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When Business Gets Personal, Take It to the Bank

Small business owner using treasury management

Running a small business comes with some pretty sweet perks: It offers you the opportunity to pursue your passions, step up your earning potential and enjoy Casual Friday, well, every day.

These are great reasons to love being an entrepreneur. But when it comes to managing the seemingly endless piles of paperwork and the financial side of running a business? Eh, not so much.

“When it comes to account categorizing and reconciliation, it’s better if your personal and business finances are not commingled,” says Azra Daniel, Vice President – Business Relationship Manager at First Horizon Bank. “Keeping them separate will help during tax season or if you’re looking to apply for a business loan. It will also help your lender get a more accurate look into your business and your balance sheet.”

If your business finances currently are mingled together with your personal finances, what do you do? You could just ignore it and hope that things sort themselves out naturally. Which is about as effective as trying to herd cats. The better option? Head to the bank.

Business Banking Simplifies Money Management

The struggle to scale up your business can be all too real. When the line between business and personal finances is blurred, it can hold you back from growing at the pace you want.

Brand marketing strategist Isha Edwards, founder of digital marketing consultancy EPiC Measures, was a year and a half into running her bootstrapped startup before she reached a tipping point. “At the onset, it was difficult to account for commingled business and personal transactions,” she says. “I was compelled by a business banker to create separate accounts to simplify record keeping and save time.”

“That proved to be sage advice,” Edwards says. If you're not fully sold on why you need business banking in your life, here are five reasons to reconsider:

1. Save time and money.

Matthew Ross, co-owner and COO of RIZKNOWS and The Slumber Yard, knew it was time to separate business and personal finances when his business began to take off.

Having his spending commingled “was an absolute pain,” he says. “I had to constantly go through my bank statements and categorize each expense,” which was time-consuming.

Ross estimates that since making the switch to business banking, he's saving two to five hours per month because he no longer has to sift through receipts. And, from a monetary perspective, “it probably saves us a few thousand every year,” he says, because he's able to run his business more efficiently.

Time and money saved? It's hard to say no to that if you could use more of both in your business.

2. Improve cash flow.

A positive cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. Both Edwards and Ross say moving to business banking has paved the way for a smoother, more efficient flow of money in and out.

“Tracking revenues and expenses has ensured that cash flow is consistent month-to-month,” Edwards says.


“Since I use separate accounts for income, expenses and business savings, I'm better able to account for future expenses, as well as unexpected expenses or incidentals.”

- Isha Edwards
Founder of EPiC Measures


For Ross, business banking has made recording expenses more accurate and efficient.

“Previously it seemed like I would consistently categorize some of my personal expenses as business expenses,” he says. “Cutting out the personal expenses hitting the financial statements has helped boost cash flow.”

Additionally, small business banking can offer specific cash flow solutions, such as:

Better cash flow can make for a financially healthier business overall. And that can pay off if you plan to apply for a business loan, since it can boost your approval odds.

3. Get business financing right.

Your financing needs are as unique as your business. For example, you might need money to:

  • Buy equipment or vehicles
  • Open a new location
  • Develop a new product line
  • Expand your market strategy
  • Or just cover payroll for the month

“There are many different options for business loans. Your business banker can help you determine which one is the best fit to meet your business needs,” says Daniel.

“Your business banker has a lot of knowledge around various lending options. Leverage their expertise in determining which option fits your current and long-term goals.”

- Azra Daniel
Vice President – Business Relationship Manager at First Horizon Bank


Your financing terms need to fit with your business budget and cash flow, so you can comfortably repay what you borrow. In other words, when it comes to choosing financing for your business, you want to make sure you're swiping right every time.

When Edwards required a short-term loan to cover working capital needs, she went straight to her bank. Her business banker walked her through different financing options, so she could make the best decision possible.

4. Smooth out daily operations.

It's easy to get bogged down in day-to-day operating tasks. You've got to keep up with invoicing, managing payroll, staying on top of your business taxes – all the things that are the decidedly less glamorous parts of owning a thriving business.

Business banking has made handling those chores a breeze for Ross. “We use our bank's invoicing and payment system,” he says. “It's super convenient and easy to send invoices and collect payments, and I especially like that the whole system is mobile-friendly, which makes it easy to handle invoicing from anywhere.”

In addition to invoicing and receivables, small business banking can help with:

...all of which can streamline your efforts to keep your business up and running.

5. Build savings and wealth.

When you're a small business owner, your business and personal financial lives are intimately connected. An ongoing relationship with a business banker can help you optimize both.

Edwards has made saving and being a good financial steward of her business a priority. If you have similar goals – accumulating cash savings for your business, adding to your personal savings, or creating a financial cushion for your eventual retirement, for example – start with your business banker.

Your dedicated business banker can refer you to others – such as financial advisors and investment professionals – who can assist you with:

  • Focusing on building your savings, whether business or personal
  • Managing your portfolio to deliver maximum returns, based on your goals
  • Planning for retirement, for both you and your associates
  • Allocating assets and maximizing tax efficiency

You could try to handle these things on your own, but if you've got the option to phone a friend (that is, your bank), then why not use it? Having a business banker on your side can be a huge help as you plan the next steps for your personal and business finances. 

“Having a strong team of strategic partners can help you achieve your business goals," says Daniel.


“Having a strong team of advisors that consist of a business attorney, CPA (tax advisor), wealth advisor, and business banker can alleviate the stress of a business owner.”

- Azra Daniel
Vice President – Business Relationship Manager at First Horizon Bank


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