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Money Buzz 10/03

Simple tactics for avoiding bad credit; wooing top-notch talent to your board

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This story appears in the October 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Do You Rate?

The continued weak economy has hit small businesses hardest, and many have struggled to keep their credit ratings intact. But experts say that even in a downturn, you can do simple things to avoid bad credit.

For one, you should regularly review your credit report, a seemingly easy task, but one many businesspeople fail to do. You can also sell noncore assets, a move that demonstrates to lenders a commitment to pay bills. What's more, experts say, you should be proactive with your vendors. If vendors are not paid on time, they might call your banker, causing your credit rating to slip. Instead, call the vendors first, and notify them of any potential missed payments-they might be willing to skip calling the banker. Later, when cash flow improves, reward these vendors by paying them early.

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