefits of paying themselves rent while purchasing an asset, to take advantage of tax write offs, and to create a new revenue str ...
Posted on 9/18/2018 10:55 AM By First Bank
By ANDREW ZINNOriginally published in the Los Angeles Business Journal Insurance may be one of the more complex and overlooked areas in commercial real estate financing. Typically, banks require borrowers to obtain some level of insurance to cover the value of the improvements being financed. Property and liability insurance policies are lengthy and their review is even more monotonous than reading the reams of paper produced by a bank in the form of commercial loan documents. Just like your loan documents, one should pay particular attention to the defined terms and exclusions in an insurance policy. The definitions and exclusions are the key to unlocking the scope of your coverage. One of the key exclusions you’ll find with standard property insurance policies is for pollution. Introduced in 1978, environmental insurance was first developed to fill the insurance coverage gaps created by pollution exclusions in liability and property insurance policies. Because the definition of pollution may be subjective, ...
Posted on 8/24/2018 9:48 AM By First Bank
Frank Tapia, Vice President,Business Banking Originally published in the Long Beach Business Journal Often, savvy business owners need to evaluate if the existing property they’re located in is right for their long-term business needs. This can certainly be the case if the business has recently experienced growth or needs additional locations in order to do so. Since all situations vary, each business owner must determine if renting or owning a commercial property makes sense for them. Although many may realize it’s preferred to purchase a home rather than rent, many may not realize that paying a commercial mortgage can also be more reasonable than renting. In fact, in a recent analysis, it was estimated that it could cost 86.6% more to lease vs. purchase a commercial real estate property over a 15-year occupancy period*. In fact, one of our valued clients, a retail store with the same location for the past seven years, consistently grew each year. Of course, with each passing year, they were outgrowing t ...
Posted on 8/1/2018 11:45 AM By First Bank
By KAREN BROWN SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, COMMERCIAL TEAM LEADER
Originally published in the San Francisco Valley Business Journal
Of course, we all know in order to be successful in business, you need to have the right people in place, the right product or service, and the right price. Did you also know it’s essential to have the right strategic banking partnership?
Certainly, any bank can open accounts, accept deposits, and generate loans; however, it’s the banking partnership and holistic relationship that truly can have an impact on the long-term success of a business, especially those that are privately-held. In fact, a recent survey* indicated that business owners reported the highest level of satisfaction with client-focused banks and those that are deeply-rooted in the communities in which they serve. Within the survey, 80% chose a client-focused bank over the larger-scale banks (61%) and online lenders (46%). In business, relationships—including the one you have with your ban ...
Posted on 7/6/2018 12:01 PM By First Bank
By Greg Hahn, Commercial Loan Officer, S. California CommercialOriginally published in the Orange County Business Journal Having access to various banking services is essential; however, having a relationship with a dedicated banker could mean a lot more to business owners than expected. Be a business partner. Most commercial banks have dedicated relationship managers that work specifically with business owners. Banking services are evolving regularly, making it difficult to stay updated on what latest services are available. An experienced relationship manager will get to know their business clients’ needs, recommend new products and services to enhance daily operations, making necessary adjustments to meet changing needs. Provide sound advice. A business owner’s relationship manager should periodically be reviewing financial statements, while noticing positive and negative trends that the business is experiencing. This is valuable information as it could potentially help avoid financial prob ...
Posted on 6/15/2018 9:19 AM By First Bank
By John Marder, Senior Vice President, C & I Commercial Lending
Originally published in the Orange County Business Journal
Recently, I was given a great opportunity to show just what I can do as a relationship manager and what we can do as a bank. The owner of a distribution company I was recently introduced to said, “I liked the guy at the other bank that came out to see me but I gave him my financial package and, after three months, nothing ever happened.” Does this sound familiar?
Let me give you a few tips on how to best avoid this scenario if you’re looking for a commercial loan or line of credit for your business, or if you are a trusted advisor helping your client through this process.
Don’t just rely on one lender. It is helpful to shop a small, medium, and large bank to see what each has to offer.
Realize a good offer can take time, so ask how the process works. You should get a pretty good indication of how the bank will view your company within ...