May 20, 2014

The Coleman Report’s Memo to Wells Fargo

Charles Green’s memo to Wells Fargo via the Coleman Report couldn’t be more spot on. Wells Fargo’s announcement earlier this month to make $100 billion (that’s billion with a ‘b’) available to business owners through small business loans over the next five years is big news. Green offers some advice that Wells Fargo, or any traditional small business lender, should take to heart. In fact, I thought his advice to Wells Fargo is relevant enough to share here.

The ‘Do’s:’

  1. Do focus a proportionate amount of attention on the companies with annual revenues less than $300,000, which is about 89% of the 28 million businesses in America. Everybody’s gunning for the larger deals, but how about setting aside some of your capital for the little guys?
  2. Do buy one of those online innovative lenders, so you can scale loans a broader list of these smaller enterprises profitably with your cheaper capital, and pass out some cheaper funding to these companies who are currently charged too much.

The ‘Don’ts:’

  1. Don’t let this ambition be empty PR rhetoric by counting up loans you would have made anyway, like those less than $100,000 on your call report that may or may not actually be made to a ‘small’ business.
  2. Don’t forget SBA loans, and while there, ramp down to include thousands more of those loans less than $150,000. There’s not a service fee, so you’ll already be 52 bps ahead in revenues!

This is great advice and I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Green. It’s one thing to talk the talk, now it’s time to really walk the walk.

It takes a little cash to change the world.

So what are you waiting for?

About the author

Ty Kiisel
Small business evangelist and veteran of over 30 years in the trenches of Main Street business, Ty makes small business financing and trends accessible in common sense language devoid of the jargon.


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