You should thoroughly consider your business needs when selecting a financial institution or bank for your small/home business. You may want to consider the following points:
- The types of products and services that are offered.
- The bank's criteria for qualifying for a loan.
- The minimum balances for accounts, interest rates and charges for account services.
- Location and Access to ATMs
- Online Banking Services
One bank may specialize in home loans or auto loans while another may focus on commercial loans for businesses. Some banks may only offer basic deposit accounts while others have lock box services, sweep accounts, and even online banking! It's very important to evaluate your business needs before you select your banker.
Here are some of the things that your banker may be able to help you with:
- Help you with the cash management needs of your business.
- Offer investment products of varying maturities or risks.
- Provide advice regarding what it will take to qualify for the loan that best meets your needs.
- Provide special loan programs for small businesses, including SBA loan programs and other government-guaranteed or agency loans.
- Assist you with finding financial information on your industry.
So compare different banks in order to find the one that will serve your business's needs and will also provide support and assistance during the infancy stage of your business. Selecting a bank that you can work with will be especially important as your business grows.
Start shopping around by gathering information to help you make this important selection. Compare interest rates on deposit accounts and basic consumer loans (most business loans are negotiated, so the rates won't be posted at the banking center). Also, look carefully at the charges for services. Tell them about your business and the form of organization so that they can tell you what special products and services or restrictions might apply.
Before selecting a bank, be sure to have a good understanding of your own business needs, and what you need from your bank. If you know what you will need from a bank, it will be much easier to evaluate and compare between various services. Remember, it is a good idea to establish a relationship with a banker, before you need money. The right banker will be someone that understands the needs of emerging and growing businesses. They will be interested in your business dreams and will help you achieve them.
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