This is part 6 (not all the steps have blog entries against them) of my blog recording the count down to setting up my own business. With any project it is good to have a set of milestones, and these blog entries record some of these milestones
Number 1 – It is probably a good idea to have a different bank for ones business to that which you use for your home banking. It makes it easier to differentiate between them both for you and for the bank. Form comments made some banks seem much worse than others at this
Number 2 – It is a good idea to have a bank that has a real person, who you can talk to across a table as your business advisor, not just a random person at the end of the phone.
Number 3 – Bank charges – different banks charge varying amounts for different things, and it is good to try and choose one that will give you an account that minimises these charges. Ideally you will have already worked out where your sales are coming from and how the sales will be made as part of the business plan so you can work out how the money is going to come in and in what form. Put this into a simple spreadsheet along with the potential charges and see what comes out. You may be surprised at the result. Over the medium term say 5 years an account with low charges but a short free period may well work out less than an account with slightly longer free period but steeper charges. The thing to check is that you are not locked in and cannot escape.
Number 4 – Location and opening times of nearest branch – Yes you can do lots over the phone and via the internet, but sometime you will need to go into a branch (putting cheques into an envelope and putting it into the post does not seem the most reliable way of handling income)
Number 5 – Your view on how it has behaved with regard to the banking crisis over the last few years. (Maybe you think this is not relevant, but another way of looking at it is the ethics of the bank)
So having done all these things, the next thing to do is to draw up a short list, and visit them. It does no harm in visiting your personal bank and asking them what they will offer. You will have to tell them anyway that you are starting out in business and you can then use their offering as a reference point and all other ones should be better than that.
All in all this process took us about a month, but once we had found an account that we liked and signed all the relevant bits of paper, amazingly the account is up and running within the 5 working days promised. Hopefully over time the bank we have chosen will act as a support to our business, and perform better than expected.
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.