Updated: Jan 26
Seemingly trivial factors can derail your business credit profile.
No matter how hard you work to build your credit profile, no matter how far you've come, all can be lost if you don't understand the factors that can impact your Dun & Bradstreet scores and ratings.
There are about 75 factors that can potentially impact your D&B scores and ratings, including things like your location, employee count, annual sales, and public filings. When you understand these factors and what they can mean to your business profile, you are better equipped to provide the information necessary to build your D&B profile to portray the best possible picture of your business, what you do, and your credit stability.
If you do not provide solid information about your business, D&B cannot build an accurate profile about your business. Instead of basing your scores and ratings on your business history, they will create scores and ratings that are based on averages of other businesses in your industry, in your size, and in your age group. These "generated" scores and ratings may not reflect favorably on your business, and oftentimes skew the picture of your company and make it appear more vulnerable.
When I review your D&B profile, I am not just looking for elements that are impacting your credit profile negatively, I am also looking for areas that can be improved by simply adding the missing pieces of the puzzle.
A few years ago, while employed by D&B, I was assisting an irate caller who was practically inconsolable because D&B had placed his business among many others on the Northwest coast at extreme risk for failure. His business fairly large and, according to him, growing by leaps and bounds. He had recently bid on several large contracts for transporting motor oil and whether he would win that bid or not was based in great part on the strength of his D&B report. He thought he was pretty safe... right up until they pulled his D&B report.
Fortunately for this gentleman, the company awarding the bids alerted him to some problems with his D&B report and gave him 10 days to get them fixed before they awarded the bid to someone else. As it turned out, D&B had an SIC Code assigned to his business as transporter of fruits and vegetables, and since the Northwest had just experienced their worst loss of the apple crop in historical times, they rated his company under extreme stress and destined to fail.
A simple adjustment of his SIC Codes to trucking and crude oil transportation lowered his Supplier Evaluation Risk rating from a 7 to a 3 -- which also impacted his Financial Stress Score down from a 5 to a 2 and his Commercial Credit Score from a 3 to a 2.
Needless to say, this gentleman was able to provide a significantly improved report and win the bids he needed to grow his business further.
LESSON: Take a good look at your business credit profile to see what can be updated or improved. Be proactive, and work to portray a cleaner, stronger, more credible business. And don't let anyone fool you. You can access and update your credit profile for free.
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