Running a small business can sometimes feel like you’re at the mercy of events or the actions of others, rather than being truly in control of your destiny.
This can be due to issues with suppliers, employees, changes in the market or an inability to develop the business due to a lack of funds. It can also be related to the way in which traditional banking providers operate.
For small businesses, traditional business bank accounts can lack flexibility and don’t provide the range of services they need.
These accounts may restrict ways of operating – for example, if a business wants to receive payments from clients outside the UK. Or it could be that these services are only available for such a high fee that ruins profitability and makes a business reconsider.
In addition, many traditional business bank accounts require businesses to run any plans they have past them before they can embark on a new venture and continue to receive the business account services they already benefit from.
As a small business develops, being able to explore different avenues of business and ways of doing things is crucial. Being limited by what bankers say can be hugely frustrating.
Another feature of many traditional business bank accounts is that they charge a monthly fee for the services they provide. While there might be a brief introductory period when these fees aren’t charged, once they are they can increase sharply as a business hits a certain level of turnover.
This effectively punishes small businesses for success or growth, reducing their profit and limiting the amount of revenue that can be ploughed back into the business for further growth, innovation or simply to have on hand for a rainy day.
With virtual banking, small businesses aren’t limited or dictated to by their banking services. They have the freedom to operate in the way that works best for them, while also benefiting from a bank account that makes them more efficient and agile.
Virtual bank accounts support numerous services that traditional business bank accounts are unlikely to.
For example, businesses can make and receive international payments quickly and cost effectively, without setting up expensive wire transfers and even sometimes without any transaction fees at all. Transactions are reliable and secure, thanks to certifications possessed by reputable virtual banks.
With virtual banking, there is no need to run business plans past a suit before businesses can go ahead with new ventures.
For example, they can easily add a payment button to their e-commerce website that connects directly to their account provider. ePayments Merchant Service has no set-up, annual or monthly fees. There is even a choice of what the button provides customers – a generic payment page, a payment page embedded within the website, or invoices and payment links sent to their email.
Having the freedom to choose how you want to introduce e-commerce to customers and having control over this is a major advantage.
With no account fees to pay and minimal transaction costs, virtual banking also ensures small businesses aren’t constrained by increasing costs as they grow, as they may be with traditional banking services.
The ability of virtual bank accounts to show transactions in near-real time and to provide customers with the means to manage their finances via a wide range of connected devices, also means that businesses can have greater visibility and control of their finances than previously.
If you’re keen to have more control of your business finances – and have greater freedom about how you run your business as a result – virtual banking could well be the right choice for you.