Money can either make or break your business. However, that doesn’t mean you’re paying attention where you should. By all means, keep track of money coming in, money going out, and strategies that can increase cash flow, but don’t forget about the basics—like your bank account.
Where you bank and the accounts you have matter. Make the most of your banking services by following these tips.
Know the Fees Associated With Certain Activities
Small business banking is anything but simple. Unfortunately, the potential complexity of business bank accounts can really add up. For example, it isn’t uncommon for banks to charge multiple fees, depending on how you use the account.
You can expect to pay a fee for having:
- A low activity account
- A high activity account
- Less than the minimum monthly balance
- Deposit corrections
You may also be surprised to discover that having a certain number of line items on your statement can cost you money too. You could pay $0.10 or more on things like check deposits, withdrawals, payroll deposits, and more.
These fees are completely normal, so don’t make the mistake of thinking you will avoid them completely, but by being aware of your fee schedule, you can find ways to save money. For example, you can make sure you always keep the monthly minimum balance, and you can combine deposits to reduce the number of line items on your monthly statement.
Don’t Be Afraid to Switch to a Different Bank
Don’t automatically assume that the bank you have been using for years is still the best choice for you, especially if you’re starting a small business. If your bank has really piled on the fees, if it’s hard to get good customer service, and especially if your bank isn’t approved by the FDIC, it’s a sign that you should switch to a different bank.
Switching banks can be a bit of a hassle, but it’s a hassle that’s well worth it. Just make sure you close any current accounts carefully. If you cancel them at the wrong time or in the wrong way, you could pay some hefty fees. Don’t be afraid to ask your bank to help you close your account the right way so you can keep more money in your pocket.
Have a Dedicated Account for Your Business
It may sound convenient to have just one account for both your personal and professional deposits, especially if you’re just getting started with your business. However, that can be very dangerous.
Having a separate business bank account comes with many benefits:
- Professionalism with credit cards and vendors
- Preparedness, should you want to open a line of credit
- Purchasing power by establishing a credit history for your business
The biggest benefit is that it separates your personal account from your business account. If heaven forbid, you are sued or your business has to file bankruptcy, your personal funds won’t be affected.
Take Advantage of Online Banking Services
There are different types of banks and different kinds of services to consider. Fortunately, in today’s world, nearly all of those services are available online. Take advantage of them.
Many banks offer bill pay services that enable you to pay vendors, contractors, and others quickly. Payment information can be saved in the system, so you can pay nearly anyone with the click of a button. Make deposits without leaving your office, view transaction histories, and apply for new accounts, all without the need to go into the bank.
Just make sure areas of your bank account are protected. Make sure only certain users have full access to your company’s finances, while other employees may only have access to certain bank account information or none at all.
Get to Know Your Banker
Although banking from a computer is easier than ever before, that doesn’t mean you should avoid personal interactions with people at your bank. It’s actually a very good idea to get to know your banker.
A banker who gets to know you also has the opportunity to get to know your business. They can provide you with suggestions when new services are available, they can help you determine if you will qualify for a loan, and they can provide you with advice on how to keep fees low.
There’s a lot to do if you want to make sure your business finances are in order. That includes making sure you take full advantage of your bank account! With these tips, you can save and spend money with confidence.