Compared to all the time, sweat, and tears required to get a business off the ground, opening a dedicated business checking account may seem like an afterthought. However, finding the right bank that fits your business’s needs should be a top-of-the-list priority.
But which one is best for you? Just as with personal checking accounts, choosing a business bank account comes down to finding one that offers the right combination of special perks, features, and loan offerings.
Here are a few things to keep in mind on your search for the perfect Waco business banking account:
Relationships Are Everything
Consider what kind of relationship you want to have with your bank. Large big box bank chains can take their pick of who they want to work with and may have stringent credit requirements to set up an account with them. So, if your business is brand new or has a low credit score, a good rule of thumb is to stick with smaller, local financial institutions.
Local banks are more attuned to local market conditions and will get to know you on a personal level. Because of this, they may be more willing to work with you based on your character and your overall profile, which will come in handy if you’re trying to secure a loan or a line of credit.
When you develop a rapport with a banker, they’ll view you as a valued customer rather than a hard number of a credit score. Having a good relationship like this can also help when you’re starting out, just in case you run into trouble with fees or missed payments.
Check Out Their In Branch and Online Services
Location, location, location! As a locally-based business, you’re going to want a bank that offers both online services and in branch services at a convenient location. When you’re trying to handle important business tasks, you don’t want to waste time driving thirty minutes out of the way just to deposit a check.
Some basic services they should offer are cash and check deposits, withdrawals, and the ability to get cashier’s checks if needed. You’ll also want to see if the bank offers one-on-one consulting, or at the very least, offers personalized customer service (and not just a chatbot or a customer agent stationed in another country).
With online business banking, you should be able to conduct business transactions anytime, anywhere. At the very least, their online dashboard or mobile app should give you the ability to view balances, initiate transfers, and access online bill pay. Some banks, like TFNB, give you the ability to manage payroll, pay vendors and bills by ACH, and deposit checks all within their native app.
These in branch and digital options are important to consider if you want to save time and help get access to funds more quickly and consistently.
Look For Easy Integrations With Your Accounting Software
As a small business owner, you understand that time really is money. When you have two disparate bookkeeping systems, that means either you (or an employee that you pay) has to do twice the work to square up the accounts. Focus on working with a bank that has integrations with your current accounting and budgeting software, or one you plan on adopting in the future.
It can be a huge pain to manually enter all bank account transactions every week, which can be avoided if you choose the right banking partner.
At TFNB, we offer integrations with Microsoft Excel, Quicken, and QuickBooks. This allows you to manage all of your bookkeeping tasks in one place, so you can focus on the more important things.
You Might Need a Loan in the Future
We touched on this earlier, but if you think you’ll need a loan at some point in the future, it’s a good idea to find a bank that also does lending. It’s not uncommon for small businesses or startups to need a little capital to get by. In fact, 45% of small businesses say they have dealt with rising inflation by taking out a loan over the past year.
Many small businesses and startups try to apply for Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, as they have favorable terms compared to traditional lending. If you think you want to apply for this loan in the future, try to find a bank that participates in their Preferred Lender Program, like TFNB, to increase your chance at approval.
Evaluate Their Perks
Many banks will offer flashy sign-up bonuses or incentives for new customers. While these may be enticing, oftentimes they come with hidden “gotchas.”
For instance, a big box bank chain may offer a hefty cash sign-on bonus, but you’ll need to keep a bank account with them for a certain period of time. Meeting these requirements can be hard if you’re a start-up or a small business owner exploring your different options, and you don’t want to get stuck in an account that’s not the right fit.
The best incentives to look for are ones that pay off in the long term. At TFNB, we offer an interest-bearing commercial savings account that rewards you for building your business funds—all you need is a minimum $100 deposit. This perk not only gets you in the habit of saving more money in the account over a longer term, but it can also improve your credit rating and increase your chances of getting approved for a small business loan in the future.
TFNB—Your Business Bank For Life
A good bank can prove to be an invaluable partner to a small business owner not only helping them get started but also working with them to plan for their future success. At TFNB, we’re here to help business owners during every stage of their financial journey.
Ready to learn more? Check out our educational resources for small business owners, or explore our Waco business banking services.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about our banking solutions, contact us at 254-840-2836