Value-added services like Business Shop strengthen the financial institution’s role as a trusted adviser
Small businesses are the linchpin of the U.S. economy. In fact, they have generated a whopping 64 percent of net new jobs during the past 15 years, employing slightly more than half of all private-sector employees, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
This sort of growth makes the small-business market highly attractive and continues to fuel competition among banks and credit unions to acquire an increasingly larger share of profitable business accounts. That’s because small businesses require a wide range of financial services — a diverse personal and business mix that can include everything from checking and credit accounts to business loans, home equity loans and wealth management. As a group, small-business owners typically are pressed for time, so they appreciate easy access to business services that can help them start, manage and grow their companies.
Putting a full selection of products and services together in a one-stop shop addresses their needs to save time and money, and to cost-effectively grow their businesses.
Harland Clarke recently launched a new web portal, Business Shop, to help financial institutions target and engage this flourishing entrepreneurial base. “Business Shop gives our clients more to offer their business account holders and helps them strengthen relationships,” says Michael Rutledge, director for business product marketing and development at Harland Clarke. “It also demonstrates that financial institutions understand what business account holders require.”
This works well for both financial institutions and businesses. J.D. Power and Associates reports that business owners want their financial institutions to stay in touch and provide support by delivering tools that help them run their businesses more efficiently and cost effectively.¹ At the same time, financial institutions have a need to establish strong, long-term relationships with their business account holders who, as a group, make use of higher-end financial products and services.
For financial institutions, devising new ways to engage business owners is an ongoing and ever-evolving effort. The most effective strategies maximize business-owner interaction by providing value-added services such as those offered through Business Shop. The portal helps establish new relationships, build on existing ones, and boost retention and loyalty over time.
One-stop Marketing Destination
Business Shop addresses the biggest pain points that business owners have: finding new customers and maintaining profitability. Although the number of vehicles to reach potential customers is greater than ever before — websites, email marketing, social media, direct mail, telemarketing and more — the tools and expertise necessary to successfully manage them all can be overwhelming.
Today’s business owners need solutions from sources they can count on, which makes turning to their financial institutions a smart choice. Business Shop helps owners prosper by giving them a single-source destination for marketing tools from respected industry leaders that can help support them in any phase of their business’s life cycle. “Putting a full selection of products and services together in a one-stop shop addresses their needs to save time and money, and to cost-effectively grow their businesses,” Rutledge adds.
Business Shop provides a variety of solutions related to each stage of a business’s life cycle. For new businesses, Business Shop offers startup tools like checks, forms, labels, business cards, letterhead, logo design, merchant payment processing, and incorporation and LLC formation. To support ongoing business management and maintenance needs, services include domain registration, web design and web hosting, along with payroll, hiring and IT solutions.
Business Shop services for businesses in the growth phase feature direct mail and email campaigns, search engine optimization, e-commerce and online marketing solutions. Expert solution providers include Harland Clarke companies iPrint, SubscriberMail and Harland Technology Services, in addition to other providers such as Experian, Chase Paymentech, web.com and more. As an incentive for utilizing Business Shop, account holders can take advantage of more than $2,000 in special discounts and trial offers.
Financial institutions are now able to promote Business Shop products, services and special offers to their business account holders using a suite of turnkey marketing tools created by Harland Clarke.
For more information about how Business Shop can help your institution foster loyalty, contact your Harland Clarke account executive or visit harlandclarke.com/BusinessShop.
¹J.D. Power and Associates, 2008 Small Business Banking Satisfaction Study