Dun and Bradstreet® can be the single largest obstacle in the path of small business and entrepreneurial success. They have been described many ways over the years – big business giant, credit monopoly, self-proclaimed overseer, and my all-time favorite, “pimple on the ass of progress”– but in all reality, they truly are what their moniker details, “the most trusted source” when it comes to determining who should be awarded credit and how much.
Can your business clear the obstacles to creditworthiness?
Every child will eventually become a teenager, surviving skinned knees, first kisses, and all the trials of adolescence. Each teenager then overcomes even greater challenges, sleepless pre-test nights, a driver’s license road test, graduation, and leaving home for college. If, at any point, the challenge proves too difficult or the environment too precarious, the weak will fail and the strong will succeed to the next step in the process, finally moving out into a big bright world to prove their value to the planet.
Just as we all must grow and conquer the difficult obstacles in our personal lives to reach adulthood, every small business must pass the D&B® test to grow and succeed in the business credit world.
No child endures the path from birth to adulthood without the help of others who have already successfully overcome the obstacles before them. While every parent dreams that their child will have an easier go of it than they did, that they will not have to go down the same daunting path to success, life has proven that without climbing those difficult mountains, one has no gauge to enjoy the view from the top.
Never has Nietzsche’s “what does not kill me makes me stronger” been truer than it is today, and truer still when describing the metamorphosis from dream-child to successful business enterprise.
While surviving the D&B® gauntlet to creditworthiness does not need to be a life and death challenge, truth be told, some will not survive. And not because their entrepreneurial spirit wasn’t strong enough or their independent idea bright enough, but simply because they do not have the right mentor to guide them through the obstacles. Just as every person who ever parented a child was not cut out of the June and Ward Cleaver bolt of fabric, not all business credit advisers will responsibly point their protege on the right path to success.
A mentor who recommends shortcuts or questionable actions to get their subject to the finish line instead of properly training and preparing them for the future does not have their client’s best interest at heart.