UMKC Innovation Center partners with the university and the community to spark and sustain entrepreneurial efforts within our region and across the country.

KCSourceLink connects KC entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

MOSourceLink connects Missouri entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

Whiteboard2Boardroom connects entrepreneurs and businesses to technologies available for licensing.

Digital Sandbox KC provides early-stage proof-of-concept support for digital products.

Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center provides technical assistance to startup and existing businesses.

ScaleUP! Kansas City helps businesses with revenues around $200K scale toward their first $1 million.

Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers helps local businesses obtain government contracts.

KCInvestED helps investors learn more about investing in KC startups.

SourceLink® helps communities nationwide build vibrant and vital entrepreneurial ecosystems.
UMKC Innovation Center
UMKC Innovation Center

Coaches Corner: Finding a Business Banking Relationship that Works

Meet Monica Dahl, manager of Arvest Bank’s Small Business Banking Department in Kansas City.  Arvest Bank has made small business a top priority by starting a department in Kansas City upon their arrival to the market.  This department is dedicated to the Small and Micro Business Segment.  Along with leading a team of business bankers, Monica, on behalf of Arvest Bank, works with outside organizations to bring small business education to the community. 

A banker is a banker, right?

Not exactly. 

Having an engaged banker means that he or she may be able to offer you more benefits because your success many times means their success.  If they work with you to help your business grow, then ultimately you will be a stronger customer for the bank.

Today’s business banker has evolved from the banker of yesterday.  Bankers used to be order takers: they sat at a desk and waited for customers to walk in the door and tell them what they needed so they could fulfill the request.

The structure that once worked is no longer a reality, and this is for good reason.

Business customers are sophisticated, and they know that they have choices.  If they do not like what Bank X has to say, then off they go to Bank Y to try again.

What to Look for in a Banker

So what does today’s banker have to have?  I might suggest deep bench of resources—and big ears.

Your banker has access to many resources and should have an extensive network of business partners they are willing to share with you.  A good banker should be able to offer you suggestions and recommendations of professionals outside of their area of expertise.

Business bankers have identified the need to provide a service above and beyond their product line. Bankers have plugged themselves into trade associations, networking groups and their local chamber of commerce.  The goal of your banker is to be your business partner and to do that they must have a strong network of outside partners. This will usually include CPAs, attorneys, marketing experts and insurance agents.

But it’s not just how they can connect you.  A good banker should also be willing to communicate with you.  Keeping an open line of communication between you and your banker will enable them to assist you when needs arise.  If they truly understand your business’ goals and objectives, they will be better suited to help you with your lending needs, such as choosing the appropriate loan product. 

Don’t Settle

There is an array of bankers out there. Find one that works best for you and with you.

Your banker should have a vested interest in your business, make suggestions and communicate with you on a regular basis.  Your banker should open up his or her network to you and ask who they can connect you with.

Most importantly, you should be comfortable sharing your vision with your banker and talking about ways to achieve your goals. 

Arvest Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.  For more information, visit or call 913-261-2265. Arvest Bank is a KCSourceLink Friend of Small Business. Contact us at to learn more.

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