Deyl made me read Richard Branson's autobiography "Losing My Virginity" and it taught me more about business and how it's run than any other book I read this year. I think I'm a lot like Branson in how I operate and that is good and bad but one of the things that I realized from reading the book is how dependent we are to banks. Branson's entire empire nearly came crashing down several times because banks refused to do what he needed them to do.
I've been having one of the most frustrating situations of my life dealing with Wells Fargo and although It's not severely affecting my businesses (yet) they have been holding nearly $100k and giving me the run around as to where it is and why it hasn't appeared in my account for several months. Banks are dependent on other people's money and because of this 3 month drama I am leaving their bank. I'm on the verge of putting my story and some of the specific and incredibly rude and unprofessional ways they've handled this in an email so just for fun I did the math on their potential loss when I tell 11,000 people not to use their bank.
I had to guess and so I figured most photographers on my mailing list probably bring in between $40 - $100k a year and so I took an estimate of $50,000 per photographer and if all 11,000 photographers on my list vowed to never use Wells Fargo for their banking that would cost Wells Fargo $550 million every year which adds up to $5.5 billion dollars over the next 10 years. All because of terrible customer service.
Deyl's been talking to me about how important it is for me to start developing relationships with banks so things like this don't happen so yesterday I switched all my accounts to Santa Barbara Bank and Trust and at 10am today had two bankers come to my house to finish signing the papers. Banking in my PJ's! This is how it should be! If you're in California and need a solid bank with people to talk to instead of the robots that Wells Fargo makes you deal with go checkout Santa Barbara Bank and Trust.