Choosing the right bank for you and your business is crucial for your financial well-being, and for reaching your long-term goals. However, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the options available. Here are three tips to help you with your selection:
1. Research and Compare
There’s no getting around it – finding a bank that’s best able to respond to your individual needs takes thorough (and therefore time-consuming) research. Both personal and business accounts can vary widely between different banks. Contrast and compare interest rates, overdraft policies, online banking, loan programmes, and more.
A great way to have a full view of this is to set up a spreadsheet with side-by-side comparisons (e.g. the category, price, etc.) of each offer from different banking institutions.
Ask lots of questions. Banks typically have excellent customer support, so take advantage of it. Give agents an honest perspective on your current financial status and where you’d like to be in a year, five years, ten years, etc. Which bank can best offer you the support you need? It might also be wise to hire an independent financial advisor for this purpose.
Do you know any another other business owners? Ask them which banks they use and why. Online forums as well as local meetup groups for entrepreneurs are also great resources. Use them to get in contact with other entrepreneurs who can offer their experiences and advice.
While many people comment negatively about service on social media (perhaps disproportionately when compared to those who have positive experiences), you can still visit a bank’s pages to get a sense of customer satisfaction. There are also websites like Trustpilot, which show a company’s rating as well as individual customer reviews.
Check in on your account statuses as well as changes about your bank’s services. Have they increased their credit rates for loans? Have you reached a threshold and incurred a new periodic charge?
Additionally, pay attention to the way your business has changed. A financial concern that was once of minor importance might have shifted to the forefront, prompting you to consider a superior offer from another institution.
As your business grows and becomes more complex, you may also begin hiring staff who work in finance. A CFO, accounts payable/receivable professional, bookkeeper, etc. can also help you narrow down which bank is best for your company. Another option is to hire a part-time financial professional, who can come in once a quarter, for example, and offer their expertise.