Whether you’re starting a new business or searching for new ways to become more efficient, understanding how to make the most of your company’s finances is the first step toward success.
Since Cornerstone Bank prides ourselves on being a small business in Kansas City, we have personal experience with financial management for small business. This allows us to offer expert advice, services, and technologies for our commercial clients across a variety of industries.
The importance of financial management for small businesses
Don’t make the mistake of believing all you need to do is open a bank account, sign up for a small business loan, and you’re all set. True financial management requires a culmination of choosing the right deposit accounts, spending money wisely, creating a smooth cash flow, and so much more.
Basically, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to follow. Rather, you should consider your industry (we’ll talk about this later) along with your company’s needs and capabilities to build your own custom solution.
Without a focus on proper financial management, your small business could become riddled with chaos—disorganized books, missed payments, overspending—the list goes on. Human error is normal, but if you and your staff are constantly making mistakes, it’s time to revisit how your company handles money.
Going about change may seem daunting, which is why many small business owners put it off. However, investing in banking solutions that will maximize your operations makes a world of difference. And it starts with finding the right bank to do the job.
Aren’t all banks the same?
No, not all banks are the same, nor will they ever be. Different banks have different capabilities. Plus, you will have varied experiences depending on the bank you choose.
For example, you may turn to a large national bank because they market all the tools you need without considering what actually comes with big banks. Yes, you may get all the bells and whistles, but what is the point if their bankers don’t actually help you? Spending valuable time waiting on the phone or in line just to get impersonal service won’t provide the insight you need to grow.
What should I look for instead?
We strongly believe a small, local bank is the key to help you manage your company finances. But you don’t simply want to choose any open bank you can find. Instead, you want to choose one that offers the same variety of services and capabilities as a large bank combined with the personalized, family-like care of a small bank. You can receive both at Cornerstone Bank!
With that covered, let’s go into more detail about small business solutions and our top tips to follow.
Tailor your finances to your specific circumstances & industry
An important factor you should always consider is your industry. If you’re an insurance company, you’re probably not going to require the same banking needs as an auto repair shop. There’s no general rule on how to make the best financial decisions; everyone’s business is unique. Therefore, to start on the right path, separate your business from everyone else’s. Sit down and consider what you specifically need. This may include:
- How many employees you have
- The size of your company
- Whether you own or rent your building space
- The types of services/goods you offer
- How you receive payment from customers
- And more
From there, you can find a bank that will work with you to recommend the tools, technology, accounts, and other factors to help your business reach its goals. Of course, this all starts with your bank. When coming up with small business solutions, your bank should understand how to match their services to your industry needs. For 20 years, Cornerstone has worked with many industries such as:
- Oil and Gas
- Contractors, subs and generals
- Professional services
As a result, we are fully equipped to understand the best practices for your business to provide the best, customized care possible. We also acknowledge that even businesses within the same industry require different services, which is exactly why we will spend one-on-one time with you to lead you on the right path.
Choose the right accounts & use them correctly
The commercial accounts you choose to run your business make a world of difference. You don’t want to assume one account will work best for you just because it worked for someone else. Instead, take what you’ve learned from understanding your specific needs to ensure your deposit accounts help make your operations more efficient. For example, you may choose to have a single operating account then add the rest of the funds to an interest-bearing account.
At the end of the day, you want to understand the types of accounts available along with how they work. That way you can save money, build interest, and generally keep everything structured and organized.
Types of accounts you can choose from include:
You’re probably very familiar with a checking account. More than likely, you use your checking account for your day-to-day finances. With your checking account, you can withdraw money whenever you want and spend money however you want. It allows you easy access to your funds, and the best banks offer capabilities so you can bank online, on your phone, at the ATM, and the office. Basically, versatility and freedom are some of the major benefits of your checking account.
A savings account allows you to safely store your money so you can build up a financial padding. Unlike checking accounts, savings accounts don’t come with as much freedom, and you will most likely have a withdrawal limit before a fee gets applied. Keep in mind that a traditional savings account is not the same as a certificate of deposit. Many accounts come with some interest, though interest rates won’t be as high as a CD.
Money market accounts
A money market account often shares many of the same benefits as a savings account, but you can also have access to your money via checks and debit cards like a checking account. However, even though money market accounts are no longer subject to Regulation D, some banks may still opt to limit transactions and enact penalties. In addition, minimum deposits for money market accounts are generally higher than traditional savings accounts.
Make sure you have the tools & knowledge to optimize your dollar
Banking for a business nowadays isn’t just about physical checks and writing everything down for bookkeeping. We have officially transitioned into a digital era where technology can help make managing your company easier. Digital tools can even help mitigate risks and reduce human error.
But are you aware of what’s available?
Without full knowledge of the latest banking services, you may be missing out on how to make the most out of your dollar. At Cornerstone Bank, we use our variety of services to make your company more profitable. Some of the benefits we offer for small businesses include:
- Remote deposit capture
- Automatic electronic transfers
- Wire transfers
- Quick turnaround on loan requests and loan closings
- Data download capacities for efficient bookkeeping
Take advantage of ACH benefits
ACH (automated clearing house) makes your accounts payable and accounts receivable a lot easier. When everything runs automatically, there’s less room for mistakes like writing the wrong amount on a check or forgetting to pay a bill. Many small businesses also use their ACH capabilities to pay their employees via direct deposit.
To further maximize ACH benefits, Cornerstone Bank uses our positive pay feature to help with fraud. For example, whenever you send checks out to vendors you get an excel spreadsheet. From there, you can input the check numbers and amounts into our system. Then when the check gets mailed out and sent back in, the system ensures the check number and dollar amount is correct. If everything matches, then the check automatically goes through. If not, the check returns to the bookkeeper.
Cornerstone Bank excels in financial management for small businesses
More than anything, our bankers are here to help you with any of your financial needs. Since 2001, we have been a primary resource for our small businesses across the Kansas City metro and the country. We take pride in watching our customers thrive, no matter what you do.
We always put our customers first, and that means giving them the best banking has to offer. We don’t believe in simple banking; rather, we go above and beyond to help our customers make their money work for them.
For more information, visit our Overland Park office or give us a call at 913-239-8100 to let us know how we can help.