Becoming a business owner means you need access to finance frequently. If maxing out your liquid cash is not an option you're likely to consider, then getting a good business credit is important for your business success.
A good business credit is necessary when you understand that separating your personal entity from your business entity comes with several added advantages. But that aside, a lot of small business owners often find themselves wishing they had done things differently when they run out of cash and have to depend on credit to keep their business going.
Below are ways to avoid ruining your business credit.
1. Be disciplined with debt.
Debt and credit cards go hand in hand. Credit cards often blur the line between unrestricted access to cash and careless spending, which is why it's often called bad debt. Not only does paying bad debt reduces your financial capability, it also leaves you with little control over the debt. That can be detrimental to your credit score.
As a small business owner, your personal credit report is very vital to your business credit. This means you should learn to be disciplined with your debt. Your personal assets, which also includes your creditworthiness, may be what your business would rely upon to secure funding in the early stages.
Many articles have treated the topic of how to be disciplined with your debt, but the simple rule is to avoid buying what you have neither cash no need for.
2. Maintain a sizable liquidity.
Maintaining liquidity will rescue you when things begin to sting financially in your business and securing a loan or credit option for such events is not wise. How do you know when securing a loan or credit option is not a wise idea? If paying it back will make you wish you did not take the loan.
There are several ways to maintain liquid cash in your business, but some strategies will be more effective. Amit Sharma, the founder of Mayaflowers.com, says her strategy involves giving discounts to customers who patronized her business frequently and following up with clients with the potential to run up huge invoices. "We used to follow-up with every sale via phone to ensure that each buyer is satisfied and would also offer discounts to ensure the cash keeps flowing."
Now her business doesn't usually face the problem of unpaid invoices since her operations are now based online and customers pay before their gifts are shipped.
3. Take advantage of R&D tax credits.
Do you know that your business could get funds back from the government in form of R&D tax credits for staff, contractors and consumable costs spent on development activities? And this option is not only open to big companies -- in fact, the program was designed with small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in mind.
While the process of taking advantage of R&D tax credits in a place like the UK is quite straightforward, factors like your Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) could come in the way in the US. Following the passage of the PATH deal in 2015, small businesses in the US can now take advantage of R&D tax credits.
Taking advantage of R&D tax credits could help you reduce financial pressure, according to an R&D credit tax experts. According to Barrie Dowsett, the CEO of Myriad Associates -a UK firm that helps UK and US businesses maximize their R&D tax credit claims, "getting an R&D tax credit can help business owners minimize the financial pressure they incur from funding research projects and limit the amount of external funding they need."
Barrie Dowsett goes on to state that a lot of SMEs are not taking advantage of this excellent opportunity because they are either not aware of R&D tax credits or believe that their daily technical challenges and project uncertainties don’t qualify. It is always worth speaking to a specialist in this area.
4. Build up your credit rating.
Building up your credit profile is vital.
There are several ways to build your credit rating, which is very vital for securing credit from any lender. The best way is to avoid anything that can negatively affect your rating in the first place. Start by canceling any credit card you're not using. Financial advice experts recommend canceling any unused credit cards because it has the potential to hurt your credit rating in several ways.You should also ensure you're never late on paying back any debt which includes mortgages, credit cards, personal loan, bills and other debts that could be reported on your record.