Small business banking doesn’t have to be a headache. If you run a small company, or you work for yourself as a sole trader, then you probably aren’t ready to start hiring a finance team – but you’ll still need to crunch some numbers from time to time.
Luckily, there’s plenty of help and support out there if you look in the right places.
Choose a specialist bank account
Setting up a business bank account is essential, and if you choose wisely then you should be able to get information and guidance from your banking team as well as the standard features like card management and invoicing.
Take app-based business bank Amaiz, for example. They’ve designed their bank specifically to suit the needs of super small businesses and sole traders going it alone – and this means that anyone who decides to bank with them can tap into a rich knowledge base. One of the tools that they offer is the Amaiz Accountancy Expert Service: customers are invited to send in general queries about topics like invoicing and bookkeeping, which are sent to a team of experienced, certified and accredited accountants and responded to within 3 working days.
Getting this kind of support as part of your regular business bank account, rather than an expensive add-on, seems like a no-brainer to us. Using an app-based account like Amaiz also allows you to get a clear and concise overview of your banking activity in one place, which can make things a lot easier to manage – particularly if accounting is not one of your strongest skills.
Look to the government for support
The government has a strong interest in supporting small businesses, and this means that they offer lots of guidance and, in some cases, access to additional finance. The help that you can get will likely depend on your location, as different councils run their own schemes. We recommend taking a look through this list, which runs through all of the main sources of business financial support. It also lists some charities that can offer additional assistance.
The type of help that you’re eligible for will depend on the size of your business and your sector, as well as location. However, some of the things on offer include one-to-one advice sessions, coaching, group classes and even free workspace.
The government will also help out with queries that you have about your tax payments. Use this link to find information about how to contact the HMRC for answers to simple business tax queries.
Use dedicated services if you’re having problems
So far, we’ve covered a couple of ways to get general information – but this may not help if your business is facing difficulties. If you’re having problems such as business debt, then you might find it more beneficial to speak to a dedicated support service.
In many cases, this will be a charitable organisation. For example, Business Debtline is a charity which focuses on ensuring that business owners have someone to turn to if they’re struggling to pay their debts. You can read general information articles, put together a budget using their interactive tool or speak directly with an advisor to get tailored information.
There are also some non-charitable organisations that will provide advice to struggling businesses. These will usually allow you to get some initial information free of charge, so that you can assess your situation and decide whether to come on board as a client. Some people prefer to pay for this kind of service because they will be able to dedicate more time to your specific case. However, it’s important to do your due diligence: only work with a company that has all of the relevant accreditations, and preferably with one that has good, independent reviews.
The type of banking or finance support that you need will depend on the stage that your business is at and how well it’s doing. You’ll almost certainly need to set up a business bank account, so choosing one which has a support service bolted on will probably be beneficial. Once you’re up and running, you can turn to government, charity or for-profit organisations to get more tailored advice when the circumstances demand it.