In previous Small Business Tips posts, we’ve focused on more strategic than tactical ideas such as understanding the small business catch-22 and staying agile. Now it’s time to look at some tactical approaches. The purpose here is to help you examine the things in your business that are accepted as “routine” and then try to find the hidden pockets of wasted time that you may be missing.
The bank is one of those places where time seems to disappear. It’s like a time suck vortex. And, that’s why “Avoid the Banking Time Suck” qualifies as one of our small business tips.
Now, we all know that banking as an activity can’t be avoided. Depending on the financial success or profitability of your enterprise, ” banking” means different things to different businesses.
One problem with all trips to the bank is that the scope of the errand always seems to creep. There’s often a post office run involved. Maybe a stop for yogurt. Regardless, you can be sure that a trip to the bank will also involve a pitch for additional banking services by bank staff.
But there is another aspect to the scope creep involved with a run to the bank: Anything that takes a business owner away from what they do best is a kind of scope creep.
Some Small Business Tips for Banking
Until you and your business can have a Smithers who can run your bank errands for you, consider some of the following options to minimize banking errands:
You may find that your business can accept credit cards or payments more conveniently via PayPal. If you haven’t set up an account already, do so. You’ll often find that associated costs and fees are small compared with the cost of accepting payment by check.
Consider cutting the branch model. Online banks streamline the processes for you and eliminate fees, because they don’t have branches. Unless you just like free suckers, stale cookies, or lobby coffee, why go to a branch anyway? See what Clark Howard has to say about the topic.
It seems obvious, but most banking – even with older, more traditional banks – can now be done without leaving your desk. Banks offer a lot of ways for you to minimize interaction with them (after all, your visit costs them money too). Are you doing all that you can do online? Check scanning and online deposit can do wonders for your business.
If you already use QuickBooks, you may not even have your bank linked up to your account. If you don’t already use QuickBooks, you should.
There are significant advantages to streamlining accounting and banking through QuickBooks. This blog entry has some good ideas on the banking and QuickBooks topic.
Move Transactions Online
Even if you have a traditional point of sale scenario, there are some things you can do to eliminate paper. Consider using Square or an iPad / iOS based point of sale system. They’re surprisingly inexpensive. In addition to saving your time, they look awesome and make a great impression.
Do you have ideas or questions that might make for good small business tips? Marketing, sales, branding, or operations . . . it doesn’t matter. Reach out with a comment below or by email at info -at- GamelanLLC -dot- com.