When you meet with a small business banking institution, you'll likely bring a list of questions you want the bank's representative to answer. However, before you gas up the car and visit a bank branch, you might want to ask yourself a few questions first to ensure you're making the most of your face to face meeting.
1. What Are My Ultimate Banking Goals?
Most entrepreneurs want to generate more revenue, but what other banking goals matter to your business?
Banks offer more than safe-keeping for cash. They can help your business achieve its goals and prevent financial hardship. Think about your business goals and how they align with banking. Are you interested in acquiring new equipment in the near future? If so, you might want to bank with an institution that offers equipment loans.
While you don't have to open a small business banking account at the same bank where you eventually take out a loan, it's a good idea to develop a relationship with a bank. That way, the people who run the institution are familiar with your financial track record, your needs, and your credit history.
2. What Type of Bank Account Best Suits My Business?
The type of business you run and your corporate history will dictate the right bank for your needs.
Maybe you run a small business and you're hoping to avoid paying fees for banking, or perhaps you're looking for a bank that allows you to make hundreds of transactions per month without paying for them. Alternatively, you might care more about interest-bearing features or account management services.
Before you start visiting banks and interviewing customer service representatives, decide which features matter most to you. If you walk into the bank armed with this information, you'll find it easier to develop a gut instinct for how well the institution aligns with your preferences. Plus, it will take less time to evaluate the small business banking products.
3. Am I Worried About Distance? Some small business owners want to work with a bank that has a branch within a certain distance of their business's physical location. Others don't worry about distance because they travel frequently throughout the area or because they plan to do most of their banking online.
In practice, distance doesn't matter as much anymore for that very reason. Many of the best banks offer robust online banking features, such as the ability to scan and deposit checks remotely. Only consider distance if you need to visit your branch on a daily basis. With Seacoast's digital banking features and access to local customer service, those branch trips become less of a frequent need saving you time and money in the long run.
4. Do I Need Any Specific Security Features? Many small business banking products include advanced security features that help protect your organization. For instance, if you want to set up an account that accepts payments from customers but cannot issue checks, you'll want to work with a bank that offers an account blocking service.
Think about any security vulnerabilities that might impact your ability to run your business safely. Decide in advance which security features are deal-breakers.
Choosing the best small business banking solution can take work, but you'll simplify the process if you interview yourself first. Figure out what you need, then go looking for the right bank. For more information about Seacoast Bank's reliable banking opportunities, check out our business checking solutions.