ANOTHER YEAR OLDER (AND BETTER!)
There is more to celebrate next week than just the relief of watching another year fade into the distance. With negative presidential campaigns, economic uncertainty, and turmoil around the globe, it's nice to find something to cheer about. You should be celebrating because your business is about to get another year older and a whole lot better!
In personal terms (for me, anyway) January usually means an influx of bills from Christmas shopping and family travel. But for business, January 1st could mean an increased ability to reap rewards simply because your company is stronger, wiser, and now, officially one year older!
In the corporate credit world, the age of your business is not measured by the date of its incorporation, but rather by the year in which it started. This translates to lower risk ratings with every December 31st your small business puts behind it. This could mean lower interest rates, improved access to funding, and more reason to celebrate in the new year.
Your young business will officially be one year older at the end of next week, when every company with a D&B® profile will get one more year added to their history. If you started your business at any point in 2016, on January 1st of 2017 your business will be a one year old company. Businesses who started in 2015 will be two years old, and those who opened their doors in 2014 will be three years old — considered by most lenders to be an aged business entity.
Bankers, lenders and creditors confirm: more credit is available to a small business with every year it survives today’s tough economic times. They understand that time in service proves you can endure the “school of hard knocks” and pitfalls that young, inexperienced business owners fall prey to. With each year notched into your calendar, your business proves it has cleared a few more of those hurdles that cause others to fail.
But there is more to getting credit approvals than just having another year under your belt. Even young start-up companies can succeed if their business credit report is creditworthy. Positive data can help boost scores and ratings, but also more accurately prove the credibility of your young business as it ages.
Here are some year-end tips to make sure you put that added year to good use.
END OF YEAR CHECKLIST
[X] This is a good time of year to pull a list of every company and independent contractor you paid for a product or service in 2016 to see which of those payments can get added to your D&B file. Adding even one payment to your credit profile could boost your scores and ratings by up to 90%. Three payments equal a Paydex® score, and four payments can get your company that highly sought after D&B rating. If you'd like specific tips and suggestions for submitting your trade references to D&B, just reply to this email and I will send some solid information to get you to your goal.
[X] Login or register at iUpdate.dnb.com to view and print a current copy of your business credit report and make any necessary updates to the credit file. You should review all the raw data in your profile and dispute any derogatory information that could be negatively impacting your credit scores or ratings. Even something as simple as updating the address, phone number, and employee count can mean a significant boost to your borrowing ability.
[X] If you haven't already, now's the time for ordering all your tax-related forms for free from the www.irs.gov website. You can save time and money by getting your forms ordered now and, in most cases, everything will be in your mailbox within two weeks. Don't forget, W2's need to be in your employee's hands by January 20th, and the deadline for filing your business taxes is March 15th.
[X] Remember to pay for all those business-related purchases at least one week before the invoiced due date. It's important that the payment be received in time to get documented into your account. If you are mailing your payment, you'll want to pay two weeks before the due date, allowing for an abundance of late Christmas mail. January is notorious for being the one time of year when most slow payments get reported on business clients, usually because payments get delayed in delivery.
[X] If you are one of those businesses who has derogatory data in your file that can't be removed, January is the time of year to gain a boost to your scores and ratings by submitting a copy of your 2016 financial statements to D&B. You will need to provide your Profit & Loss and your Balance Sheet. You can submit this information through your iUpdate portal or by emailing the information to firstname.lastname@example.org and putting your D-U-N-S® number and business name in the subject line.