02 Dec

How to Get Startups to Say “I’m in Love with Your Bank”

Making banking convenient on startups can earn banks loyaltyHere’s another piece of advice for you bankers — and for any business with retail outlets serving small businesses.   The advice?  “Get in the mindset of making it easy on small business startups.”

Last week I wrote about key features that startup small businesses want from their banks

Then this past weekend I happened upon an article written by Your Friendly Neighborhood Computer Guy, who lists 7 things he looked for in a business bank.

At the top of his list were hours and location. He found a bank, and had this to say about it:

What attracted me first and foremost to TD Bank were the first two things on my list above, hours and location.  TD Bank calls itself “America’s most convenient bank”, and that’s no joke.  There’s a branch right down the road from my apartment (the closest bank to where I live) and there’s a branch down the road from my office.  Here’s the kicker …. the bank is open until 8PM on weekdays, 6 PM on Saturday, and 4 on Sunday!!  Yeah, that’s right, evenings and ALL weekend long.  This was the only bank anywhere near me that offered these kind of hours.  They also offers same day fund availability and 300 transactions per month, the highest of any bank I visited.  To top it all off, the staff there was super friendly and very helpful.

Too good to be true?  We’ll find out.  Believe me, you all will be the FIRST to know if something goes wrong with these guys.  But so far, I’m in love.

In my earlier article that I wrote for the Deluxe Quarterly (PDF) I focused a lot on the bank offerings: what those offerings should consist of and why small businesses have a growing need for them.

We had limited space for the article.  As it was, my original article was almost cut in half to fit the space provided. So I didn’t have enough room to discuss everything, such as hours of operation.

But I think that hours of operation and locations should be added right at the top of the small business wish list to meet their banking needs.

We all know that people today are busy and convenience matters — a lot.  It probably matters most of all to startup business owners who are incredibly busy during the regular workweek serving their own customers.   Extended hours and locations, like online banking, serve this need.

For small community banks and credit unions with limited or non-existent branch networks this may be harder to achieve than for larger institutions, but you should at least try.  For instance, extended hours is something you can achieve even with a single-office financial institution.

Bottom line: banking shouldn’t be a hassle.  Make it easy on small businesses.   And that’s how to think about it:  how can I make banking easier on startups — so that they write things like Friendly Computer Guy when he spontaneously declared about his bank, “I’m in love.”

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  1. Amanda said on December 2nd, 2008 at 9:59 am

    The bank that YFNCG found sounds too good to be true. He is so lucky to find a bank that offers that kind of convenience. One of my National City branches, in a local grocery store, had hours like that until they decided to close it recently. What a bummer. When I needed it, I knew I could count on it. Now it’s closed and I can’t understand why. It was always busy and I know I’m not the only one disappointed by National City’s choice to close the branch. Unfortunately, no other bank in my area offers these kind of hours.

  2. Your Friendly Neighborhood Computer Guy said on December 2nd, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Thanks for including my thoughts and comments about business banking! I think a lot of banks underestimate the value of convenience for their customers.

    @Amanda – You’re right, it does seem too good to be true, but so far it’s all been going well. I’m waiting for them to give me a call soon saying, “oh, and by the way, you owe us your first born child. You didn’t read the fine print did you?” 😉

  3. Anita Campbell said on December 2nd, 2008 at 10:49 am

    Amanda, Nat City is a victim of the economy and credit crunch. It’s big news here in Cleveland, where they are headquartered.

    They are the only major bank that did not get bailout funds, and they are in the process of being acquired by PNC (from your area). Local officials are up in arms over them being passed over for funds.

    Anyway, I’m sure they had no choice but to shorten branch hours to save money.


  4. td bank online banking | Digg hot tags said on December 3rd, 2008 at 5:01 am

    […] Vote How to Get Startups to Say “I’m in Love with Your Bank” […]

  5. What Do Small Businesses Want? | Business Never End said on December 20th, 2008 at 9:51 pm

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  6. What Do Small Businesses Want? | IdealFusion Consulting said on December 21st, 2008 at 9:59 pm

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  7. What do small businesses want? said on July 6th, 2012 at 10:11 pm

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