2020 was the year of the pivot for everyone, and it was also a big year for entrepreneurship, as many people began their own small businesses. Now that 2021 is nearly halfway through, the outlook for US small businesses looks bright. For new business owners, learning about financial factors that can make or break your success is important. Below, the financial experts at Cornerstone Bank discuss small business trends in 2021.
1. Reimagine how you bank
Many owners prefer business banking in person so they feel like everything is done correctly.
To be frank, you do not need to bank in person to maintain accuracy.
Last year was a turning point for online banking, as Cornerstone Bank and our peers further understood the importance of accessible online banking on all levels. While Cornerstone Bank always prioritizes online banking capabilities, this part of our services became even more clear as an asset for our clients throughout last year and into 2021.
Paper and file keepers, keep an open mind for the following trends.
2. Take your bank with you
It’s a strange idea to consider, but we believe this is one of the largest small business trends in 2021. For business owners, the ability to bank whenever and wherever you’re at is a major benefit.
At the office, at home, traveling, or meeting with clients, online banking frees up your time exponentially. Our online banking features include mobile deposits, opening accounts, RDC machines for remote deposit capture, and so much more.
And as the saying goes, time is money, after all.
As a business owner, you likely play multiple roles; communicate with your customers, employees, and vendors; complete administrative tasks, and anything else that comes up throughout your day. The last thing you want to take time for is a trip to and from the bank. While we maintain high efficiency to get our customers in and out as quickly as possible, some business owners can’t sacrifice the time to bank in-person.
When you take your bank with you through online banking, you can stay at your place of business and get banking tasks done without missing a beat.
3. Be part of a tech-savvy world
More and more, technology capabilities are not limited to big businesses. Small businesses are using the same advantages that tech brings, like impressive websites, simple transactions, social media accounts, online loyalty programs, and more.
As younger generations become consumers, they bring higher expectations for businesses. Small businesses should not ignore these expectations for convenience through technology. Online resources instantly upgrade your accessibility and capabilities as a business owner on multiple levels, including business banking online.
When you bank online, you streamline your processes by tenfold. Not only do you save time, you can cut down on physical paperwork and conveniently access important numbers, deposits, and other types of transactions.
4. Use ACH, a transaction method that’s safer than a check
ACH (Automated Clearing House) is an automated electronic transfer system that allows banks to move money seamlessly to and from bank accounts in the US. This includes both payments and transfers. For a business, ACH can be an extremely useful tool to help you easily manage your business finances.
The benefits of ACH
When you write a check, it’s helpful for records but not the quickest route, as you have to wait until someone deposits the check. The same goes for receiving a check, where you need to take the time to either visit the bank in person or complete a mobile deposit (which is easy, but still an extra task).
In 2021, writing and receiving a lot of checks is not the most efficient system when you need to keep a close eye on finances. With ACH, the withdrawal comes out either the same or following business day. The transaction status is much faster, and you can also automate ACH to be a recurring payment, saving you valuable time.
ACH as a payment option
Accepting ACH as a payment option for your business is also beneficial. Because of the faster nature of electronic payments, you will not have to worry about a situation like a bounced check days or weeks later. ACH is more reliable because it takes the payment out faster than a check, ensuring more guarantee of funds.
Cornerstone Bank has seen small business clients use ACH, including apartment management and utility companies. In fact, one of our clients is a Certified Public Accountant who only takes on new customers with ACH. As a person in finance himself, he’s extremely happy with Cornerstone Bank because our ACH system is easily manageable and reliable.
5. Use easier money management
With effective money management, you shouldn’t have to use or write a lot of checks (especially if you use ACH). Many of our clients use Cornerstone Bank’s ACH product for utility payments as automated transactions. More recently, utility companies require ACH payment over a check or credit card.
You can export your data from ACH and match it to your accounting system. This makes balancing your finances more efficient and less time-consuming, with easy-to-create reports.
You can also save yourself time and energy by taking full advantage of Cornerstone Bank’s online banking features, including:
- Use the spending and budget tool via CardValet
- Check your balance
- Transfer funds between Cornerstone Bank accounts
- Mobile deposit
- Create nicknames for your accounts
- Enroll for bill pay
- Paperless statements
- Alert notifications for account activity via the mobile app, text, or email
- Transaction history
- Manage security settings
6. Bank with professionals who care
This is arguably the most important trend for small businesses in 2021 and beyond. You’re a small business, so you know the value of relationship building from the ground up. We hold that same value as a top priority at Cornerstone Bank.
We come to you
A unique trait of Cornerstone Bank is that we go out and see you as our customer. We understand that you’re busy, and we’ll come to your place of business for meetings and appointments. Our banking professionals understand the time constraints of being a business owner. If coming to you helps you bank more efficiently with us, we are more than happy to do so.
A personalized touch
You are more than an account number to us. Our team members know our clients by name, and your small business goals are our goals. We know you can bank anywhere, and we show our appreciation for your business with trusted relationships.
We value small businesses like small business owners value their own customers—by understanding that every relationship has an impact.
Call your banker anytime
We know problems can arise at the most inconvenient times. That’s why our bankers give you their cell phone numbers so you can reach them when you need them, even on weekends.
7. Be a stable employer
The amount of employees for a small business can vary greatly. Maybe you’re the only employee right now! The following tip goes for everyone, whether you’re a mighty team of 1 or 100.
The last year has irrevocably changed things for employers and employees. With our work schedules and environments uprooted, there’s been more of a focus on employers understanding the needs of their team.
Simply put, if you or your employees consistently work extra hours, it can cause burnout. Burnout inhibits efficient performance and positive morale, so avoiding burnout is important!
Keep your employees and yourself happy by understanding everyone’s need for work life balance. The more rested and good a team member feels about their job, the better they’re able to perform, leading to greater success.
Learn more small business trends in 2021 from the financial experts at Cornerstone Bank.
Here’s a quick recap of our top small business trends in 2021:
- Reimagine how you bank and get comfortable with change
- Take your bank with you [via online banking]
- Take advantage of technology
- Use the benefits of ACH for payments, deposits, and transfers
- Work towards easier money management
- Bank with professionals who care about your success
- Be a stable, understanding employer for your team
At Cornerstone Bank, our bankers are here to support you as a small business client.
We’re highly experienced with business banking and invest ourselves in your success. Since 2001, we’ve been a primary resource for small businesses across the Kansas City area. Our team is proud when we help our customers achieve success, no matter the size of their business.
For small business banking inquiries or more information, contact us online, call us at 913-239-8100, or visit us in Overland Park, KS.
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