Yes, it's the season for spending, and if you're anything like me, chances are you'll be spending more than planned. But this is also the time of year to spend in the right places, making sure all those purchases add smiles to the faces of your business partners, employees, suppliers and favorite clients while adding up to a healthy boost for your business credit scores!
That's right! You can actually boost your business credit by making the purchases you already have in mind by just adding a few simple steps to what is normally a tiresome and stressful shopping process. Just imagine, you could put a spring in your step, get through your corporate shopping list, and actually earn credit by Christmas shopping! How crazy is that?
Whether you are rewarding valued employees, sprucing up the office for the holidays, sending a special thank you to clients, or launching a Christmas gift-away for customers, the purchases you make this time of year should count toward your corporate credit just like the normal bills that are a part of doing business, which means they will play just as significant a part in boosting your credit scores and ratings.
Here are some timely tips to fast track your credit-building: ----------
Shop online! Don't just buy, buy smart by creating an account with the online merchant, making sure the account is in the business name and using the business address (even if it's your home address). If that merchant (or their credit underwriter) reports to the business credit bureaus, any purchase of $50 or more can get reported to your corporate credit file.
COD or Credit Counts! Even if you are prepaying for your purchase, you can still get credit for having spent money with a trusted provider. Since most larger companies will report both credit and prepaid purchases over the $50 minimum, your purchase can go a long way toward building or boosting your credit file, even if it gets added to your file as a "cash" transaction.
Wise Business Buys! Obviously, buying toys and underwear are not going to count as business transactions, so shop for the products and services that are going to make sense. If you purchase 200 Christmas cards to send to your mailing list, make sure the cards are from your business and not you, personally, or your family.
Pay Promptly! I can't say this enough! While some online merchants will require prepayment at the point of sale, many providers allow Net 30 terms to their corporate clients. Just remember to budget wisely so you can make your payment at least 7 days before that invoice is due. Your payment has to reflect in the merchant's system before the 30 days is up or else it will get reported as delinquent. Taking advantage of corporate credit can bite you back if you fail to make your payment on time.
Method Matters! The information associated to your payment method matters just as much as when you pay. If you are paying for your purchases with a personal credit or debit card, the transaction is considered personal in nature and will usually not get added to your credit report. If you pay for the transaction using a debit or credit card associated to your business, you are proving it's a business expense.
Ship-to-Shop! Your shipping address should be your business address (even if it's a home-based business) and it should match what is in your business credit report. Synchronicity is key across all platforms, from purchase, to invoice, to shipping, to payment, the address needs to match. Avoid shipping directly to the person you are gifting or your company could end up looking like it has a branch location at that address.
My Twelve Suggestions of Christmas!
1. Tech guys (and gals) crave computer hardware 2. Order decorations for your office inside and out 3. Roadside emergency kits for staff or "roadies" 4. Foldaway lap desks are great for travelers 5. A year's supply of batteries for all those gadgets 6. A new microwave for the break-room 7. Tablets and Kindles for your favorite readers 8. An office toolkit for speedy repairs 9. Flowers or plants for those special clients 10. Promotional calendars keep your business in sight 11. Work-wear and gloves for the outdoorsy types 12. Bags and bows and ribbons to make it all bright
No matter what type of business you have — restaurant, auto repair, real estate, financial planning, marketing, or day care — your clients, staff, and vendors will appreciate that you appreciate them all year long. So gift wisely this holiday season, and make it count toward your credit.
Give me a call if you need suggestions for which suppliers will work best for the special purchases you have in mind. I'll be glad to help in any way I can!