The 8 Questions You Must Ask Before Working With Any Business Credit Building Company

There are few business credit building companies out there, however, those that are out there are taking advantage of the lack of knowledge from the general public regarding business credit and how to get a business loan.DON’T LET THEM RIP YOU OFF!I’m going to try to show how to get unlimited capital for your business…Without risking your personal assets, lowering your personal credit score, or damaging your personal credit historyThese 8 Simple Questions will ensure Your Success Building Business Credit when looking for a Small Business LoanThere are simply too many people who hire business credit building companies that are not happy with the results. Before choosing another company, if you ask these 8 questions you will be assured that you will be working with a legitimate company who can help you build business credit and more importantly get the small business loan you seek. Getting that business loan is after all what you’re looking for, isn’t it?Why is it so important to work with knowledgeable advisor? Why can’t you do it on your own? The Fair Credit Reporting Act does not apply to the business credit bureaus; this means that if you make a mistake, skip a step, try and take a short cut, your business credit file can be “Red Flagged.” This means your company is prohibited from receiving credit and perhaps that elusive business loan.There is a proven step-by-step process that MUST be followed if you plan on properly building your business credit and getting working capital. If you don’t follow the proven process then you can be put into the “High Risk” category. When that happens, no lending institution will give you a cash advance or small business loan and there is nothing you can do to remove it.Make sure to choose a honest credit building company that has the knowledge, experience and proven systems to support you, before you decide whom you will work with, make sure to ask them these 8 vital questions.Question #1Will I be obtaining only trade credit or CASH credit?Be careful, there are a number of companies out there that will only help you obtain trade credit. Trade credit can only be used with the individual creditor, and nowhere else. This is great if you need $3000 of paper products, but is useless if you need payroll loans, inventory loans, or simply to cover business expenses or expand your company.And if it is CASH credit, will I always need to personally guarantee the application?”If the company says you will always have to personally guarantee all types of credit – then you are NOT receiving the full benefit of business credit. Keep in mind, the solution must introduce you to business funding services that will not require a personal guarantee, however these non traditional lenders will still be checking your personal credit and need your social security number. They do this to stay in banking compliance.Question #2:Will a trained coach show me, step by step, how to incorporate my business and build business credit with an eye to getting that merchant loan or business loan?My guess is that if you wanted to figure out the intricacies of incorporating your business, and building corporate credit on your own… you would have already done so. (I’ve done it. And believe me… this is NOT stuff you want to muddle through on your own.)So if you won’t be receiving step-by-step instructions supported by a trained credit coach, resulting in a predictable successful outcome, call another company. (I’ll spell out each step for securing business loans without traditional personal guarantees in crystal clear detail in a later article).Question #3:If I get stuck while I’m taking all those necessary steps, will I have to pay you hundreds or even thousands to help me figure it out?Many companies charge low fees up front and continue to tack on heavy, additional charges each time you call or write for help.Make sure they deliver everything you need to know to secure a bad credit business line of credit or high risk business loans, all without the traditional personal guarantee. Make sure you will have access to a dedicated coaching advisor and who places no limits on how often you can speak with them.Question #4:Will you have the ability to set up capital loans, and monitor the development of your business credit score with all major business credit agencies all within your coaching platform?Why work with an advisor who is trying to blindly lead you!Question #5:When companies promise to get you cash credit, ask them this pointed question: “What type of paperwork is required to get cash lines of credit?Beware of companies that say it is not required to furnish any financial statements, tax returns, business plans, bank statements, etc., to obtain a small business loan without a traditional personal guarantee. When it comes to getting approvals for cash advance without a traditional personal guarantee, you will need to show that your company is financially responsible and you do this by showing it earns revenue, pays its bills on time and has establish good business credit.If the company tells you that you can obtain this type of financing without providing any real documents, don’t bother working with them, they are not being honest.Think about it, is a lender really going to give you hundreds of thousand of dollars without a traditional personal guarantee without you having to show them that you are a “safe-risk?” Over time I will show you exactly what you need to do in order to become a safe risk and secure a small business loan.Question #6:How are your coaches paid?This is a really important question! How would you like to work with someone that could care less if you obtain the business loan you desperately need? Think about it!Question #7:When it comes time to apply for a business loan, are you going to pass me off from lender to lender?This is another very important question. Virtually every credit building company will, when it is time to apply for a business loan, pass you off to one lender to apply, and then tell you to go and apply at the next lender and so on. They literally end up sending you on a wild goose chase and just hope that one of the non traditional lenders can obtain capital loans for you. Does this sound like something a real business credit and financing expert would do?Question #8:What kind of a guarantee do you offer?”It’s critical to get the specifics about guarantees. Because most companies that offer guarantees or promise only that your corporation will get a 80+ Paydex score. While this is a start, it’s not good enough -If after completing your program, you should have:Corporate Compliance and documentation reviewD&B file and a D&B ratingD&B Paydex ScoreBusiness credit file with Corporate Experian with an intelliscoreBusiness credit file with business Equifax with the appropriate business credit score.Trade accounts and/or Vendor Accounts with and without a personal guarantee.A Business Credit that can be used to leverage financing opportunitiesThis is not, by any means, a comprehensive list of all the questions entrepreneurs should ask when it comes to building corporate credit. But if you address these costly and dangerous errors, you will be on your way to building a safe, secure, and financially sound business-the business you always dreamed of!Hopefully, these 8 questions will help ensure that you work with a credit building company that will be honest, upfront as well as help you successfully establish your business credit and leverage it into new small business loans and opportunities for your business.

