While American business has encountered many economic and technological changes, small business remains at the heart of the American economy. According to Forbes Advisor, more than 46% of employed Americans work for our nation’s 33.2 million small businesses. Focusing on providing services that support small business success is an important way your credit union can serve the community while building its own financial strength. A thriving small business needs two things – financial services that help them achieve their business goals, and – opportunities to develop their potential for growth.
Financial services that stand out to small businesses
Seeking to address inflation and the possibility of recession, small businesses are focused on ways to cut costs and grow their earnings. The good interest rates credit unions are known for already put them in a strong position to stand out to small businesses, and combining these with some of the offerings below can help your credit union to be among the best for small businesses.
Business Checking Accounts – Even if your credit union already offers business checking accounts, reviewing your current offerings and making sure they include competitive features to attract small businesses is an important way to increase your market share. Below are some features small businesses seek that you might consider if they aren’t part of your offerings already.
- No minimum balance fees and/or no monthly fees, generally with a monthly direct deposit or ACH requirement
- Low fee transactions or a certain number of free monthly transactions
- Free online deposit and bill pay
- Easy account management through online and mobile
- Quick, easy setup
- Easy to understand fee structure that is clearly communicated.
Loan/Credit – Loans are a key part of ensuring a business has the equipment and capital it needs to thrive and grow. Some of the most small-business-friendly loan and credit features include:
- Easy processes for opening new credit cards with different limits for budget management
- Loans customized for small business needs and a simple, clear application process
- An online calculator or complimentary consultation to help the business understand what it can afford to borrow.
As with checking accounts, it’s a good practice to get feedback and regularly review your credit and loan communications and structures to ensure that small businesses are understanding what you’re offering, are getting their needs met, and are enjoying a smooth experience.
Additional Business and Merchant Services – To really set your credit union apart, try becoming an all-in-one resource for small businesses. Beyond basic merchant services like payment processing, your credit union can offer small business ATM services and rewards programs for their customers. You can even take these services to the next level with a whole business management system that includes:
- reporting services
- sales and inventory tracking
If merchant services or other similar business services are beyond your credit union’s current bandwidth you might consider working with a partner to provide easy access to these important services.
Opportunities for small business growth
A great way to connect with small businesses and empower their success is by providing resources that help them grow. Offering training workshops on business planning, accounting, marketing, and other success topics positions your credit union as a strong small business partner. Your credit union can even become a small business networking hub by offering networking events and referrals among businesses and professionals seeking additional services like legal advice.
If you’re looking to distinguish your credit union as a top credit union for small businesses, then offering services that support a small business’s financial health, successful operations, and advancement are vital. They help attract the attention and loyalty of small businesses while helping advance the community you both serve.
At Envisant, we know that designing and implementing a successful small business service strategy can be a challenge. That’s why we’re here to help you achieve your vision for serving small businesses. To learn more, please reach out to Doug Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.