The vendors and suppliers your company uses is an integral factor in building and boosting your D&B scores and ratings, but finding the right suppliers, and specifically those who can report that payment history to D&B, is vital. Even better? Finding vendors and suppliers who auto-report that payment history as part of their normal accounting process!
As I have explained in prior training, adding just one vendor to your D&B file has the potential to boost your scores and ratings by up to 90%.
What most small business owners don't realize, though, is that choosing which vendors you can use to get payment habits reported to the business credit bureaus isn't as hard as you might think, especially if you consider that even small mom-and-pop shops, contractors, and suppliers right in your own neighborhood are often among the most beneficial to your scores and ratings.
When I'm helping small business owners find the right vendors to boost their credit scores and ratings, I look at these factors:
INDUSTRY A tire store isn't going to need fabric, a trucker probably isn't going to need ceiling fans, and a bakery isn't going to need lug wrenches. Your purchases need to reflect more about your company than just whether you made a purchase and paid for it on time. While your company is going to buy a lot of different products and services in its lifetime, for the most part, your purchases are going to tell a story of who you are and what you do.
BUSINESS AGE I spend a lot of my time working on a client's vendors (vetting, submitting, tracking payment history onto the file, etc.) and I maintain a database of every vendor every client has ever put through the process. I track that information carefully to see which get accepted, declined, added quickly, spontaneously, or whether they require more work than they are worth. Over the years, I've found that younger businesses tend to spend more locally, while older more established businesses shop nationally or globally.
EMPLOYEE COUNT Yes, whether you have one employee or ten thousand does matter. When I'm choosing suppliers for my clients, I need to know whether they need one computer or a dozen, one set of tires or access to twenty sets a day, eight bolts for in-house use or eighty thousand bolts to provide to their customers. While some vendors will sell to anyone, some only extend credit lines to businesses who have larger operations. I like to know I am getting my clients to the suppliers who are geared to handle their specific purchasing demands.
Whether large or small, you should always do your research and make sure your vendor meets all the following requirements:
Has a D&B file of their own (You can search for them on D&B's website)
Their address and phone number in D&B is accurate
They are U.S.-based or have active operations within the U.S.
Are willing to take D&B's call to provide your payment history
Have a record of your company making a purchase of $50 or more
D&B has about 40 more requirements in place than just those noted above, but if you know your vendor meets the above criteria, you can probably get them submitted.
And don't forget — my $99 Powerboost service allows me to work on your business credit at a more in-depth level. Adding payment history is just a very small part of what I do every single day for my clients.
If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call — 800-918-7505 ext 2