By Karen Axelton
Recently the Occupy Wall Street movement’s Bank Transfer Day made headlines nationwide. The event encouraged consumers to move their bank accounts from big multinational banks to credit unions in protest over rising bank fees. Inspired by this movement, is it time for your small business to consider changing its banking relationship?
Moving from a big bank to a smaller one or vice versa isn’t necessarily the right move for your business, but Bank Transfer Day is a good reminder that you should regularly evaluate every vendor you work with to make sure they’re still providing what you need. Your business bank is no different. What should you ask? Here are some factors to consider when making your evaluation.
Fees: Has your bank recently raised its fees? This alone isn’t an indicator that you should move, but you do need to consider what you’re getting in return for the fees and how easy it is to avoid fines or fees.
Convenience: If you need to physically visit the bank often to deposit checks or talk to a banker, how easy is it to do so? Is your bank located nearby? What kind of hours does it have?
Technology: Does your bank offer technology that can save you time and money, such as the ability to invoice clients electronically or make remote deposits? Do they help you learn to use the technology and is it affordable for your business?
Services: As your business grows, does the services your bank offers still keep pace with your needs? Maybe you’ve expanded into international trade and need more help in that area than your current bank can provide.
Personal Touch: Less tangible than many other considerations, the personal touch can be the biggest factor in a small business’s decision of where to bank. Do you have a banker you can talk to when you need help? Is your banker involved in your local community and does he or she take the time to get to know your business and your goals and dreams? Can your banker help with small business loans, lines of credit or other financial tools to expand your business?
The size of a bank or credit union shouldn’t be the deciding factor in your choice. While many small business owners like the community feel of local banks, bigger banks are making extra efforts to reach out to small business today. There are many choices in where to take your business, so if you feel that your current bank or credit union isn’t serving your interests, maybe it’s time to change.
Image Courtesy: Karen AxeltonGoogle+