Are you launching a business in the New Year? Need to find a bank that will care for your business the way you do? Well, here are a few tips for finding a bank that suits you and your company.
Make sure you know what you want from your bank. Will you need a loan or to establish a line of credit? Will you be seeking investment advice? What services do you expect you will need? Will you want access to online banking and remote deposit of checks, for example? The answers to these questions will help inform you of the type of relationship you hope to have with your bank. If your new business is a success, you will need a bank that is supportive of your endeavors. It’s worth comparing small and larger banks during your search. Often there is a difference between the two and you need the one that meets your expectations. For example, regionally focused banks are more likely to understand local market conditions and should be able to provide you with one-on-one access to a client relationship manager. You may also find that community banks are more flexible during tougher times because they have a vested interest in their customers’ successes.
Make sure you talk to a representative at your chosen bank about fee structures, as these differ greatly from institution to institution. You need to look at the cost involved in each and every transaction from using an ATM, writing a check and getting statements by mail (you may prefer to have access to these online), overdraft fees and wire-transfer fees, to credit card processing. The other positive aspect in choosing a smaller, local bank is finding out about its reputation. Ask those around you if they are satisfied with the services provided by their commercial banker, ability to provide advice, and openness to loans. The experience of others will be vital in making your decision.
As mentioned above, if your business succeeds, you are likely to bank with your chosen institution for many years to come, so you’ll want to be able to build a good working relationship. The more your commercial banker can get to know your business, the better he or she can serve you, meet your expectations, and help you continue to build upon your success. As your business grows, so will your banking needs. Over time, you will also look to new technologies such as online accounting, for example-you need to ensure your bank is able to handle the growth of your business.
All in all, you want a bank that is supportive of you and your aspirations and that has its finger on the pulse of the local market. Don’t be afraid to shop around to find the bank that best suits you and your future efforts.