Technology advances allow small businesses to take advantage of big-business savings
When was the last time you sat down with your business banker? Probably the last time you needed an equipment or construction loan or maybe as long ago as when you set up your first business accounts.
It's not unusual for business owners to set up accounts for their basic business needs (a checking account, a business line of credit and maybe a retirement account) and never visit the bank again for anything other than routine transactions. After all, you're busy running your business; you don't have time to just pop in to the bank and find out what's new.
But if it's been months - or even years - since you talked to a business banker and you're feeling the pressure to cut expenses and operate more efficiently, then now may be the time to stop by your local bank and ask how they can help.
As a consumer, you've probably noticed that the financial world is changing. You can hardly go to a store anywhere that doesn't have a credit card reader at the cashier, ready for you to swipe your card and complete your purchase in seconds. Electronic transactions are replacing cash at the gas station, in restaurants and at the grocery store. You don't even have to sign your tax return anymore - just submit it online.
If these exciting technologies are changing how you do business in your everyday life, just think what they could do in your company.
Here are several ways new financial technologies can help your business be more profitable:
.Track expenses: Got a checking account? How about account management software? Widely available programs let you download and analyze up-to-the-minute financial information from your bank. You'll be able to monitor your cash flow, see exactly where (and when) you are spending, plan for future expenses and adjust your budget accordingly.
.Process payments: Every business has expenses, and with luck, yours has income, too. The faster that money gets to the bank, the sooner it starts working for your company. With services like direct debit and direct deposit, your customers can pay you and the funds will automatically be deposited in your company account. They can even pay online without a credit card.
.Electronic deposits: New express deposit services let you deposit checks right from your office, just scan the check and upload the image to your bank electronically. You'll save the time and expense of sending someone to the bank to make a deposit.
.Automate saving and investing: It's not enough just to have your money in the bank; you want to know your business is getting the maximum benefit from its cash resources. Interest-bearing savings and investment accounts can maximize your return. Team them with sweep and zero balance accounts to ensure that the funds you need are available for operating expenses while more money stays in your interest-bearing accounts.
.Analyze trends: Perhaps the most important benefit of the new banking technologies is the opportunity to get an accurate financial picture of your business.
Speak with your business banker about how you do business now and how you'd like to improve. With great ideas to help you reduce the cost and time you spend on banking and accounting, you'll increase profits and have more time to focus on your business.
This article was submitted by Van Canada, Riverside Bank president in Volusia County. He can be reached at (386) 736-0524, Ext. 68922.