Business owners have many decisions to make. One of the most important is choosing the right bank. Many banks — community, regional and national — offer a range of commercial banking services. How can business owners determine which is best for them?
Business owners should select a bank that can address the company’s unique financial requirements and serve as a partner in its success. It’s not only a bank’s products and services that are important, but also its values and qualifications.
Business owners succeed when they partner with a bank that shares their values and is qualified to address their financial concerns.
There are many benefits to choosing a bank that advocates relationship banking. Strong banker-client relationships help build trust, resulting in more positive outcomes. Banks that add personal touches to their business relationships make clients feel like their banker shares in their success and that they are more than just a number.
Not every banker has the necessary experience to understand a company’s financial needs. Experienced commercial bankers will be able to create the most suitable loan structure and respond to the company’s deposit needs and other unique challenges.
Community banks are more likely to specialize in closely held business financing, and because they have local roots, they are more likely to be well-informed about the market and its risks. This knowledge can help business owners make the best monetary decisions.
Many community banks emphasize small business lending, deposits and customer retention, while larger banks often focus on other products, such as wealth management and insurance. Business owners should choose a bank that will help them meet their immediate needs and achieve their long-term goals.
Speed & Flexibility
Business owners often need financing, and fast. A delay in financing can push back projects and lead to multiple complications.
Smaller banks typically are more nimble and responsive than larger banks, making it easier to receive financing on schedule. Community banks are able to streamline the loan process by giving customers direct access to decision-makers who can offer a quick turnaround. That speed can be critical to business success.
Flexibility to customize loan structure and terms is also important; adaptability can help financing and projects run more smoothly. Community banks are more likely to have the ability to tailor loans and services to each customer’s specific needs, taking into account risks, project timelines, repayment schedules and interest rates.
While some banks offer a wide range of sophisticated products, one of the most important things a business should look for is convenience. Business owners do not have time to make frequent trips to branch offices to handle basic banking tasks. Choosing a bank that offers online banking, remote deposit or direct deposit of payroll will save time and help operations run more efficiently.
Business owners may wish to select a bank that allows account access on smartphones or tablets, laptops or desktop computers, at ATMs or at branch offices. Most commercial banks offer state-of-the-art banking technology and software, such as online banking and remote deposit, to make it easy for customers to manage their accounts from anywhere, at any time.
Business owners have a variety of banking needs, so a bank that offers commercial products and services that address all aspects of cash management is a must. Banks provide an assortment of services for both commercial and personal banking clients. However, the multitude of options can be overwhelming, leading business owners to select services that are unnecessary or inappropriate. An experienced banker can help business owners identify the tools that will best meet their current needs and future objectives.
No business is one-size-fits-all, and things rarely go according to plan. Finding a bank that offers customized services designed to assist owners with the operation of their business is crucial.
Choosing a bank is one of the most important business decisions for business owners. With so many variables, careful consideration is indispensable to finding the right fit. Selecting a bank that not only offers convenient, customizable products and knowledgeable service but also values relationship banking can help them maximize their business’s financial potential.
Dave Gramil is senior vice president – team leader – commercial banking, for Revere Bank. He can be reached at 443-574-3610 or [email protected].