Banks understand that some businesses have had a tough time making a go of it during the pandemic. They will be willing to cut business owners some slack over depressed numbers.
But, ConnectOne Bank CEO Frank Sorrentino said there’s one thing his bank will not excuse — lack of vision and a lack of understanding of the future.
Business owners, he said, need to understand that there will be a new way of doing business in the future. Starting now.
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“Owners who have this notion of, ‘Well, my great grandfather started this business and we’ve been doing thing this way for 70 years’ are going to quickly find out that’s not going to get you anywhere today.
“When we meet with a company today, we’re looking to see if this is a company that we feel gets it and can move forward in the new economy.”
How does ConnectOne judge that? Glad you asked.
We asked Sorrentino for three things he looks for. Here’s what he said:
- Organized vision: “We want to absolutely see that you have an organized thought-process around your business. You recognize where you came from, you recognize where you are and you recognize where you’re going. If people come in with a shoebox filled with ideas who aren’t really organized around how their business was, is and will be — that’s a red flag for us.”
- Digital presence: “We need to see that you have a strong technological ability or capability. If you’re running on an antiquated PC system and your accounting software dates back to 1994, that’s going to be a real big problem for us.”
- Solid workforce: “We really want to see that people have a high-quality staff on board. People who get it. People who see what the future is going to look like. People who are curious, ask a lot of questions and don’t think they know everything. A strong management team is incredibly important.”