One of the most important relationships a small business owner has is with his or her bank. It is important for you to shop the market and compare the choices available so you can determine which bank offers the best mix of services for your firm.
First, you determine the bank services that are important to you and your company. If all you need is basic banking services, such as checking and savings, you will be looking for a bank that offers competitive transaction fees with reasonable compensating balances (an agreed upon minimum monthly balance that eliminates the transaction fees). If your company requires financing, you will need to look for a bank that historically offers small businesses lines of credit, loans, and other types of financing.
Second, you determine your company’s future banking needs and incorporate this into your decision making process. Your company’s business plan and budgets are excellent sources for this information.
One of your goals as a business owner is to develop a relationship with the bank you choose. It is far better to form a relationship with a bank that can serve your medium and long-term banking needs as opposed to being forced to change banks in a few years because the bank you chose today cannot serve the needs of your growing company.