One of the most important decisions that you must take when starting a business is choosing a bank to work with. And it’s not just a question of financing, there are numerous keys that you should be aware of because a good bank can help the success of your business.
At the time of choosing a bank for the activity of your trade, you must think that it will be one more tool of your day to day. A bank is much more than financing and managing collections and payments. In fact, you may be surprised by going to one of its branches more often than you initially thought or, failing that, visiting the website or using the app that makes it available to you. It is normal because many of the day-to-day operations of your trade will go through the bank of your choice, so choosing one that suits your needs should be one of your priorities, but how do you know which bank is right for us?
Attention to economic conditions
Of course, the economic conditions offered by the bank are the first point to analyze in the search for a bank to work with. In this sense, we should look very well at the different lines of financing they offer to SMEs as well as their conditions. It may be that at the time of ‘rolling’ we do not need financing, but no one knows in what situation we will find ourselves in the near future; it may be that after a few months or years of opening the blind we want to expand or make reforms in the local … having at our disposal a line of credit or financing with economic conditions that fit us can be a great help at any given time.
In this connection, it is important to know if the entity with which we are going to open our accounts and work in the future is associated with ICO loans. Not all banks offer this financing possibility.
Of course, one of the determining factors for choosing a bank should be the commissions that will charge us. They may seem few or very small at first, but over time too many commissions can be a drag on our business. So … which is the most common?
- Commissions associated with the maintenance of our accounts.
- Commissions for movements and transfers.
- Commissions associated with the maintenance of credit cards.
- Commissions for issuing receipts, payroll, checks …
These are just some of the most important and frequent. Not all banks have the same commissions or charge the same for them. It analyzes which banking services you will be using more frequently and what the cost you are going to assume. Fortunately, comparisons between different banks are fairly simple based on the commissions they charge, so it’s up to you to choose the one that best suits you.
Do not forget the POS
One of the key working tools for any trade today is the Point of Sale Terminal or POS. More than an expense, having a POS should be considered as an investment for the benefits offered in your day to day. Thus, the type of POS, its cost and all the services associated with it should be weighty characteristics to choose a bank to work with.
The ‘intangible details’ of a bank
Apart from the economic conditions, we should take into account a whole series of factors that may be more or less subjective, but that in the long run can make your daily work much easier. A good example in this sense is the closeness of the branch of the bank you choose. At present most of the transactions with a bank can be done telematically, but it is also important to know that there is a team of professionals who will work with us. And they are in the branch of your bank, so you should have it nearby.
And for asking, not an especially busy office. Because of its location, there are branches in which it is difficult to find a gap of the day in which we can attend a little more ‘quiet’; are those in which from opening to closing have a significant flow of customers. It may seem like a detail, but waiting in line day after day to do our day-to-day operations can prove to be a problem.
In addition, the quality of the team of a bank should be one of the selection criteria that you can not omit. How have they treated you during your visit? Have they been interested in your business? How do they work with SMEs? What services have you been offered? Ask yourself these questions and much more when discussing with whom to work.
That, of course, if we choose to approach the office and not use the web and app from our bank. A simple and intuitive web page in which we can work in a comfortable way can make our daily work much easier. Make sure you understand how it works and that you have the tools you need to manage your trade. And, of course, this point is really simple to check. Do not just stay with the computer version, look how the web of your bank adapts to your tablet or mobile phone, because in many cases you will have to access it from these devices.
A final tip
A bank that is good for one SME may not be the right one for another. It depends a lot on the type of trade that we have and the needs that arise from day to day. That is why it is important that we visit as many more bank branches as possible. You can, for example, make a list of banks to visit and criteria elements that you will evaluate to decide to work with one or the other.
Compare commissions, lines of financing, the closeness of the branch, web pages, personal treatment, services offered … And spend as much time as you think fit because a good bank can make a difference.