21 Nov

What do Startups REALLY Want from Banks?

What do startups and young small businesses want from their banks and credit unions?  It’s not just friendly service (although that helps a lot!).

Today’s startups and early-stage small businesses want a helping hand to make banking as inexpensive and as easy as possible in the early years.  The early years are when they can least afford bank fees.

Today’s startup entrepreneurs are technologically savvy and have a tendency to conduct transactions online.  So they expect online banking capability and they expect it to be free. 

They also tend to use credit cards more than traditional loans or credit lines in the early years.  Consequently, they may need to be educated on the benefits of having a separate business credit card.  The discussion about credit cards should be more than an after-thought, if you want to convince them to go for your card, or they will simply default to using their personal card or respond to the first attractive direct mail offer that comes their way.

Oh — and with the availability of the Internet, these young pups have the ability to shop around, even outside of their local communities.  They have plenty of options (translation: your competition).  So you need to do more than ever to satisfy their needs — because if you aren’t, your competitors are.  

A few weeks ago I contributed an article to the Deluxe Knowledge Quarterly, a print publication by the Deluxe Financial Corporation that goes to all its customers (banks, community banks and credit unions). This article looks at the services that banks provide from the perspective of startups, suggesting that if financial institutions give young businesses of today what they need, those young businesses and startups may become customers for life. The article was published under the title “Get Them Early, Keep Them for Decades.”

I’ve loaded it over at Slideshare.  You can view it in the viewer below, or download a copy of “Get Them Early, Keep Them for Decades” (PDF). 

Financial institutions, please let me know what you think.  Startups, what else should I have covered that you need from your bank but are not getting?  Weigh in!

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  1. Martin Lindeskog said on November 23rd, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    How about micro-loans?

    Reply
  2. Amanda said on November 24th, 2008 at 10:47 am

    The things you mentioned include most things I look for in a bank. I would like to add – extended evening hours more than just once weekly.

    Reply
  3. Mary Grace Ignacio said on November 25th, 2008 at 3:01 am

    Me, I wished they are open on Saturdays and Sundays because I’m working on regular hours here in the Philippines(Monday to Friday) and will end by 6pm. By that time, they are already closed. :(

    Reply
  4. [...] Last week I wrote about key features that startup small businesses want from their banks.  [...]

  5. [...] products; advanced online banking and bill pay technology; extended branch networks/ hours — larger banks usually walk all over the smaller banks. The wider range of banking products and the convenience of online banking and longer hours — [...]

  6. R.I.P.: The Death of the Small Community Bank said on June 11th, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    [...] products; advanced online banking and bill pay technology; extended branch networks/ hours — larger banks usually walk all over the smaller banks.  The wider range of banking products and the convenience of online banking and longer hours [...]

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