At the Conductor, we often hear from entrepreneurs about the struggle to get a handle on their finances, or the struggle to access capital.
We recently held a Banking on Success workshop with 3 local bankers to discuss the value and support banks can provide to small business owners. One of the biggest mistakes that new entrepreneurs can make is neglecting their banking and finance needs. Bankers can be an underutilized resource for entrepreneurs needing funding or even solid financial advice. The most important resources banks can provide to small businesses are:
Business Bank Accounts
Often, we see entrepreneurs comingling funds between business accounts or even business and personal accounts leading to mismanaged funds, issues with financial reporting, or troubles at tax time.
A number of local banks provide low to no-cost business accounts that make separating and managing expenses and revenue easy. Many local banks provide similar accounts with similar structures and amenities. It’s most important to find a banker that you trust and to separate accounts to allow for a clear picture of your cash on hand, expenses, and revenue.
Access to Capital
Banks offer a range of capital, from loans to credit lines to credit cards, that provide essential funds that businesses need to grow.
By building a strong relationship with a bank, business owners can also access expert financial advice, which can help them make informed decisions about their finances and a better understanding of the requirements to gain access to capital. This was a hard-learned lesson during COVID when the PPP funding came out – entrepreneurs without banking relationships were left struggling to secure PPP funding, while those with banking relationships were set up for success.
Even if you don’t need capital now, a solid banking relationship is essential for current and future capital needs.
Streamlined Payment Services & Invoicing
One of the biggest benefits of banking for small business owners is streamlined payments and invoicing.
By using banking services, such as automatic bill pay, invoicing, and online banking, business owners can manage their accounts more efficiently and stay on top of transactions which prevents unnecessary expenses and even fraud. This can help them save time and money, freeing up resources that can be used to grow the business.
By working with a bank, small business owners can take advantage of these benefits (and more) and position themselves for long-term success. We have 3 bankers in our Conductor Connect SME Network that provide monthly office hours at the Arnold Innovation Center – Lori Case Melton with First Community Bank, Melanie Moore with Simmons Bank, and Michelle Phillips with First Security Bank.
You can book a no-cost in-person or virtual appointment and discuss your banking options, financial management questions, capital needs, and more at arconductor.org/conductorconnect. If you’re a business owner, it’s never too early to start building a relationship with a bank to be better equipped to achieve your financial goals!