Financial management is not the most glamorous aspect of a contracting business. However, the bank a construction business uses can significantly impact overall costs and financial freedom.
A bank that understands construction will cater to its specific needs, including tailoring services to minimize fees and interest charges. A good contractor bank will understand the risks of each new project.
Contracting runs a little differently from many other industries – business financing needs may change from project to project, income is contract-based and irregular, and even the location of business operations can move between different municipalities for each project.
Here are some tips to help find the best bank for contractors.
1. Identify your needs
The first step in finding a bank that fits your needs is to figure out what those needs really are. An inward assessment of current banking habits, services used, and business practices can identify service gaps that could save a contracting business time and money by choosing the best business checking account for those needs.
Here are some factors worth considering when assessing a company’s banking needs.
What kinds of holding and operating accounts does your business use?
Holding accounts are those designed to keep and accumulate money. The owner deposits money for a specific purpose, like investments or emergency savings. Holding accounts are often savings accounts that allow for fewer ongoing transactions in exchange for the possibility of lower fees or higher interest rates.
Operating accounts are those used for daily banking activities – the account holder takes out expenses and deposits income. Operating accounts sound a lot like standard checking accounts, and in many ways that’s what they are.
However, operating accounts that work best for contractors may also
- integrate with accounting and billing software,
- allow for better collaboration with team members, and
- enable owners to send and receive payments easily.
Truss offers an operating account built explicitly for contractors, enabling hassle-free day-to-day banking, including paying trades, collecting payments, and adding and withdrawing funds.
2. Research bank fees
It pays to shop around, even for bank accounts. While many personal checking accounts are free, business checking accounts are often subject to additional fees and limitations. Monthly maintenance fees or service fees on business accounts can cost between $8 and $30, while cash deposits, incoming wire, nonsufficient funds (NSF), and overdraft fees can push banking costs even higher.
Read the fine print to discover strategies for lowering these fees. For instance, some U.S. banks will drop the monthly fees when a business fulfills a minimum balance requirement in the account or signs on to the bank’s credit card. Others provided a specific number of free transactions before a fee system kicks in.
For an even simpler solution, look for low- or no-fee business bank accounts to save your business hundreds of dollars every year.
Truss bank accounts are free: account owners will pay no account fees, startup fees, or transfer fees.
3. Customer service matters
On an average day, most small business owners don’t have to think much about their banks. However, on those rare, really big days when a company is ready to make an important move, a bank’s level of customer service can have a big impact. On really bad days, customer service can matter even more.
Research each bank’s reputation for customer service by checking out reviews and satisfaction ratings from experienced customers. Look for a bank that considers each business individually instead of treating account holders like numbers. The best small business bank account with solid customer service can support, troubleshoot, and offer suggestions when things don’t work out as they should, and offer the right products and advice when they do.
Personalized business services are a big green flag. A bank that can take the time to know and understand an individual account holder’s needs, concerns, and business processes can make the entire financial management plan much easier to manage.
Truss gives each business a dedicated account manager, free personalized onboarding for new customers, and same-day in-house support for account holders.
4. Online banking abilities
Robust online and mobile banking systems give business owners game-changing awareness and control of their finances.
The best business bank accounts should allow for
- electronic check deposits,
- online setup and support for accounts, and
- top-grade security measures.
Find banks with a full suite of online banking capabilities to allow for:
- better cash flow management through monitoring and financial health checks
- e-deposits and online transfers to avoid writing, sending, and depositing checks at a physical bank branch
- more informed decision-making through real-time insights
Truss provides a fast setup you can do from anywhere and online support for all life’s hiccups. Partnered with banking partner Thread, Truss provides FDIC insurance for $2.5 million (a far cry from other banks’ standard $250 thousand offering), with no complicated account sweep system to back it up.
5. Specialized banking
Most traditional banks are set up according to rules and policies that fit most customers. Transaction limits and individual transaction fees apply to many personal bank accounts. However, contractors’ needs sometimes fall outside the standard setup. The best bank accounts for contractors understand those needs and can offer service that supports them.
Truss is built for the construction industry. Truss offers high-limit money transfers, tool integrations that align business operations, including connecting to accounting software, and a platform that puts everything in one place.
6. Consider cards
Business credit cards are a critical part of construction financial management. Construction credit cards should allow for multiple users and greater control over spending.
Truss makes it easy to issue physical or digital cards to staff and set limits on spending and authorized vendor lists for each one. Staff can upload images of receipts, so reconciliation is a snap.
How could better banking impact your construction business?
Banking services are not always front-of-mind when setting up construction business operations. However, a strong business requires a solid financial foundation, which begins with how a contractor access and manages money.
Open a contractor account at a bank that understands construction industry needs. Talk to others in construction to find which institutions offer the best business checking account, and consider which banks offer low bank fees, great customer service and online banking options, and whose business credit cards can help you control your finances.
Ready to sign on to business banking built for construction?