Ignoring your corporate credit report can be devastating to your business. I know, because I've been there...
I never even knew my company had a D&B credit report until it was too late...
I was a small town graphic artist running my business from my home, first from New Hampshire, and then, after my mother's passing, from Texas. But all of a sudden my vendor credit lines were being reduced (or cut off completely) and I couldn't even get a credit account on terms with new suppliers. I was asked to personally guaranty a simple business credit card, and it seemed like my interest rates just kept going up.
It wasn't until after I had shuttered my little company that I found out D&B had created a business credit report fifteen years earlier — back when I first started my business — even though I had never even heard of them! Without me knowing, my vendors and suppliers had pulled my credit report to make credit decisions, and many of them had been reporting my payment habits back to D&B.
But when I moved my company from New Hampshire to Texas in 1996... as far as D&B knew... I might as well have fallen off the face of the earth — and that's what they were telling my suppliers!
D&B didn't know I moved. And didn't know to tell them. And my existing suppliers were never alerted to the change. And my new suppliers couldn't find me when they searched D&B's database. And nothing ever got corrected in that old business credit profile. And that... a dozen years later... forced me to close my doors and go to work for someone else.
As it happens, the company I went to work for was Dun & Bradstreet.
During a training exercise, my trainer had each of us look up a company we were familiar with. There was no company I was MORE familiar with than my own, so I looked it up. It didn't exist... at least not in Texas. So my trainer suggested I look it up at its previous address, in New Hampshire...
And there it was... with old, outdated information, and showing me as being "out of business" — which is why suppliers were questioning my company's viability and credibility! All it took was a couple of quick keystrokes to update the file and viola! I was back in business!
But I never would have known... and neither do most other small business owners.
As it turns out, I worked at D&B for almost five years after that fateful day, and I was trained specifically to understand the ins and outs of commercial credit scores and ratings, I learned the secrets to building the best business credit report. I learned what data MUST BE PRESENTED in the report (and why), but I also learned about risky tactics that some people get suckered into using, not realizing the harm they are doing to their credit report and, over the long run, the company they love.
As owner of Starpoint Credit Solutions, I've spent 7+ years putting that knowledge and skill to work for my clients, helping them to improve their commercial credit scores and ratings, watching them gain credibility and creditworthiness in the process, and providing them with the tools to achieve millions in credit approvals. I have compiled lists of trusted vendors and suppliers over the years — some who report to D&B automatically, and some that can be used as reliable suppliers that you may be able to use to build YOUR business credit.
Most of all, I feel its important that I take the time to also train my clients along the way so they can understand the many factors that impact their company's credit every day and can carry that wisdom with them into a successful (and creditworthy) future.
Joy Greenwood, Owner
Starpoint Credit Solutions LLC