Choosing an appropriate bank for your small business can be a daunting and intimidating task. It’s no wonder many people stick with the same bank that their family has been using for generations! That said, how do you know if you’re getting the best service available to fit your needs?
With all the various things you need to think about, it’s understandable if you’ve put off researching your banking options. However, you shouldn’t make the mistake of neglecting to do your due diligence. Choosing the correct bank account is essential when trying to run a small business. After all, you want a business account that will fit your needs.
With that in mind, our guide will help you make an informed decision about how to choose a bank for your small business.
Remember that just because a bank may be large, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be the right fit for your business. Bigger does not always mean better. You need to evaluate how the bank will meet your business needs.
Some banks offer small businesses more services than others, so you’ll need to make sure that what’s offered benefits your company in more ways than one. Also, consider how much each of these services will cost and how often they are used with how many employees work for the company. This way, you can better understand which account will work best for your specific needs as a small business owner.
It’s also worth mentioning that some banking institutions may charge additional fees if there isn’t enough money in an account or because someone has hit their limit on wire transfers. Of course, that’s something that could cause problems when trying to maintain a positive cash flow.
With that said, larger banks have resources that others don’t. For example, big banks usually can offer you more, such as lines of credit or perks for opening an account.
Check your credit
If your company’s credit score is low or you’re brand new, opening an account with a larger bank could be hard. Remember that bigger financial institutions usually have their pick of clients. It’s easy for them to choose with whom they’ll do business. Therefore, it might be in your interest to explore a business relationship with small, local banks.
They don’t have quite as strict requirements when it comes to credit and may be more open to allowing you to open an account with them. Therefore, you’ll want to explore all of your options to see which banks make it easy for you to open an account and start lines of credit.
Approach Internet banks with caution
Many new business owners are tempted to explore opening up a business account with an online bank. The truth is that these types of banks are more common than they used to be. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of research in this area, and you could find a banking option that meets your needs.
However, when doing your research, you need to be even more thorough than you might be when reading up on traditional banks on both the local and national levels. Remember that there may be times when speaking face-to-face with a real person is necessary, and you can’t do that through an online bank’s website.
In our view, online banks are best for business owners when they only need a small amount of cash for new ventures or emergencies, when they don’t want to have their funds tied up with an account that has a lot of monthly fees.
Are you working with the SBA?
One thing to consider here is that if you’re thinking about applying for a U.S. Small Business Administration loan, you should probably develop a relationship with an SBA lender. Therefore, you should be aware that there are lending-friendly banks, which the SBA recommends. You can find a list of preferred lenders in your state here.
It would be wise for you to speak with an SBA loan officer and find out if you should limit your search for an appropriate bank based on your possible SBA loan.
Trust your gut
The bottom line is that choosing a bank entails building a financial relationship. You need to determine if that financial institution meets your business needs. It would be best to consider the bank’s culture and the feeling you get when doing business with it.
Are they people-friendly? Service-oriented? Do they care about you as someone who banks with them? If your gut is screaming at you to keep looking, trust it and move on. It’s worth it to hold out until you find a bank where you can trust the person sitting across the desk and with whom you feel comfortable doing business.
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