Get them early,                                                                                                           ...
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Banking Services Startups Want

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"Banking Services Startups Want" is an article I wrote and that is published in 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 for startups, suggesting that if financial institutions give young businesses of today what they need, those young businesses and startups will become customers for life. The article was published under the title "Get Them Early, Keep Them for Decades."

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Banking Services Startups Want

  1. 1. Get them early, Want to earn lifelong small business loyalty? Serve them well at startup. Keep them for decAdes by Anita Campbell You’ve probably read the day become a million-dollar businesses a feel-good work with and unimposing. What if you flipped this Online banking. Here’s an businesses, the credit card is Anita Campbell is CEO of statistics. According to data customer or member? relationship and stop there. They also tend to be idea on its head and began area where larger institutions the single-most important Small Business Trends, an online community touching more than from the Small Business They promote themselves technologically savvy, with waiving fees for the little have an advantage over more service you can offer them. In my experience as a 250,000 small business owners each Administration, more than as the “friendly neighborhood access to lots of resources guys? That’s what the smart regional banks and credit That’s why it’s critical to small business owner, and month. Her award-winning Web 644,000 new businesses start bank.” They offer free coffee. (read: competition) over financial institutions do, unions, because they can make your business credit site, www.SmallBizTrends.com, as someone who runs an in the U.S. every year. Maybe they assign a small the Internet and in their and that’s how you build afford to provide outstanding card program more than an was in the Forbes Best of the online community touching business banker or make communities. Simply stated, loyalty: by giving young firms technology. Some community afterthought. Too often the Web list for 2005 and 2008, Fresh off the excitement hundreds of thousands of and has been recognized by the a proactive service call every they expect more. Here are a break when they need it banks still charge monthly discussion with prospective of launching a business, small businesses monthly, I’ve Wall Street Journal and so often. Such measures suggestions for aligning most. Many small businesses fees for online banking. small businesses centers on these startups eagerly go concluded that startups want MSNBC. Campbell also hosts are terrific. But they’re not your standard offerings also use PayPal and other This won’t fly with today’s checking, and the customer shopping for the necessary one simple thing from www.SellingToSmallBusinesses.com, nearly enough. with those expectations. electronic transaction services. small business owners. These or member is simply given a resource focused on addressing accoutrements, and choosing a financial institution: help. Why not offer an unlimited tech-savvy individuals are a credit card application the needs of organizations that a financial institution is atop But there’s often a vast Checking. Most financial Aligning their number of electronic accustomed to being able to on the way out the door. serve small businesses. that list. Will you welcome difference between the “help” institutions have this needs with transactions as well? set up free online accounts With so little motivation, © 2008 Anita Campbell. All Rights Reserved. them with open arms and a bank offers them and what fundamental offering your offering for everything under the sun, many will simply use their earn their loyalty from the these startup businesses down pretty well. But you If only a few of these startups Today’s startup business and they expect the same from personal credit card to fund start? Or will you miss this actually need. may be tempted forgo become long-term customers owners face great complexity, their financial institutions. their business. That’s an golden opportunity to fees as a reward to larger or members, you’ll more For example, some financial and seem to prefer financial So you must make it easy to opportunity missed. bring on what may one businesses alone. than recover any reductions institutions offer startup institutions that are easy to do business online — and in short-term revenue that Finally, consider all the make it free. may result from offering these opportunities to use services at no cost. Telephone banking. This technology to make it easier see the long-term potentiAl in stArtups. today’s emerging capability will become critical for small business startups to Printed checks. It’s a business could one day become one of your most profitable customers. in coming years, because establish a relationship with paperless world, right? Not telephones are rapidly you, and to strengthen that quite. Despite a huge increase morphing into portable relationship over time. It’s in electronic transactions, computers. Many banks have all about making their lives checks are not going away supported phone transactions easier — about becoming a anytime soon. Volume for a long time, but now’s trusted partner to help them quantities are not where it’s at the time think about how efficiently run and grow their with this crowd, because most you’ll support online banking businesses. young businesses won’t write functionality through these many checks. And since more Oh, and be friendly, too. devices. Younger startup young businesses are using Just don’t let friendliness business owners will soon accounting software, you be all you offer. expect it. should make sure that your checks work seamlessly with Credit cards. Forget loans. today’s popular accounting Most look to plastic first. For software packages. the vast majority of startup 6 The Deluxe Knowledge Quarterly KQ4 2008 The Deluxe Knowledge Quarterly KQ4 2008 7
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