Choosing the right business bank should be more than just looking for the nearest facility and opening a personal account there. Business banks offer a variety of banking products and services that are significantly different from what personal banks offer. The right bank can give you the help you need, and provide the funding you need to finance your small business, whether you need it to invest in equipment, pay for operating costs or for other purposes.
Here are a few tips to help you find the right bank for your small business’ needs.
1- Stick to a business bank
Don’t open a business account inside a personal bank. It may be more convenient to have several accounts under the same personal bank but you may also incur additional monthly costs or transaction charges if you do so. By using a business bank, you could end up saving hundreds of dollars in hidden fees. The money saved can be used to invest in other aspects of your business.
2- List your needs
Not all banks are created equally. There are banks that are better suited for specific types of businesses. For instance, some banks may be open to financing hair salons and spas while others do not. Do your research and establish what your business needs are, whether they are for the next few months or for several years down the road.
Once you have a list of business banks and information on each one, make a list of questions you want to ask bankers. Ask key questions such as:
- Do you offer business loans or lines of credit to small businesses?
- What are your requirements for applications on these financial products?
- What are the terms and conditions?
- What files or documents do I need to submit to apply?
3- Choose between online and physical banks
Some entrepreneurs prefer a brick and mortar bank. Having a face-to-face interaction with bankers allows you to ask questions and get answers right away. A physical bank also offers easy access to your cash and deposits. Look for a bank with an extensive network of banks and ATMs. This will allow you to access your funds more quickly, even while traveling.
On the other hand, a growing number of small business owners prefer banks that offer online banking services. With online banking, businesses can perform transactions from the comforts of their home or office. No need to go to the bank, wait in line for several minutes or hours to talk to a banker.
4- Establish what extra services are offered
Business banks can offer additional services that make the banking experience more convenient. Larger banks, for instance, may offer online services that can help small business entrepreneurs with their taxes and accounting processes. Sample services may include sending invoices, collecting expected payments and processing the payroll.
Some banks may also offer you the chance to work with a financial advisor. A financial advisor can help you determine how to better manage your cash flow and investments. If you don’t currently have one, look for a business bank that offers this service.
5- Get to know your banker
Develop a relationship with your banker at your chosen business bank. Bankers are not just there to help you check your business transactions. Over the years, these professionals have talked to other entrepreneurs in different fields. They can provide you with financial advice that can help you run your business more efficiently.
6- Reevaluate your needs
Continue to shop around even after finding your business bank. Your business’ needs will likely change as it grows over time. By being continually aware of what banks offer, you will know what other banking services are available and which ones are beneficial for your business.
Having a good working relationship with your banker provides a number of other benefits. You can get your loan application approved faster as your banker already knows you and your business well. They may even help you get your fees reversed.
Business banks can be an invaluable ally for any small business owner. Banks are not just available to provide businesses with funding. Bankers can provide entrepreneurs with the services or information they need to run their businesses optimally. Remember these tips when looking for the right bank for your business. This way, you can receive the right banking products and services for your company’s needs.