Starting a new business is an exciting time. With so much information available today, how is a person to know what will work for them admin
? Everyone should know that having a plan is key to business success. Developing a plan is the part that scares, confuses and eludes many emerging business owners. We recommend that business owners treat their plan like a Prescription; Think of each step forward as a dose of medicine designed to give you a healthy business.
Within each of these questions are the building blocks of a healthy business. To many, these questions seem out of order, or are not all inclusive of what is needed to start and maintain a healthy business. We could not disagree more as these questions are the Prescription for a Healthy Business.
No business can be successful without customers. To not know your customers is one of the biggest mistakes small business people make. The consumer is becoming more educated and has more buying opportunities today than ever in the past. Additionally, the consumer has become more cost conscientious and uses a more thoughtful buying strategy today than ever before. Knowing what your product or service does for your customers is the easy part, understanding that customer and how to attract them to your product or service is the harder part.
Most of the time, new business owners come from a business where they dealt with customers using the particular product or service that will be the breadwinner for their new business. Profiling who these customers are will help the business owner gain the insight needed to knowing who the customers are. It’s important to understand your company’s position on competition. Make sure you are not bound by a non-compete or some other non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement prior to profiling customers.
If you’re moving into a new area or are under some sort of confidentiality or non-compete clause, subscribe to a data mining service that can help you understand who your customers are. Services such as Sales Genie, Hudson or Dun & Bradstreet offer cost effective mining tools that can put customer information in front of you so you know all you need to know about your potential new customers.
Here’s five quick tips to help you establish your business credit in the quickest fashion
1. Ensure everything in your business is set up. You must be in a position to receive credit in the first place before you apply. This includes a 20 point checklist a few of them are: ensure you have an EIN number, ensure you an incorporated, ensure you have an 800 number and ensure you are listed in the 411 directory.
Part of the reason lending institutions require such information is due to the fact that so many people apply for business financing and small business loans who, quite frankly, have no business applying. This helps weed out many business owners who simply will never receive financing for their small business.
2. Start with vendor accounts. Vendor accounts, unlike revolving accounts, are typically set up with net 30 terms. This requires the business owners to pay, in full, the balance at the end of each month on the amount allotted by the vendor. Many vendors including staples, home depot, radio shack, Uline shipping etc, all have vendor accounts that can be set up for any type of business owner. We have the exact underwriting guidelines for these plus 300 other vendors in our business credit program. Therefore the business owner will always be approved for the vendor account before they even apply.
3. Access your Duns Account and Duns number to ensure your vendor tradelines are reporting. Unless you know how to set this up, Dun and Bradstreet can charge anywhere from $700- $1500 to get a business owner set up. They like to couple products and programs in an effort to squeeze the business owner’s cash. The truth is, through our business finance suite business owners can be set up with a Duns account for free. This virtually covers the cost of the system.
Knowing what trade lines are popping on your business credit profile is crucial to the success of a business owner. Reason being, many revolving lines of credit rely on the fact of starter vendors as trade references before extension of corporate credit will be granted. Knowing what is on your business credit report can be the difference between success and failure in establishing business credit quickly.
The idea of building corporate credit is to remove your personal liability from your business risks right? Well then for that to be true a business owner must not take on personal guarantees or allow personal credit checks to take place to be approved the right way for business credit. Knowing which vendors do not require personal guarantees of personal credit checks can be tricky. You have to have access to underwriting guidelines to know exactly which ones do and which ones do not. We have those inside our business finance suite. You can request this information up front from the vendor if you wish or you can gather many applications and skip the section that asks about your personal information. There are not to many out there unless you have a source to use
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