Small business is the powerhouse of the U.S. economy, and small businesses rely on readily available financial services and business online banking. The right financial partner can give you ready access to cash and enable you to manage your money and your cash flow with online services that help you access and move your money quickly and efficiently.
There are currently more than 27.9 million small businesses in the United States, and more are starting every day. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, about 20 percent of small businesses fail in the first year, 50 percent fail in the first five years, and only about 35 percent of small businesses survive beyond 10 years. Of those businesses that failed, 29 percent indicated they ran out of money.
To beat the odds, you need ready access to working capital, and a business-friendly bank can help you along the way. Money is the lifeblood of any business, and you want a bank that offers a range of financial services to help you manage and make the most of your money.
What to Look for in a Business-Friendly Bank
When shopping for a banking partner for your small business, consider which financial services you will find most valuable. Think ahead. Don’t just consider your immediate needs, but also ask yourself what other financial assistance you may need as your business grows. Make a list of services you could find valuable before you talk to your local banker.
You might consider going to a local or regional bank first. There are specific advantages to working with a community bank because local banks tend to support local businesses. A local bank will have more flexibility and be prepared to offer you better service than a large, impersonal financial institution. However, be sure to look for the right banking services to meet your needs.
Consider, for example, whether your bank is SBA-friendly and offers loans subsidized by the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA doesn’t lend money directly, but they do provide guidelines for small business lending and offer lower down payments, flexible terms, and guaranteed competitive lending rates. An SBA-backed loan could be right for you if you need capital.
Additionally, your bank should offer various forms of business financing. You may need a small business loan if you need a cash infusion to buy new equipment or are looking to expand, but there are different types of loans. Your banker should be able to help you with a small business loan or a line of credit. A local bank that offers business services is better able to provide personalized lending services and may offer better terms than a larger institution.
You also are likely to need payroll services. Although there are national online payroll services, your local bank probably also offers payroll services, and they can be more responsive when you need help. They may be in a better position to offer payroll support scaled to your needs, as well as employee services such as direct deposit.
Your bank should have additional useful services, such as overdraft protection and business credit cards. Some banks bundle business banking offerings under cash management services, offering a range of cash and accounting services to remove some of the burden of running your business.
Online tools also should be available to assist you with routine tasks such as check deposits and money transfers. More banks are offering more sophisticated online banking tools to help small businesses with money management.
Finding a Bank You Can Grow With
When you run a small business, finding business partners that offer convenience and superior customer service matters. We like to think of our bank as your business partner for a number of reasons, starting with the fact that we are a regional bank with locations across Missouri. First State has the banking products you need for your small business at competitive rates, and our financial experts are always here to help.
Among the business services we offer are business checking, including Express Business Checking and Commercial Checking Plus, and cash deposit and bill pay services, including business online banking services. First State also offers a variety of credit options, including commercial credit cards, business loans and lines of credit, and even commercial real estate services.
For your small business to flourish, you need a financial partner who can help you when times are tough and who offers financial support that can take your business to the next level. At First State, we are experts at business banking. Contact us to discuss how we can help your business grow.