When it comes to small business decisions, choosing a banking partner is as vital as choosing a company name. You’ll not only want a financial institution you can trust, but one that provides you with the type of support and services you need to run your business effectively – and that means that the bank you use for your personal accounting may not be the right one for your startup.
Here are a few things to consider when looking for the best bank for your business:
Consider a local or regional banking partner
Though opening a business account with a big bank that has huge name recognition and branches all over the world may sound like a great idea, the truth is that it may not be the best partner for your company at this time – especially if you’re just getting off the ground.
So before setting up an account there, check out what local and regional banks have to offer. Often, these institutions are the best options when it comes to supporting small businesses and the community you both operate in. The downside, though, is that sometimes their fees are higher and tech options, such as advanced online banking services, aren’t available. But if what you’re looking for is a bank that will invest in you and help your business succeed, then looking at a smaller bank is likely a great way to go.
Think about what you want
Before just going with whichever bank a friend recommends, sit down and list out the types of services you’re looking for or that you’d like to have from a financial institution. Whether it be simple options like low minimum account balances and low fees, or more complex services like access to lines of credit or small business loans, keep these things in mind when doing research.
If you make appointments with banks, bring your list with you and ask pointed questions about how small businesses are supported. You’ll be able to find a bank that provides what you’re after – so long as you ask and keep an open mind.
Consider the future
Though your immediate business needs are going to be the biggest priority for you, it doesn’t hurt to think about what you’ll want from a bank in the future as your company grows. And if you can find a bank that can provide what you need now as well as what you’ll likely want when it comes time for your business to scale or expand operations, then that’s truly a win-win.
Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate your banking needs
If, however, you find that a single institution is a one-size-fits-all solution for your startup, don’t be afraid to re-evaluate your needs in the future. It may be that the friendly local institution was the perfect fit for when you were launching your company, but now that you’ve grown, you need more than they can provide. And that’s okay. So, when it becomes clear that you’ve outgrown your current bank, or if you find that your bank isn’t providing you the services you need, don’t hesitate to move your business elsewhere.
At the end of the day, the bank you choose should be one that is a good partner and that will help your business grow – not create barriers and cause headaches. So find the best banking partner for your needs and then work to nurture that business relationship so that your dealings with your bank are as pleasant as possible.