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Small Banks Vs. Big Banks: Which is Better for my Business

May 09 2011

If you are a small business and travel is a part of your work, having a business account with a large nationwide bank is best for you. With a small banks you can run into problems with credit and cashing checks out of town. Larger banks, even though they are not the fail safe we once thought, still have the best advantage for the business traveler and you can consolidate all of your banking under one umbrella.

The best thing about a small bank is that you can usually get better rates, low fees and great deals on car loans. They will bend over backward to keep you a customer. They generally offer perks and are very involved with the local community. With a small bank you are not just a customer number 123546 you are a name and you are remembered.

There are of course advantages to both as well as some disadvantages. The trick to choosing a bank for your business is getting the one that is right for you. Most small banks are now online and this makes banking with them more convenient. The small banks also are competing in the perks department, although on a slightly smaller scale as say someone like "Bank of America".The thing that has the biggest impact on your decision is what do you need for the bank to do? Sometimes it boils down to one word access. A small bank generally only has the one branch. This is not good when you are traveling.

One of the best ways to determine what bank you should use for your business is to settle on a few small banks and large banks, from this list begin to compare them. List the pros and cons of each. This will help you to narrow the focus of your search.

Although coverage is a large part of choosing a bank you also have to take into account how the bank will treat you. If you are applying for a loan at a small bank you get to talk with the person who is actually going to be making the final decision. This almost never happens at any large banks. Not unless you are independently wealthy and then why would you need a loan. For personal attention and customer care a small bank beats a larger one hands down.

Having access to your funds however may be the true deciding factor, with smaller banks the number of ATM's you can use vary. They generally cost you more in fees as well. You could end up paying up to 5.00 just to take out 10.00. That is why a larger bank would be best in most cases.Finally the real decision is left to you. While these reasons do not begin to cover everything that will go into making your final decision it is a good place to start. It is entirely a matter of what you want to do.

Pat Lindle is a small business consulting expert specializing in the wine retail and wine broker industries.  For passive income, Pat co-owns a wine ecommerce site where he makes it quick and easy for wine aficionados to buy wine online.  When not tending to his wine passions, Pat helps small business owners and startups with banking relationships and business efficiencies.

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