Why on Earth would a banking or finance professional use a business mapping software in their day-to-day business? Based on my experience, the answer is to visualize businesses, conduct market analysis, and inform strategic planning. Technology has forced all businesses to get more creative with their business models; think Uber and AirB&B. Finance pros, just like any other business, are looking for a competitive edge to help them gather intelligence and strategize so they can decide what business models they can support.
Bankers and finance pros are also busy people. They manage money, consequently their work processes are all about numbers. As in most businesses, key measurements like profits, customer counts, and margins, are supposed to grow. Other numbers like losses, and liabilities are supposed to fall or at least stay manageable.
We’ve found, through client conversations, smart financial managers like to understand where their customers live and where their business customers do business. A visualization of business customers against a map can bring critical awareness to banks. Often bank locations are established based on proximity to their client locations. Banks need to be aware of how their clients conduct business in an area.
Let’s take an example. A few years back I worked with a mortgage company that was managing loans for clients who bought and sold houses to make a fast profit. Mortgage flipping was what they called it. Now, this house flipping process is all fine and good, until it isn’t. The guy I worked with wanted to visualize where a specific real estate portfolio of homes was located and include the average household income of the surround neighborhoods by Census tract. He suspected his house flipping client was flipping buildings at the edge of tough neighborhoods, buying them cheap, and selling them as if they were embedded in the much nicer more upscale neighborhoods.
I’m not sure this was illegal as much as it was duplicitous. But my finance customer needed to really visualize the demographic realities of multiple addresses across several neighborhoods.
We quickly and easily imported the list of properties, including selling prices, and viewed them against an aerial imagery map clearly displaying building foot prints, resale values, and median household incomes in the area. The view was telling, and our banking client was able to more effectively manage their risks associated with this particular as a result.
Maps don’t lie. In fact, maps more often than not, expose the truth.
All businesses have markets. Banks are no exception. Finance professionals are always interested in exactly where banks are located because each location has specific business banking needs. By pulling in demographic data, industry specific business data, and product data a finance professional can create a business map that defines particular markets for a given area.
A bank with expertise in the automotive business will have interest in viewing where all automotive dealers are located, dealer inventory levels, and perhaps dealer loan activity. A business map can help define market size, lending exposure, and coverage area holes.
Outbound Caller Support
Perhaps a bank wants to sell a cloud-based payroll service across their current coverage area. A good start would be to import a list of all businesses with more than ten employees into a business map. Compare that list with a list of current banking customers – some payroll service targets may already be existing customers others may be potential customers. Create a call campaign whereby a call center rep can call prospective payroll clients and track the client responses. Each call center rep accesses the list using the shared business mapping tool. The map let’s the caller view the potential client while also viewing the surrounding area. They can also take notes on each call within the mapping application, exporting the list at the end of each shift.
Business Maps for Banks
Banking competitors can be described through business maps as well. Simply import lists of banks by their addresses. Imported data should include other pertinent bank information like total available capital, outstanding loan portfolio, and the number of teller stations per retail outlet. The business map user can add up to 64 columns of pertinent data.
Business maps for banking should be able to quickly expose saturated markets vs. markets with opportunities. Analysis maps like this can be applied internally for the banks, or externally for the bank’s client customers. Business mapping can differentiate your services from the competition. Customer quote, “I met with my banker. She showed me a business map of my market area that convinced me to expand the business.”
Map Business Online provides several key features that banks find incredibly helpful:
- Import and visualize business addresses – Viewing customers, competitors or risk scenarios against various background maps helps banks and their customers understand their business
- Share interactive web maps – MBO MapShare let’s bank clients share maps created by bank experts at little or no cost
- Shared map editing privileges – Establish editable business maps to share with clients to encourage feedback on business operating areas. Create expansion and risk scenarios that explore options
- Drive time analysis – Create drive time or drive distance polygons from a store location. color shade the area defined by a 30 minute drive time in all directions. Helps bankers get real with retail clients.
- Market Analysis tool – Calculate distances between locations or add demographic data for multiple critical address locations. Export results out for analysis.
I’m no banker but here’s what I think the future looks like. As Internet access becomes ubiquitous, future business owners are going to find more and more ways to create businesses, both from home or from traditional work locations. Many of these business will be in non-traditional industries and using non-traditional business models. The world is changing rapidly. Banks have to be open to new ideas and ready to explore new business opportunities. They’ll need all the help they can get to back the winners and politely decline the losers.
Heck, ten years ago I had no idea cloud-based business mapping would be a viable business model. Last week I spoke with a company dedicated solely to cleaning solar panels – nationwide. Locally, we’re seeing traditional farms and dairies change to accommodate new consumer preferences. All of us are watching delivery companies testing delivery drones, while Elon Musk proposes a plan to send hundreds of people to Mars within a decade.
Banks need to stay on top of these opportunities. Business mapping can help by providing a new perspective on commerce, a location-based perspective. By organizing business views geographically and demographically finance professionals improve their situational awareness.
As we face a rapidly changing and unknown future it is important to harness the information you have and anchor it to planet Earth. A business map locks the new, the old and the different, to points on the Earth, where your analysis begins and your business intelligence expands.
Map Business Online – Easy, affordable, advanced and we’ll help.
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Contact: Geoffrey Ives email@example.com (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866