Small-business owners know that having bad business credit can limit their access to capital. Banks view lending to businesses with poor credit as a high-risk proposition and will charge higher interest rates, if they are willing to lend to them at all.
But, difficulty securing access to capital is not the only problem that credit-challenged businesses face. The truth is, bad credit is bad for business in a number of ways.
Reputation Is Everything
What can be inferred from a business’s credit rating? If it has excellent credit, it’s a sign that the business’s owners take their financial affairs seriously, and that they are prudent when it comes to paying off debts. Bad credit, on the other hand, is a mark against a business’s reliability. If a business owner is not attuned to paying their business’s financial obligations on time, odds are good that they take a lackadaisical attitude in other business matters, as well.
Can they be relied upon to deliver their clients orders on time? Can they be trusted to act responsibly when everything does not go according to plan? If they have poor credit, it casts other aspects of their reliability into doubt.
Some small-business owners may not be aware of the fact that their clients and other potential business partners are checking their business credit ratings, but it is quite likely that is the case. Those with poor credit could be losing business and not even be aware of it.
Credit Is a Lifeline
Having good business credit enables businesses to weather trying times, such as the arrival of an aggressive new competitor, a temporary fluctuation in business, or the unexpected extra expense of replacing a crucial piece of commercial equipment. Businesses unable to survive these unforeseen mishaps have relatively high odds of becoming another unfortunate small-business statistic.
Build Credit Now
Even if a business owner does not foresee an immediate need for financing, making an effort to build business credit ahead of time is a wise choice. For those with little experience in building business credit, Dun & Bradstreet offers Small Business StarterTM. This service allows them to start building and documenting their business’s creditworthiness in just five days, with expedited D&B D-U-N-S® number processing. It also allows them to display a D&B Credibility badge on their website, which lets potential clients and vendors know that they take their credit ratings seriously.