There is nothing more frustrating than listening to the heart-wrenching tale of a small business owner whose bogus strategy or "shortcut" to building business credit has collapsed around them, leaving their D&B credit file downgraded (or worse) and their company's reputation in tatters. If they're really lucky, they haven't had to call a lawyer... yet.
I get calls, literally, every single day from some poor soul who stumbled across the latest "get rich quick" scheme for building business credit or got suckered into a program touting outrageous pie-in-the-sky results. They have spent hundreds (if not thousands) to get from point A to point B, only to find themselves back at square one when D&B throws the hammer down and they're left empty-handed, or worse... in deep debt and facing criminal prosecution.
Speaking as someone who once worked for Dun & Bradstreet, let me start by saying that D&B's primary focus is NOT on making your business more credible or creditworthy, but rather to protect the financial interests of THEIR customers — the banks, credit card companies, major retailers, insurance carriers, and high-value suppliers who spend millions of dollars each year pulling credit reports on your business.
For this reason, D&B is diligent is tracking every element of data that goes into your credit file, from something as simple as your business name, to the credibility of your suppliers, to the frequency and riskiness of who is pulling your D&B report. They watch for tell-tale signs of fraud, tactics used and promoted by those who prey off the desperation of small business owners every day. These "shortcut" techniques create visible patterns of (mis)behavior that are easily identifiable, especially when compared across a platform of companies that turned out to be fakes.
Even if your company is legitimate and can prove its value and strength, engaging in risky (and unnecessary) strategies can sometimes get your company lumped in with the fraudsters, unknowingly putting their commercial credit reputation in a higher risk situation simply because your actions are mimicking the risky actions of others.
For any of you who have thought about using some of the below techniques or "shortcuts" — let's just call this your Stay-Out-Of-Jail-Free card.
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