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Use Holiday Shopping To Boost Scores

'Tis the season for holiday shopping! Ugh... Yes, it's that time of year again, and I'm sure you've already started receiving all those junk emails about year-end sales and holiday specials... But this is also the perfect time of year to spend in all the right places, making sure all those purchases add smiles to the faces of your favorite people AND boost your business credit scores in the process!

That's right! You can actually boost your business credit just by 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 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 could count toward your corporate credit and boost your scores and ratings. Here are some timely tips to fast track your credit-building: ---------- Shop online when you can! Don't just buy, buy smart! Create an online account in the business name and use the business address (even if your business address is also 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 all business-to-business transactions, 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 from 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 comes 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. Slow payment habits will undo all the good you were hoping to achieve. 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, it's a business transaction. Shop-and-Ship! 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. It's key that the data matches across all platforms, including the purchase, invoice, payment, and shipping address. Avoid shipping directly to the person you are gifting or your company could end up looking like it has a branch location at their address.

Along with 12 holiday wishes, try out these twelve suggestions for Christmas spending!

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 or Kindles for your favorite readers 8. An office toolkit for speedy repairs 9. Send flowers or plants to those special clients 10. Promotional calendars keep your business name in view 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 smile knowing 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 -- 800-918-7505 (ext 2) -- I'll be glad to help in any way I can! Happy shopping!