Big Business vs Small Business: Who Needs D&B More?

Updated: Feb 3

• There are 32 million businesses in America. • 22 million are small businesses who generate 54% of the nation's products or services. • 82% of corporate credit reports pulled daily are on small businesses making $500,000 or less per year. • Nearly half of those are being pulled on companies making less than $100,000 per year. So who needs D&B more? • Big businesses who rely on data about applicants to make a credit decision? • Small businesses who are seeking accounts with those creditors and suppliers?

For those who have never heard my story, I was 20 years into a prosperous career as an independent graphic designer in New Hampshire when I relocated my business to Texas after a death in the family. Little did I know I would have to completely rebuild my thriving business. I had never heard of Dun and Bradstreet, but that didn't seem to matter. I was confident, experienced, had a solid client base, and business was booming. But Dun and Bradstreet had heard of me. In fact, not only had they created a D&B DUNS number for me without my knowledge, several of my suppliers had been steadily feeding positive payment history about my company to D&B for years without me even knowing. Before my relocation, if I needed anything for my business, I just opened an account, charged what I needed, and then paid the bill when it came due. I never knew D&B was even in the picture. But after moving my business to a new location, D&B lost track of me, and so did my suppliers. Suddenly, it was as if I never existed. It seemed like I couldn't establish a line of credit or retail account to save my life. All of a sudden I was being asked to personally guarantee purchases, my personal credit scores were plummeting due to all the inquiries, and I was even being required to prepay for supplies from my new sources. Even though I had lots of clients, my access to supplies was becoming more and more limited and profits were being eaten away by the higher cost of equipment, supplies, and increased interest rates. After several years, I was actually forced to shutter my graphic design business and go to work for someone else just to keep food on the table. As fate would have it, I went to work for Dun and Bradstreet, and for the first time in my life, after 20 years in business, I discovered the impact the business credit file had on my company, on every company... no matter how young or old, whether a tiny sole proprietor working from home or major conglomerate trading on Wall Street. Big businesses can suffer similar circ