What to Look for in a Bank for Small Business

First Seacoast Bank • February 27, 2023
A photo of a business owner using an online banking portal on a mobile device.

Running a small business is hard enough—finding the right bank shouldn't be one of your worries. But with so many options out there, it can be tough to know where to start. Think about what’s most important to you and begin your search while striking a balance of those “wants.” To help, we’ve put together a list of five things to consider regarding what to look for in a bank for small business applications.

Look for a Bank that has Experience with Small Businesses

We know what you’re thinking: Don’t they all? Isn’t a bank, well… a bank? An institution that serves all banking needs? 

The short answer is: No.

Looking for a local bank with experience in small business is a great start when searching for the perfect banking partner. It'll mean that you have access to people who understand the local economy and can help provide advice tailored to your unique needs. 

When opening up a business, local banks often have more favorable terms than large banks or national institutions. These terms are specifically geared toward supporting local businesses and may offer additional services as a result. 

Moreover, local banks are more likely to have dedicated business bankers who are devoted solely to helping local entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground. This means they can provide personalized service and proactively look out for opportunities that will benefit your specific venture. 

Ultimately, picking an experienced local bank can be an invaluable asset in the success of your small business. Local banks—like us here at First Seacoast Bank—actually know your name, and there’s a lot of value in that alone. Get to know us. We’d be glad to get to know you! 

Find a Bank that Offers Free or Low-Cost Checking and Savings Accounts

Finding a bank that offers free or low-cost checking and savings accounts can help save you money. Most banks offer interest rates on their savings accounts, earning you extra income just for keeping money in the bank. 

And of course, many banks offer convenient services such as online banking and automatic bill payments. When choosing a new bank to outfit your business, make sure to compare the different options available, from fees to interest rates. Check out online reviews and contact customer service reps to learn more about each bank's services and benefits. Doing research before making a decision can ensure that you’re making the best choice for all your business.

Get to Know the Staff at the Local Bank—They Should be Able to Answer Your Questions about Business Banking Products and Services

By getting to know the staff at your local bank, you'll be guaranteed the best possible advice concerning small business banking products and services. Not only will making local connections help foster a sense of community, but it can also ensure any queries you have are answered quickly and accurately. 

Local banks—like First Seacoast Bank—and their staff members specialize in tailor-made solutions for small businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as local business owners with more experience. So if you've been struggling to understand how business banking works, why not take this chance to get to know your local banking team? That way, you'll reap all the benefits they have to offer. 

Want to know how a business loan works? Just ask! We’ll answer anything you throw at us. 

Make Sure the Bank Offers Online and Mobile Banking so You Can Access Your Accounts from Anywhere

Accessibility is critical for business owners. Having the ability to access your account from anywhere with online and mobile banking is incredibly important. It allows you to conveniently manage your money without needing to physically go to the bank in person (but hey, we love seeing you, so stop by anytime!). 

With features like balance updates, transaction history, check deposits, and bill payments, you can save time on basic banking tasks. It’s important to make sure the bank you choose provides this type of service. It generally costs nothing extra and opens up a whole world of possibilities for managing your finances on-the-go.

Choose a Bank that has ATMs Close to Your Business Location

When choosing a local bank for your business, it’s important to ensure you have quick access to ATMs. Having a local bank within easy walking or driving distance from your business will make it easier for both your business and employees to access money when needed. 

A local community bank will be better suited than larger chains since they'll likely be focused on supporting local businesses and typically have several local branches. 

Case in point: we’ve got five convenient locations within the greater seacoast area. Taking the time to consult with local banks in the area would be an important first step, as not all local banks have ATMs close by.

It’s also important to consider whether your chosen bank’s ATMs are part of a surcharge-free network. Allpoint is a network of ATMs, domestic and international, that wave surcharges on cash withdrawals for participating banks and their customers. First Seacoast Bank is proud to be a member of the Allpoint network.

Compare Interest Rates on Loans and Credit Cards Before Choosing a Bank

It's critical to compare interest rates if you're considering financing through a bank or opening a credit card. With high interest rates, the cost of borrowing money can quickly add up and become unmanageable. 

Before settling on a bank or lender, make sure you know what kind of rate you're signing up for and how it compares to other institutions. Interest rates are dynamic and depend on multiple factors, such as your credit history, income level, repayment track record, and more—so don't be afraid to shop around. 

Although it might mean an extra step in the process, weighing all these different considerations can help you save big in the long run. Wondering what the rates are like here at First Seacoast Bank? Take a look around

Ready to Choose a Bank for Your Business Needs?

Once you’ve considered all of the factors above, it should be pretty clear which bank is the best fit for your small business. Checking and savings account interest rates are important, but so is finding a bank that is convenient and offers the services you need. 

You’ll also want to make sure the bank has experience with small businesses and can answer any questions you have about business banking products and services. For example, did you know First Seacoast Bank can help you manage your payroll transactions

And finally, don’t forget to consider online and mobile banking options as well as ATM locations when choosing a bank for your small business needs. Compare interest rates on loans and credit cards before making your final decision—some banks offer preferential rates to new customers. Looking for a local bank that knows your name when you walk in? Look no further than First Seacoast Bank—we’re here to help your small business succeed!