Small business owners have a unique set of concerns when it comes to choosing a financial institution and products like loans. YouEye investigated the motivations and behaviors of small business owners on the hunt for financial institutions and services. We invited 13 participants – all small business owners with 15 or fewer employees – to share their experiences around their journey.
What Do Small Business Owners Look for in a Loan?
Small business owners have a vision for what qualities they find most desirable in a loan – and much of it is more than just numbers. In fact, all 13 small business owners mentioned “great support” as a top attribute.
Other qualities mentioned were:
When finding a loan, small business owners typically looked into a bank’s website (54 percent), performed a Google search (31 percent) or called a personal banker (23 percent).
Credit unions and SBA.gov were also on the path of research for small business loans. Although most chose the online route for research, some reached out to friends and family for information, too.
When asked about their preferred channel of communication for loan and financial service inquiries, 46 percent said online, 38 percent said in person, and only 7 percent wanted to use the phone.
Obviously, a lender’s online presence plays heavily into small business owners’ decisions. Potential borrowers want access to online content that advises and educates. Check out the following takeaways on structuring your online content with visitors in mind:
Why Connectivity Matters to Small Business Owners
Simple, efficient access to banking services is a must for small business owners. When it comes to how small business owners interact with their financial institution, there were daily, weekly and monthly tasks that were integral to them. During a typical week, small business owners:
On a monthly basis, small business owners:
Connectivity between apps is becoming the standard in the digital era. Our participants reported that connections between banks accounts and PayPal, Quicken, QuickBooks, Square and Excel were essential. Beyond that, support for this connectivity through technology like live chat is something small business owners liked.
Mobile access to banking was also used by 11 of the 13 participants. The efficiency and on-the-go access of mobile applications was considered beneficial to a percentage of small business owners surveyed.
Financial institutions can meet that desire for connectivity by looking to a few takeaways from our study:
Small business owners have a unique set of challenges that financial institutions can provide services for and information around. The trick is getting into the minds of these prospects to learn how they seek content, what questions they have along the way, and what sorts of products appeal to them most. Qualitative research is just one way to facilitate that.