Using The Internet To Market Your Window Cleaning Business

You’re tired of struggling financially and you need to create an alternative source of income. After considering the options, you decide to start a window cleaning business. You’ve scoured the internet for information on how to clean windows and you’ve practiced at home until you feel confident enough to offer your services to others. You have the money to invest in some squeegees, a couple of ladders and some business cards. Now what?Time To Advertise!Using the internet to market your window cleaning business offers a lot of advantages over traditional advertising. Advertising on the internet is absolutely the most cost-effective means of marketing available today and it can be very effective. In March of 2010, BIA (bia.com) and The Kelsey Group (kelseygroup.com) reported that, ”nearly all consumers (97 %) now use online media when researching products or services in their local area…”Having an internet presence means that your business information is available to anyone at anytime. As potential customers browse the internet, they can discover your business and the services you offer at a time that’s convenient to them and without any obligation or any of the pressure some people associate with ‘being sold’.If you’re starting your business with a limited budget, the most attractive advantage of internet marketing is probably the cost.Free AdvertisingIn some markets, using the free local listing sites on the internet may be enough to get you going. Potential customers are already searching for the goods or services you provide – they just need to be able to find you.Google PlacesSigning up for Google Places is simple and offers an opportunity to make sure your business can be found on Google and on Google Maps. With a Google Places listing, you can create an online presence even if you don’t have a website. It only takes a couple of minutes and it’s completely free.Start by reading the Google Places quality guidelines to make sure your listing will be approved. Then go to Google Places and sign in with your Google account. If you don’t already have a Google account, sign up for one, they’re free. Google keeps track of the number of times your listing is viewed during a Google search so you can track how effective the listing is. Once your account is verified, you can continue to edit the listing as often as needed to insure the best results.Yahoo Local ListingsYahoo local listings operates much in the same way as Google Places. Again, this is an opportunity to create a web presence that doesn’t require having a website. You can list your business name, address, contact information and the unique selling opportunity that your business offers. Your listing can include your products, services and brands in up to five categories.Start by going to the Yahoo Local signup page. If you don’t already have a Yahoo account, sign up for one. There is no charge for a Yahoo account and it only takes a few minutes to register.Bing Local ListingsMicrosoft also has a free local listing service similar to Google Places and Yahoo Local Listings. Start by going to the Bing Local Listings signup page and enter your information. Again, if you don’t already have a Bing account, you can sign up for one in a couple of minutes and there is no charge.Bing Local Listings lets users look for services in their local area which makes it easy for new customers to find you. Once your listing is verified you can log on to the Bing Local site and edit your listing to match any changes you may want to make as your business grows.Online ReviewsAll of the free local listing sites mentioned here also allow your customers to leave a brief review of their experience with you and your company. This can be a great tool to drive business from the internet to your front door. Most people today already have an email account with one of the ‘big three’, Google, Yahoo or Bing. Be sure to ask your customers if they would mind taking a few minutes and leaving a review of your company’s service on one of the local listing sites. If they’re happy with your service they’ll probably be glad to.After your window cleaning business has generated some income you may want to enlarge your internet presence with a business website. While the free listing sites do a great job of getting you started, a business website designed to target your local market is a definite must if you want to continue to grow your business and increase your income.More about business websites in the next article.

Alternative Financing Vs. Venture Capital: Which Option Is Best for Boosting Working Capital?

There are several potential financing options available to cash-strapped businesses that need a healthy dose of working capital. A bank loan or line of credit is often the first option that owners think of – and for businesses that qualify, this may be the best option.

