Picking the best bank for your small business is oddly one of the most important decisions you’d have to make at it’s inception. When new entrepreneurs set out to start a business, they figure, “oh well, we can just walk into any bank. After all, isn’t it all about just saving our money?”.
Banks will save your money, yes. But how many will add true value to your business? The benefits of picking the best bank surpasses just savings, but also how the bank affects your business processes.
In Nigeria for instance, many banks can be a real pain in the butt. This makes a lot of business owners and regular individuals, close down their bank accounts, and move on to other probably more efficient banks quickly.
Understanding the general ups and downs of the banking sector, will help any new or existing entrepreneur pick the best bank for his/her small business.
Here are 5 things that will help you choose the best bank for your business:
1). The Size Of The Bank:
How large is the bank? How long have they been around? Were they saved by an emergency investment? Or have they been recently acquired or involved in a merger?
The size of a bank speaks volume to how reputable it might be. It’s a terrible occurrence to have a bank liquidate when you have a lot of money stored up in it’s coffers.
Before you pick a bank for your small business, first ensure you’re familiar with the bank’s size – number of branches, staff strength, market cap, and more – because, the larger the bank, the lesser the chances of them closing shop anytime soon.
2). How They Deal With Customer Issues:
What do people say about their experiences with the bank’s customer care agents? Does the bank go out of it’s way to ensure every customer is satisfied? Do they treat complaints right and on time?
The customer service agents at some banks are usually stone-faced. They don’t smile, or say anything nice to the customer in front of them. The term, “the customer is always right”, means nothing to them. And because of these sect, people leave most banks even angrier than they arrived.
Banking customer service relations may defer per country. But in Nigeria, bad customer service is the other of the day. A few banks have managed to make theirs better than others, but it’s important you only bank with an institution that truly cares about the way you feel, and doesn’t treat you like a stranger.
3). Their Value Added Services:
Are their fees low? How easily can you get credit facilities? What about business loans?
These must be on the list of concerns of business owners when opening a bank account. As a small business, you’d want a bank that charges low transaction fees, and would also be able to provide you with business loans, hassle-free, when you eventually need it.
Do your research on their credit history. Ask questions from existing business owners you may already know, who bank with them. Also, walk into several banks to find out how they have already planned to help businesses like yours.
With a list of services you want to benefit from a bank, you’d find the right match, and probably feel a lot more safer.
4). How Close Is A Branch To Your Business Location:
If the nearest bank’s brach to your office location is over a mile away, you’re better off making slight compromises with the next-best bank closer to you.
Irrespective of the amazing advantages that a distant bank poses, you’d need to be able to make quick stops into the bank on a weekly, and sometimes daily basis for deposits, and several other transactions. Using a distant bank in this situation wouldn’t be the best course of action.
A scenario where a distant bank could work, is if you want the most secure and reputable place to simply save money. As long as you wouldn’t make weekly stops for the cash deposited, the bank then, is just fine.
5). How Easily Can You Bank With Them On The Weekends?
Are their debit cards reliable? Are you certain that every time you make a trip to the ATM (Automated Teller Machine), the cards issued to you would always respond, as long as there’s money in the account? Do they have ATM’s that you could probably deposit cash through on the weekends? Also, how good is their internet banking platform? Do you get bounced off repeatedly due to platform issues?
When the bank is closed for the day, or for the weekend, it’s important that you can still transact with it in some way. A bank that keeps you waiting till the next business day, is probably not a good place to create your first business account.
These 5 factors are important in picking the best bank for your small business.