Photographers and local business-owners, listen up! I just have to spread the word. :) My husband is the Financial Center Manager at Fifth Third Bank in downtown Tampa, and I have recently discovered some amazing products through him and his wonderful staff over there. For instance, I recently switched over to Fifth Third for my Business Checking, Savings, and Business Credit Cards (oh hello, 0% interest and no annual fee, how I've missed you!). They also provide small and large business loans. (Thinking about adding on a natural-light studio to your home... or even investing in your own separate studio space? Expanding your business into more than one location? You NEED a business loan, then.) Chris even has programs for helping you restore your business credit, if you need a little extra help, and his team can get you started on the path to building your business if you need a little guidance with the financial aspect of things. I know for a lot of us creative-types, the fun of shooting and editing and relating with clients is the easy part. Running the actual business, though? Not so fun. But absolutely necessary if we want our businesses to thrive, right? These things simply must be dealt with. This is where having a great financial plan comes into play, and I have been so relieved and thankful to have Chris on my side when it comes to the numbers.
If your business accepts credit cards (cough cough, you're losing out on sales if you don't), then Fifth Third's Merchant Services Plan is my absolute best tip of the week!! I had a very low-rate merchant services plan already, one of the best available, in fact. However, I'm actually going to be saving even more money by switching my Merchant Services account to Fifth Third. They have some wonderful specials being offered right now, so be sure to ask about them and mention my name when you do! The best part about their merchant services plan?? I will no longer have to wait 48-72 hours for my clients' orders/sales to hit my bank. With this plan, I receive my payments within 24 hours! And I'm so thrilled about that!
Plus, when you need help, Chris is local (to Tampa Bay), and you can actually speak to his team in the branch, instead of at some call center. They actually WANT you to call them, and are happy to help with whatever you need. Chris, Ria, Brent and Jim are available to chat anytime, and they have made the process so very simple for me. They also have Online Banking and BillPay if you'd rather do everything yourself. So, if you're unhappy with your current bank, or if you think you're paying too much for accepting credit cards (almost everyone is!), then Fifth Third's programs are definitely worth the few minutes it takes to analyze your situation. They'll give you a free overview of what they can do, and if you decide that you don't want to switch, then fine, no problem. But if you do, then great, and you're very welcome for the recommendation. :)
If I can give you more info, feel free to post here in the comments or send me an email through my contact form (above). Better yet, if you'd like to call Chris at Fifth Third directly, his number is 813.306.2653. And do me a favor... ahem, make sure you mention that you read this blog post where his sweet wife is shouting out for him. ;) It just might earn me a few brownie points... and hey, don't we all deserve a few of those on Valentine's Day??
Have a great week, and a Happy Valentine's Day to you!