In today’s uncertain business, economic and regulatory environment, qualifying for a bank loan can be difficult – especially for start-up companies and those that have experienced any type of financial difficulty. Sometimes, owners of businesses that don’t qualify for a bank loan decide that seeking venture capital or bringing on equity investors are other viable options.

But are they really? While there are some potential benefits to bringing venture capital and so-called “angel” investors into your business, there are drawbacks as well. Unfortunately, owners sometimes don’t think about these drawbacks until the ink has dried on a contract with a venture capitalist or angel investor – and it’s too late to back out of the deal.

Different Types of Financing

One problem with bringing in equity investors to help provide a working capital boost is that working capital and equity are really two different types of financing.

Working capital – or the money that is used to pay business expenses incurred during the time lag until cash from sales (or accounts receivable) is collected – is short-term in nature, so it should be financed via a short-term financing tool. Equity, however, should generally be used to finance rapid growth, business expansion, acquisitions or the purchase of long-term assets, which are defined as assets that are repaid over more than one 12-month business cycle.

But the biggest drawback to bringing equity investors into your business is a potential loss of control. When you sell equity (or shares) in your business to venture capitalists or angels, you are giving up a percentage of ownership in your business, and you may be doing so at an inopportune time. With this dilution of ownership most often comes a loss of control over some or all of the most important business decisions that must be made.

Sometimes, owners are enticed to sell equity by the fact that there is little (if any) out-of-pocket expense. Unlike debt financing, you don’t usually pay interest with equity financing. The equity investor gains its return via the ownership stake gained in your business. But the long-term “cost” of selling equity is always much higher than the short-term cost of debt, in terms of both actual cash cost as well as soft costs like the loss of control and stewardship of your company and the potential future value of the ownership shares that are sold.

Alternative Financing Solutions

But what if your business needs working capital and you don’t qualify for a bank loan or line of credit? Alternative financing solutions are often appropriate for injecting working capital into businesses in this situation. Three of the most common types of alternative financing used by such businesses are:

1. Full-Service Factoring – Businesses sell outstanding accounts receivable on an ongoing basis to a commercial finance (or factoring) company at a discount. The factoring company then manages the receivable until it is paid. Factoring is a well-established and accepted method of temporary alternative finance that is especially well-suited for rapidly growing companies and those with customer concentrations.

2. Accounts Receivable (A/R) Financing – A/R financing is an ideal solution for companies that are not yet bankable but have a stable financial condition and a more diverse customer base. Here, the business provides details on all accounts receivable and pledges those assets as collateral. The proceeds of those receivables are sent to a lockbox while the finance company calculates a borrowing base to determine the amount the company can borrow. When the borrower needs money, it makes an advance request and the finance company advances money using a percentage of the accounts receivable.

3. Asset-Based Lending (ABL) – This is a credit facility secured by all of a company’s assets, which may include A/R, equipment and inventory. Unlike with factoring, the business continues to manage and collect its own receivables and submits collateral reports on an ongoing basis to the finance company, which will review and periodically audit the reports.

In addition to providing working capital and enabling owners to maintain business control, alternative financing may provide other benefits as well:

It’s easy to determine the exact cost of financing and obtain an increase.
Professional collateral management can be included depending on the facility type and the lender.
Real-time, online interactive reporting is often available.
It may provide the business with access to more capital.
It’s flexible – financing ebbs and flows with the business’ needs.
It’s important to note that there are some circumstances in which equity is a viable and attractive financing solution. This is especially true in cases of business expansion and acquisition and new product launches – these are capital needs that are not generally well suited to debt financing. However, equity is not usually the appropriate financing solution to solve a working capital problem or help plug a cash-flow gap.

A Precious Commodity

Remember that business equity is a precious commodity that should only be considered under the right circumstances and at the right time. When equity financing is sought, ideally this should be done at a time when the company has good growth prospects and a significant cash need for this growth. Ideally, majority ownership (and thus, absolute control) should remain with the company founder(s).

Alternative financing solutions like factoring, A/R financing and ABL can provide the working capital boost many cash-strapped businesses that don’t qualify for bank financing need – without diluting ownership and possibly giving up business control at an inopportune time for the owner. If and when these companies become bankable later, it’s often an easy transition to a traditional bank line of credit. Your banker may be able to refer you to a commercial finance company that can offer the right type of alternative financing solution for your particular situation.

Taking the time to understand all the different financing options available to your business, and the pros and cons of each, is the best way to make sure you choose the best option for your business. The use of alternative financing can help your company grow without diluting your ownership. After all, it’s your business – shouldn’t you keep as much of it as possible?