This is not a precise art so you need to make some judgment calls along the way, every small business and start-up business, like SOHO-, SME, SMB-, Micro-, Lifestyle-, Home-, DIY-, Hobby-, Boomer- or Personal business, like professional, contractors, freelancer, self-employed, sole-trader and virtual assistants needs a bank .
I would take this stepped approach to finding a small business bank in your area, and many of the steps are similar to finding other suppliers:
- Find out the facts – i.e. account charges, loan charges, banking hours, online banking and other benefits, like free advice, software, etc.
- Talk to the person who would be in charge of your account, meet with them.
- Talk to other small businesses about the bank and the bank manager, go to networking events in your local area.
- Make a Pro’s & Con’s list – then make your decision.
You will notice that banks don’t like to be called suppliers, or service providers, but that is exactly what they are, nothing more and nothing less. So use those terms and see how they react, if they get all upset and defensive about this, then walk away – they only see you as a number. This is probably the last time for a while that you hold all the cards, so it’s better to find out what your bank is like before you really need them.
For me business is between people, I move bank with my bank manager when he leaves, I’m on bank number three with him right now and that always served me well in the past, it is also a compliment to my bank manager, and he knows it.
Better the devil you know……! ST.