The Big Three in Business Credit -
Corporate Experian® and Dun & Bradstreet®
In today's business world to be successful you must consider how your business is perceived by others. Is your business credible or questionable?
Having your business CREDIBLE is so important when it comes to:
- Joint ventures
- New client acquisition
- Strategic Alliances
- Vendor options
- Financing and Banking options
Unfortunately, we find that most companies are actually more questionable, even those who have been around for 5 years or longer. In fact, some look financially naked! Imagine you are working with a great joint venture opportunity where your company is the beneficiary and someone is the host.and one step in the process for the host is to check out your financials to determine if what you told them is actually true. How can the host do that? Can they call your local bank and ask to see the last three months of your bank statements? No. Can they call the IRS to obtain the last two years of your federal tax returns on your company? No. What is the best option? It is to check your company out with the major business credit bureaus to see what activity has been reported or not.
You may be losing opportunities, clients, business and profits simply because you never took the time to properly build the business credit profile on your business. You may have invested a ton of time to develop your website, sales process, product, customer service.even your business and financials, but forgot or did not get around to (or did not realize the importance of) separating your personal and business credit.
About 3-4 years ago when credit was freely flowing, this was not as much of an issue. Now with a tightened economy, a JV partner cannot take the risk that you may not be as financially strong as you present and risk doing a JV with you and your company going under when it comes time to deliver your product or service, because that will look the host company in the JV look awful. They will be left holding the bag in a lost reputation, clients and lifetime value.
The solution? Take the steps to make sure you company does not look financially naked with the "BIG THREE", not GM, Ford and Chrysler, rather Dun & Bradstreet®, Corporate Experian® and Corporate Equifax®.
Imagine never paying any attention to your personal credit score in your personal life. Your personal credit score is tied to your ability to obtain financing for a house, car, loans…and has been a vital part of your personal ability to handle and manage credit.
Now it is time to separate your personal and business credit (not always totally possible, in many cases they are tied together) and BUILD, key word build, your business credit scores with the BIG THREE in the shortest and most effective period of time possible.
How to pull a report on your own company with the BIG THREE:
- Dun & Bradstreet ® : You can go to https://mycredit.dnb.com/make-informed-business-decisions/ and you will see the three options to pull a report on your own company. For $59.99 find out what the world will see when they pull a report on your company.
- Corporate Experian ® : You can check to see if your company is listed for free, at www.smartbusinessreports.com, then if your company is in the database, you will have the option to purchase a report for $8 (if no Experian Score) or if you have an Experian Score, you will get that score and more detail for $29.99 for a one time report or $99.99 for monitoring and all report updates for one year (the better deal).
- Corporate Equifax® : You can go to http://www.equifax.com/small-business/credit-report/en_sb to see if your company is in the database to Business Equifax ™ then invest $49.99 to see the report on your company.You may want to invest in their credit monitoring for one year, their fee is $199.95.
How do your profiles get built and what are the key criteria to keep in mind?
Dun & Bradstreet ® : Your profile is built by vendors reporting to them directly (keep in mind out of 50,000 vendors that grant vendor credit, less than 10% actually report to D & B ® ). D&B ® separately has a business credit builder program to help speed up the process to get companies to report to D&B ® and build the business profile. The challenge is that your entity has to be in compliance first, before you build the business credit profile and paydex score with D&B ® . Those list of items include, a 411 listing for the phone number for your business, a separate phone number, an 800 number, business license, two year business plan, email in the name of your company name (not a Yahoo or Gmail email address) and a website, among others. Many will attempt to build a profile with conflicting information and that creates different pieces of data with the D&B ® system. The key to success is to work with a coach that can guide you through a compliance review before you build business credit with D&B ® .
Corporate Experian ® : Your profileis being built after your entity is filed with the Secretary of State. Corporate Experian ® receives information from over 4,000 sources, including the Secretary of State’s database, companies that report trade lines, phone lines, office supplies, banks that deal with small business…Unlike D&B ® , you do not have pay a fee to start the business credit builder process, it will happen on its own.
Corporate Equifax ® : A very similar process to Corporate Experian ® . They search databases to find information on your company. You do not have to pay them to build your business credit profile. They are partnered with leading financial institutions to develop and manage the Small Business Financial Exchanges. There is no self-reported information; their data comes from credit grantors and other third parties.
The challenge is to realize as I have already stated, there are over 50,000 vendors that grant business credit to business owners and less than 10% that report to D&B ® . By the way, D&B ® will NOT release that list of companies that do report your good payment history. You will not know until you subscribe to a credit monitoring service what is actually happening in your report.
Working with vendors that report is key. That is what will quickly build up your business credit scores with each of the BIG THREE. As that happens, other will see that you are now operating a credible business and it will put you in a better position to become more fundable. That means the banks and other lenders will feel more comfortable if you have built credit with vendors that are reporting so they can check it out to determine if your business is now a more likely candidate for additional cash financing. But first step first, that is being in compliance and making sure your vendors are reporting properly.
The BIG THREE in business credit, Dun & Bradstreet ® , Corporate Experian ® and Corporate Equifax ® present a real view of your business that the world may see (many times without your knowledge) and it may be costing you a great deal in business, jointventures, credit and financing to grow.
Take the next step to check out your company and invest in the reports from the BIG THREE to see where you stand (the results may be shocking). If you do not like what you see, call our offices 1-800-351-5111 or 1-702-367-7373 and ask about our newly updated Ultimate Business Credit Builder Program and how we can help your business be both credible and fundable.