Naturally, one of the biggest events in your life will likely be that pivotal moment when you walk across that graduation stage to accept your diploma, single-handedly kissing your college career goodbye. With that goodbye, you’re also welcoming in a brand new life. A life composed of higher education, wisdom, and intuition, speckled ever so delicately with proportionate amounts of fear.
That fear isn’t irrational though; you have every reason to be a little scared. For the most part, you have three options:
1. Work for a reputable company
2. Establish your own business
3. Live in your parents’ basement
Most graduates don’t pursue option three since that would be a complete waste of all the time, money, and effort put into getting a higher education. Option one—working for a reputable company—is always a good standby. By far though, most college graduates yearn for the responsibility and potential profit offered by starting a brand new business.
After all, while working for an existing company is always a possibility, you must always remember that downsizing and layoffs can and do occur frequently; sometimes without any prior warning.
Starting a Small Business
By far, starting a business is not an easy venture. However, the Internet has made it tremendously easier than ever before. In fact, as long as you have the right idea and the proper capital, it really isn’t that hard to set up an ecommerce and/or brick-and-mortar business.
While we’re on the subject of capital, I should also say that finding start-up funding is much easier than it was, say, several decades ago. According to Joshua Kubicki’s article on Tech.co, investors spent nearly $458 million in legal startups in 2013 (approximately $392 million more than 2012).
While investors are plentiful for solid business plans, another option for getting the appropriate are loans—such as a business loan and/or an asset based line of credit—through Dealstruck or any other reputable lending institution. The downside to business loans is that your credit score weighs in heavily in a lending institution’s decision to give you the loan, as well as how much.
Thankfully, a bad credit score isn’t a death sentence, so to speak. In fact, there are several things you can do to maintain—and possibly improve—a bad credit score.
The first step in managing a bad score is to first check to see what your score actually is. You may even find that your score is pretty good. If your score could use a little improvement, more often than not it is due to poor management. However, many people fall prey to scammers who can wreak havoc on a person’s credit score. For that very reason, it is extremely important to conduct regular credit checks.
While the planning phase is often one of the more difficult processes in starting a business, once you have your business established, you want to ensure that you’re managing your business credit profile exactly as your would with your personal credit.
To help you do that, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
• Create and maintain your business credit.
When just starting out, most small business owners can attest to using their personal resources (including their personal line of credit) for startup capital. However, when starting a business it is important to keep in mind that a brand new, separate credit line mist be established solely for that business venture. In order to do that, any expense associated with the planning, building, and maintenance of a business should be filed under the name of the business. In most cases, many banks feature options for business bank accounts, as well as business-based credit cards
• Record and maintain bills and other expenses.
To keep your business credit score blemish-free, it is vital to stay up-to-date on any due payments. In fact, paying your bills on time can put you on the fast track to a superb business credit rating. Plus, it’s easy to do if you learn how to manage your bills and expenses appropriately. Ultimately, just make sure you pay your bills on the date they are due (before is always better).
• Monitor your credit rating.
Just like you would do with your personal credit line, you should also check your business credit rating at regular intervals. This will not only allow you to spot any malicious activity, but also let you track any improvements in your credit rating. After all, a good business credit score gives your business a significantly better appearance in the eyes of customers, vendors, and financial institutions. It is also important to keep your business credit file updated as things change with your business. Expansion, hiring, firing, venue changes, and various other implications can positively (or negatively) affect your business rating.
• You’re not the only one with a credit score.
Your customers, as well as your suppliers, have credit scores too! Before dealing with anybody, it is important to conduct a credit check to determine if their credit is upstanding. Otherwise, you may end up working with a shady individual. A customer’s credit score provides valuable insight into their trustworthiness, as well as their ability to pay things back in a prompt manner; or even if they pay things back at all.
**The Small Business Administration (SBA) is always a good source for valuable tips regarding business credit. For more information and tips, click here.**