We don’t need to tell you that winning small business accounts is a critical element of long-term success for any financial institution. According to a report from the U.S. Small Business Office of Advocacy, small businesses have accounted for 63.3% of net new jobs in the last two decades. You already know that winning with small business owners is an area that can help set financial institutions apart. You also know that offering products and solutions that are in line with the needs of small business owners is the key to staying ahead of competitors.
The greater challenge is to determine what small business owners are really looking for when it comes to selecting a financial institution for their business account. There is a lot more to it than finding a place to deposit cash and checks. Consider the following when developing a strategy to meet the needs of this important customer segment.
What Small Business Owners Want from their Financial Institution
The financial, credit and expense management needs of small business owners are as varied as the products and services they offer. However, there are a few universal wish-list items that financial institutions must meet to win with small business owners. Beyond providing a supportive and reliable place to start a business relationship, financial institutions hoping to grow their small business book should ensure they can deliver:
- Ease of accessibility: While we have (generally) become accustomed to using mobile banking and ATMs to service personal banking needs, business owners often still need to visit their financial institution in person. Flexible hours, accessible branch locations and specialists dedicated to providing commercial services to small business owners are critical elements of a successful small business banking portfolio.
- Flexible credit and payment offerings: Let’s face it; not every business owner is going to walk through the door with an unblemished credit history. That doesn’t mean they won’t go on to be a valuable customer for many years to come. Thinking outside the box to provide alternatives like business prepaid debit cards that will allow owners to make business purchases online and register for services, like mobile phones and utilities, can help set your financial institution apart from competitors.
- Ways to save time: Time is a finite resource for everyone, but for a small business owner, every minute they spend on activities like bookkeeping, and business expense management is a minute they can’t spend growing their business. By providing flexible solutions that can save time, like prepaid cards and expense management tools, financial institutions rise to the occasion of serving the needs of small business owners.
Serving small business owners is often an exercise in bringing the right team members to the table, even if that means looking outside the organization to develop strategic partnerships.
Choose Strategic Partners to Develop State-of-the-Art Products
To engage the small business community, it is essential to offer the products and services owners are looking for in terms of accessibility, flexibility, and ways to save time. Within the parameters of a large financial institution, it can be difficult to sustain the pace of product development required to meet the ever-changing needs of small business owners. Just as solutions like prepaid business cards are introduced, those featuring additional benefits like integrated business expense apps are brought to market.
Rather than going back to the drawing board, consider working with experienced partners to incorporate solutions, like fully customized card programs, to deliver the financial products and solutions small business owners need. By leaving the work of business expense card product development and program management in the hands of experienced providers, your team can get back to the important work of providing personalized service and fostering one-on-one relationships with small business owners.
Karmic is leading the way in the development prepaid payment cards and mobile expense management software to empower businesses to save time and money. “Powered by Karmic” solutions include prepaid payment and expense management technology with seamless mobile experiences. Contact us today develop a customized card program and win with small business customers.