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3 Factors that Affect How You Serve Your Small Business Banking Clients

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Small Business Banking


key points
  • Small businesses play a vital role in the economy, being responsible for most new job creation and making up a significant portion of the market.

  • Many financial institutions overlook small business owners, leading to dissatisfaction with traditional banking relationships, and alternative providers are seen as potentially offering better service.

  • The needs of small businesses vary based on factors like digital preference, business size, and transaction type. To effectively serve them, financial institutions must adopt flexible and scalable technology, like nCino's Small Business Banking Solution, to offer personalized guidance and support for both business owners and relationship managers.

Small businesses are a significant part of the economy, driving job creation, but many financial institutions lack tailored support for them. Meeting the diverse needs of small businesses requires flexible and scalable technology, such as nCino's Small Business Banking Solution, which can enable personalized guidance and trusted service for both business owners and relationship managers.

Small businesses make up more than 99% of the economy and are responsible for 65% of new job creation. In our opinion, there’s nothing “small” about that.

Despite these stats, many financial institutions (FIs) overlook small business owners. According to a recent survey by The Financial Brand, only 25% of small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) have given a “very good” rating to relationship managers post COVID-19. Research by Accenture paints an even more dire picture—they found that 42% of SMBs believe alternative providers can offer better service than traditional banks.

Part of the problem is that “small business” is a broad term, which means that a one-size-fits-all approach can’t serve every small business owner. Small business banking needs can vary based on a number of factors, which requires that FIs have flexible and scalable technology to meet those needs. These factors include:

1. Digital Appetite and Aptitude of the Owner

Small business owners are as diverse as the rest of the United States population, and their wide range of digital appetites reflect that. When it comes to applying for a loan, one small business owner may want to initiate their application online to see what they qualify for without speaking to anyone. Meanwhile, the co-owners of a mom-and-pop startup may prefer to schedule a branch visit to talk through their options. At the same time, a long-standing business owner who has an existing relationship with their banker may want to pick up the phone to have a check-in about a new product line they’re interested in opening.

If your FI wants to meet the needs of each of these customers and provide a streamlined, dynamic user experience that exceeds expectations in the small business banking relationship, a technology solution such as nCino’s Small Business Banking Solution can help.

2. Maturity/Size of the Business

As a business grows, its needs become more complex. A successful small business owner may be interested in exploring new financing options as they expand their market or need to originate treasury services to manage their payables and receivables. A smaller proprietor, on the other hand, might be ready to explore options like an SBA Express loan.

To serve small businesses in a way that matters, FIs that choose nCino give their bankers the ability to show up as supercharged advisors, asking the right questions to drive timely, accurate and competitive decisions no matter where SMB owners are in their journey or what their business needs may be.

3. Nature of the Transaction

Many players in the banking space, such as alternative lenders, address the needs of small business owners at a transactional level. However, in an ideal situation, technology providers will account for the needs of the FI, the banker, and the small business owner simultaneously. When all key players are enabled to work together in a balanced way, FIs are best positioned to provide personalized guidance and trusted service for their SMB clients.

Despite their many differences, small business owners have at least one thing in common. They know their company like no one else and want support, comfort, and personalized guidance as they take the next step in their business journey. They want a banker who already knows what they’re going through before they even reach out to their FI.

If your FI wants to be that institution, it must be empowered to do what is right for the client in every moment. That’s why the banking experience for both the relationship manager and small business owner need to be augmented with the right technology, such as nCino’s Small Business Banking Solution.

To learn more about nCino’s Small Business Banking Solution and how it can help your institution supercharge both your employees and your customers, download our mini white paper.