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Always Verify the Credit of Your Vendors

ChecklistCredit scores are used by potential lenders to evaluate your creditworthiness. This idea can also help you identify suitable vendors.

Credit Files Contain a Variety of Useful Data

Many small-business owners understand that a credit score will help potential lenders evaluate loan applications. Credit files are also often used to make decisions about how much credit a vendor will offer a customer. In addition to these fairly straightforward uses of a credit history, some potential customers will use a credit score when deciding whether or not to do business with a company.

A credit score will never be a perfect indicator of the future, and it is possible, although uncommon, for a business with a top score to suddenly stop making payments on its bills. The usefulness of the score to make credit decisions makes it a valuable tool in deciding who your business should partner with. This is the reason a credit file could be a consideration in the contract award process, or used as input when selecting vendors.

Specialized Scores Can Help Your Business Grow

Almost every business relies on suppliers. If a supplier fails to make a delivery, it might become impossible for your small business to meet obligations you have made to customers. In this way, suppliers are important partners in the success of your small business.

Dun & Bradstreet is a business credit reporting agency that can help you assess the risk of potential suppliers. The Supplier Evaluation Risk Rating (SER) predicts the likelihood that a business will deliver goods as promised over the next 12 months. This score is created using business history, payment habits, and industry norms. Scores range from 1 through 9, with 1 indicating the lowest risk, and 9 indicating a high risk of not delivering goods as promised.

Photo Credit: AJC1, Flickr. 

Author:

Michael Carr is a small business expert who has been involved in the successful development of three small businesses.