Thought Leadership

Serving Small Businesses Grows Your Bank Exponentially

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April 22, 2019
Serving Small Businesses Grows Your Bank Exponentially
By Bryan Adler

Like many industries today, the financial industry is seeing disruption, near upheaval thanks to the digital revolution. Institutions are changing how they do business, add new products and look for ways to grow their portfolios. But with large incumbents, upstart fintechs and hundreds of credit unions and community banks, what strategies aren’t being tackled?

Many companies look at business products and consumer products as completely separate portfolios. Why not take an approach where they work together? Where one feeds the other. It’s more than just the financial industry that’s changing.

Landing a business account can help you grow your consumer product lines in terms of deposits and loans. Sunrise Banks is leading with business services and offering a payday loan alternative to employees of their business customers. These small loans are then paid back via a payroll deduction, which you can probably already access. Think about it: Not only are you helping your customers’ employees, you’re creating new relationships with a larger audience.

What about looking at your business loans a little differently? In a recent report by Edelman Intelligence, more than 57 million Americans are part of the gig economy. Do you have products to support these entrepreneurs and freelancers? These small- to mid-sized businesses will usually move all their accounts to a single institution, and it could be yours! Are you offering products to incent that move? Review pain points with existing clients and focus groups to determine how your institution can make the process of switching financial institutions as seamless as possible. Offer a small incentive for switching that will pay your institution big dividends in the long run. You can not only become their primary financial institution, but by helping these customers balance their business and personal expenses, you can create a customer for life.

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These are just a couple examples of what some innovators are doing today. Traditional programs still work in this space as well, such as discounted interest rates on loans or credit cards to employees of business customers.

Investment banker Felix Rohatyn said it well: “At its core, banking is not simply about profit, but about personal relationships.” Use your existing relationships to grow new ones. These codependent relationships not only create new opportunity, they make your existing offers with businesses more attractive. If you are a hero to their employees, everyone wins. Start looking at your business accounts less as customers and more as partners. In doing so, you’ll open up a variety of new opportunities, and you’ll create customers in both sides of your business who will spend their financial journey with you.

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