5 Banking Services Every Small Business Owner Needs
November 1, 2021
If you’re a small business owner, you know you have unique banking needs. But finding a financial services provider who understands the business you’re in, the inner workings of your operation, and the goals you want to accomplish can require a significant investment of time and effort. Too often, the account options you have to choose from feel like cookie-cutter solutions — or like products designed to maximize the bank’s profits, not your growth.
Identifying a financial services provider who is as committed to your success as you are starts with defining what success means to you. What are your highest priorities? Biggest challenges? Ripest opportunities? Making lists like these can be a valuable first step to connecting with the business banking partner who’s the right fit for you.
To assist with the next step in that process, Guaranty Bank & Trust’s own small business experts have put together this list of the five services they consider must-haves for their customers. Keep reading to learn more and discover how these services can help you meet your business’s needs now and into the future.
- Direct deposit
Your employees expect you to pay them on time and with unfailing accuracy. Your bank should provide you with the tools you need to manage these disbursements — and, by extension, keep your people happy. That’s because the overwhelming majority of employees — 96 percent, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by the American Payroll Association — prefer to have their paychecks automatically deposited into their bank accounts.
Direct deposit allows you to substitute electronic payments for paper paychecks. That means your employees receive their funds more quickly and without having to make a trip to the bank. And, because direct deposits eliminate the risk associated with lost or stolen checks, they are also more secure.
Before choosing to do business with a bank, be sure to ask the following questions about their electronic payment solutions.
- Do they offer direct deposit?
- What setup fees do they charge for direct deposit? Do these fees vary based on business size?
- How do they process direct deposits? Automated Clearing House (ACH) Origination is the industry standard.
- How long does the setup process take?
- Will you need to furnish any financial documentation in order to set up direct deposit?
- Do they charge transaction fees for direct deposits? Are fees assessed per pay period, per deposit (that is, per employee), or both?
2. Interest-earning liquidity
Your money is rarely idle. In fact, it’s about as busy as you are at running your business. You’re constantly making sales and paying bills, whether they’re for supplies, merchandise, rent, utilities, or to cover your tax obligations.
Ideally, however, you are also building up your cash reserves, saving some back for a rainy day as well as making plans to reinvest the rest in your enterprise. Your bank should appreciate that you need accounts capable of generating passive income — but not at the expense of giving you access to your capital when you need it.
An interest-bearing business checking account is one of the best ways to maintain liquidity while ensuring that your money makes you money. Some banks will also permit businesses to open money market checking accounts that provide both liquidity and higher interest rates.
When reviewing checking and money market accounts for businesses, be on the lookout for the following features, options, terms, and conditions.
- How often interest is paid (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.).
- Any balances minimums — opening, daily — and associated fees.
- Any transaction limits (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.).
- Any cash deposit limits that may incur a fee.
- Any balance caps. Any principal you keep on deposit past the cap amount may be ineligible to earn interest or may only accrue interest at a significantly reduced rate.
- Automated sweeps between your interest-bearing account and your everyday checking account.
- Complimentary debit cards.
- Free ATM access.
- Online banking and/or mobile apps that allow for remote check deposits.
3. Account reconciliation
Keeping your books up-to-date is critical. Doing so not only helps you balance your credits and debits but also allows you to catch any discrepancies before they become difficult to explain to your partners, lenders, or auditors.
But not every small business owner can afford to do double duty as a bookkeeper. Luckily, choosing the right business banking partner can gain you access to a suite of time-saving commercial account management services and tools.
Your bank should provide timely, accurate data on crucial matters, particularly income and disbursements, in a user-friendly format. You’ll want both 24/7, real-time access to your account information as well as end-of-day electronic statements that you can easily import into your accounting software.
Additional helpful account reconciliation solutions include:
- Automatic payment reminders.
- Expense trackers keyed to individual accounts (e.g., business credit cards, procurement accounts, etc.).
- The ability to make tax payments electronically directly from a designated account.
- Fraud protection in the form of robust payment and disbursement approval systems.
4. Convenient locations, staffed by experienced, expert bankers
Today, much of your business can be done quickly and conveniently online. Still, there are times when there’s simply no substitute for an in-person meeting with a banker who’s familiar with your business, has a genuine interest in your success, and can offer timely, knowledgeable advice on your business operations.
The ideal financial services provider for your business is one who lets you initiate almost every transaction digitally while allowing you to conveniently close them with human interaction when it’s most needed.
5. A willingness to partner with you and support you, even when the going gets tough
If you’re a small business owner in Texas, the good news is that you don’t have to spend any more of your valuable time comparing one bank to another to find a reliable banking partner. At Guaranty Bank & Trust, we’ve stood strong behind Texas business owners for over a century. And we’re still doing so, helping our customers keep their doors open in the middle of the worst public health crisis in over a century.
We care about Texans, we care about our Texas communities, and we believe in offering a complete range of business banking services and solutions designed to promote growth and prosperity. And we have the expertise and stability to help you seize every new opportunity that comes your way.
Get to know your local Guaranty Bank & Trust banker today. Stop by any of our 31 convenient locations or book a video appointment to speak with one of our financial experts. We look forward to learning more about you and your business.