Small businesses and startups in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and many other African countries are not used to the idea of having a separate bank account for their business and running it. Micro enterprises especially, do not welcome the idea. Their reasons are varied, many and maybe obvious. But there are very good reasons why your business needs a bank account, no matter how small.
Keeping cash on you at the end of every business day may come in handy the next morning when business begins briskly. You would be able to quickly replenish stock and start business right on-the-go, when you are in a cash-based economy like Ghana and Nigeria and other African countries. However, there is high risk in this type of cash management. You could lose all the cash to fire, theft, and other unforeseen events. And that’s a compelling reason to avoid the loss of cash by making use of a bank account.
Access to Credit
Financial institution would want to have access to your financial statements and bank accounts as evidence of your ability to repay the requested loan. If you intend to access bank loans or equity investment, then you have to start this journey by opening a bank account now, among other steps to be taken.
Small businesses and startups in Africa and elsewhere are not able to afford the services of professional accountants. In the absence of proper financial statements, you can partially rely on bank accounts to track your business performance, rather than solely relying on your memory. It also helps you track payments to suppliers and receipts from customers. It clears the doubts that often characterize outstanding debts with small businesses and startups, which usually breed conflicts and loss of business.
Bank accounts provide convenience to its holders. The ability to conveniently access and move funds around doesn’t seem convincing and enticing to micro-business owners. But not having one creates the inconvenience of keeping and moving cash around, with the accompanying risks.
In Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, most bank accounts entitle you to online banking. However, some small and micro-business owners do not like online banking. The younger owners are comfortable with the technological extensions of bank accounts. They are willing to use online banking platforms and make purchases with their cards. They appreciate the convenience of internet banking.
So rather than keeping cash on you or running your business transactions through your personal account, you should open a bank account for your business as well.