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How to choose the right bank for your small business

There are many different decisions that you will need to make when managing your small business finances. One of the most important of these decisions is choosing a bank, for your small business loan and account needs. This decision is so highly important because the choice of a bank, will determine how your business will be able to conduct its financial business. It you choose the wrong bank it can limit how you do business, while choosing the right bank can open the possibilities for your business' growth. It is critical to understand as a small business owner that banks should offer more than just deposit and loan services. A full-service bank should offer advice and counsel, guidance and support, investment services, and industry expertise. Do not let the size of the bank deter you, some small banks will offer all the services you need, while larger ones may not. If the bank you are considering does not offer what you need, then that is a red flag to begin looking at other banks. Here is what you need to know about how to choose the right bank for your small business-

  • Does the bank you are considering offer you the right kind of checking and savings account?-The bank should offer the kind of checking and savings accounts, you need without large service fees (or any service fees!). This is important since hard-earned money can be quickly eaten up by high bank service charges. You will need to find a bank that is happy to have your business, and does not charge high service fees for it. In addition, you also want the bank to offer a variety of business checking accounts, you can choose from, so you can find one that will meet your needs.
  • Does your bank have experienced business loan officers?Business loans are vastly different, then loans made to individuals, because of this it is important to choose a bank with experienced loan officers that will negotiate both term loans and lines of credit with you. Remember that as a small business owner, a bank is no good at all to you, unless they are able and willing, to loan you money. You should start by talking to the bank's loan officers, and let them look at your credit history and credit score. You want to find out how easy it will be to apply, for and get approved for a bank loan or line of credit, in the loan officer's opinion. If the loan officer is tentative, you should look for another bank. There is no getting around the need money, for working capital needs and expansion.
  • Choose a bank that's high tech-You will want to make sure that the bank offers online services. Keep in mind that even if you still want to make bank runs, it's nice to be able to check your balance every morning from your computer. However, most business owners want to be able to manage their business finances from the comfort of their home or office. Another thing to consider is that you want one of those online services, to be online cash management. You want to be able to send invoices and cut payroll checks online. In addition, since you are giving the bank your business, online services should be free. If not, shop around.
  • Does the bank have a small business adviser on staff? If you are looking at giving your business to a larger, regional bank, there should certainly be such a person on staff that works strictly with small businesses. If you are going toward a smaller, community bank, there probably several people in the bank that are quite aware of the business community that can help you.
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