Meeting the Needs of Small Businesses

By Bryan Clagett

American small businesses need America’s banks now more than ever.

Business owners have never been in greater need of digitalization. Being a small business owner seldom comes with a job description, and it can be a stressful position to be in. More often than not, it includes unexpected financial stresses that are out of the business owner’s control. Automating some of the time-consuming processes can make a big difference.

Banks can play a critical role in helping entrepreneurs balance the demands of business by providing tools that support them in both practical and surprising ways. To do that, however, it’s important to understand the basic financial needs of small business. And that includes knowing what it is that business owners consider the most important financial tools.

Here are the top financial tools that small business owners want:

  • Accounting Software – Organizing business expenses is clearly a top priority, and small businesses want a digital, cloud-based solution. The ability to simplify, automate, and track key financial data helps a business stay focused on revenue generation.
  • Business Plan Software – Business planning is a small business priority. Software must be simple to use and support goal establishment and tracking.
  • Financial Analysis – Knowing the numbers is the key to managing a successful business. By actively monitoring profit and loss statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets all in one place, owners will know where the business stands—and take steps to stay profitable.
  • Inventory Management – Just about every business needs some kind of inventory management system. Business owners can efficiently track inventory with cloud-based solutions.
  • Invoicing Software – Handling all billing manually take too much time. Invoicing software leaves little room for human mistakes, which means fewer payments fall through the cracks. Just about every small business owner can benefit from switching from paper invoicing to dedicated invoicing software.
  • Credit Card Processing – This is a no-brainer, and a place where many of you bankers are already established. Whether it’s a point-of-sale, credit card reader, credit card terminal, or online payments, mobile is increasingly a priority.
  • Business Credit Card – You better be offering business-specific benefits, such as employee cards and spending controls, and specialty service tailored to meet small businesses’ needs.
  • Business Debit Card – Debit cards are not dead. Business owners want access to their business checking accounts, and a business debit card remains a must-have tool for them. The key to your debit card offering, in the mind of the business prospect, is access and convenience.
  • Business Credit Monitoring – Savvy business owners want to monitor any changes to their credit reports, and be well informed regarding their their company’s ability to obtain or expand credit. Business credit reports and scores are dynamic—and so should your offering of this service to the market.

Life is complex and stressful. Running a business takes stress to a whole new level. Want to gain small business market share? Provide tools that simplify, streamline and reduce friction.

Bryan Clagett is CMO at Geezeo, a personal financial management (PFM) solutions provider dedicated entirely to financial institutions. Email: [email protected].