Small businesses have very specific needs, but they are often denied service by many banks because of the perceived risk. Those banks that do cater to small businesses may charge them hefty fees for all types of services, eating into the small business’ bottom line. Here are a few tips on how to find the right bank for your small business.
Know What You Must Have
Before you select a bank, determine what business and personal services it must offer, at a minimum. Do you need a business savings account along with a checking account? Do you need to be able to secure business loans somewhere that sees your personal credit history as evidence that you should get a low-interest rate? How many transactions do you need to be able to process per month without penalty?
If you’re going to be mostly accepting payments in cash, you’ll want to work with a bank open when you want to deposit large sums of cash at the end of the day. Or,you may need a bank that lets you process payments via a card reader, for instance.
If you intend to conduct many transactions online, you have to go with a bank which offers great online banking options. Banks like FirstMerit Bank, for instance, provide a superior customer experience online to businesses of all sizes. You can find FirstMerit Bank’s online banking login instructions at moneyplate.com.
Consider the Banking Services You Want Now – and In the Future
Consider services you want now and those you may need in the future. You may need assistance filing for an SBA loan, or you’ll want to be able to consult with their business services department on how to formally incorporate your business.
You may want to work with a bank where their accounts act as a de facto safety net, automatically debiting your savings account instead of letting your check to a vendor bounce. Or you may choose a bank that helps you set up SEP IRA and SIMPLE IRA while automatically contributing periodically to these accounts for both you and your employees.
Consider the number of transactions you’re going to run per month now and in the future. Will you be able to save money on transaction fees if your volume goes up 30% or 100%? Will the bank let you save money when you’ve managed to reach a certain size?
Understand When Certain Banks Are Your Only Option
Small banks are often far better for small businesses than their bigger rivals. They’re competing for the business and they win by offering better customer service, more personal service, or unique offers. For example, some small banks seek to reinvest in the community by letting the struggling new entrepreneur secure a microloan by providing collateral that matters to them but no one else. If you want these services, you may have to go with the banks or credit unions that offer them first.
If you follow the tips in this article, you should be able to find the best bank for your operation in no time. Just remember to know what you want, understand what your needs will be in the future and give a chance to smaller banks as well.