any small business owners open their business bank accounts at the same bank where they have their personal accounts, but, believe it or not, just because it holds money and accepts deposits doesn’t mean it’s the right bank for you. If you decide to switch, you wouldn’t be alone — almost a quarter of fast-growing small businesses switched banks in 2016, and another quarter was predicted to switch banks in 2017. These small businesses needed banks that provided new loans and products to continue growth, and their current banks just weren’t getting the job done. Here are some red flags to look out for in your current business bank and some tips on how to make the switch as smooth a transition as possible:
No Easy Credit & Loan Access
Credit card and loan access could be deal breakers in deciding if your business needs to change banks. Applying for a loan or a line of credit is a necessity for business growth. Your primary business bank should have simple processes for applying for lines of credit, but not all banks follow through after you submit the application. In 2015, just under two-thirds of small businesses that applied for a loan switched banks because their applications were denied. If credit and loan access are priorities for your business right now, make sure that the bank you choose can meet those needs.
Lack of New Banking Products & Tools
Your business bank should always be up to date with the latest technology and products to make managing your accounts easier and more accessible. Think mobile apps, online banking, and online expense and credit tracking. As a new business owner, you should be able to seamlessly access information on your account and make transactions without heading to the nearest branch. If your current bank is still stuck in brick and mortar, it may be time to start looking for more tech-savvy options.
Bad Customer Service
As a business owner, you know how important customer service is to the success of your company. Financial institutions essentially revolve around customer service. As a client, you expect to be taken care of by your bank in the same way that you would take care of your own customer. Seems intuitive, but the numbers don’t lie: one in five US consumers said they’ve switched banks due to poor customer service experiences. Your business needs fast responses and solutions to problems. Don’t be afraid to explore other institutions that may be more capable of handling your account.
Lack of Business Advice & Support
New businesses are prone to problems. The beginning stages are very sensitive, and you’ll have a list of growing pains necessary to your eventual success. Getting financial advice and support from your business bank should help you decide whether or not you should switch. An account executive or manager should be made available by your bank in case you need consultation on their products and services.
Be sure to do your research before switching. You need to consider your current and future needs, so be sure to pick a new business bank that meets them. Regardless of what your local account exec might tell you, what works for other companies might not be a perfect fit for yours.