Small Businesses Feel Like Small Potatoes When Dealing With Big Banks

Dec 7, 2017 | Stephen Jackson

Banks are kind of like gyms. They all claim to offer the same end result (better money management, a fitter figure) but there’s so much variation between them that it’s sometimes hard to find the right match. Not everyone is looking for a big, fancy gym where they can go and feel anonymous, and not everyone — or every business — wants a huge bank to fit its needs.

One such small business was Watts Creative Studios, a Virginia production company founded by 36-year-old entrepreneur Ricky Watts. Watts has had an interest in filmmaking since he was a teenager, and grew up making creative shorts and stop-motion animation videos in his spare time. But it wasn’t until he was working a job at a rock quarry as an adult and the need for a safety video arose that he picked up a camera again and began turning his hobby into a business.

First Digital Steps

He soon started making marketing materials for his YMCA, which led to him getting picked up by a local Comcast affiliate as a contractor for local commercials. As the work started pouring in and he needed to scale up a bit more, he founded Watts Creative Studios. He’s been operating as a full-service production house for the past five years.

When Watts was first getting his operation off the ground he needed a bank, so he did what most small businesses do: He went through the same bank he’d always used for his personal financing. This made sense, since he was already familiar with the institution that was going to be handling the money.

A Strained Relationship with an Old Bank

In his case, Watts went with Bank of America. Since most of his invoices are paid online, it was important that he developed a relationship with a bank early on.

“My experience with Bank of America started off okay. They were happy to open the account; however, the fees for a small business were a bit much,” Watts says. “I then had an issue with the account and every time I called they gave me the run-around and it took forever to get someone on the phone — and when I did they just didn’t care. I felt like just a number with them.”

Watts got fed up and went on the hunt for a new place to do his banking. His needs at Watts Creative Studios were pretty straightforward — easy invoicing, easy depositing, as well as smaller details like branded checks — so he had lots of options.

Customer Support Was a Priority

Ultimately he went with Seed because while it was able to meet all his financial needs, what really drew him was the customer support — the thing he felt was most lacking at Bank of America.

“It was hands down the customer service that made me switch to Seed. They are always quick to help and listen to my questions,” Watts says. “With Seed, I can message customer support right in the app and receive a response within a few minutes. It’s great.”

Beyond the responsive, human element, Watts soon found that Seed was able to make other aspects of being an entrepreneur much more pleasant.

“I also love that there are no monthly fees or minimums,” Watts says. “For a small business every penny counts and this helps tremendously. The app is also easy to use with mobile deposits, and has every feature I need. I also love the fact that my checks have my business name on them. It’s just simple, and friendly. Whenever I have any issue they’re happy to help.”

So, after some searching, Watts was able to find the banking solution that was the right match for him. And if you’re a freelancer or own a business, Seed might be the right fit for you too.