Consumers bear a great deal of responsibility when they open up credit accounts, and the same goes for business owners. In fact, responsible personal credit practices are key to establishing business credit. However, business owners face obstacles that the average consumer doesn't have to consider, and for those starting out, getting the most out of business credit can seem daunting.

1. Make Sure Your Personal Finances Are in Order

It's important to make sure your personal finances are in top shape before you decide to put additional strain on them by opening a business. Any potential lender will examine your personal financial situation when determining whether to extend credit. Learn how to be disciplined in using your personal credit. This is a chance to develop good habits, because you’ll need them in your business.

"Entrepreneurs who have a decent credit track record can tap into various credit financing options," says Jared Polites at Entrepreneur.1 "In many cases, using credit can help entrepreneurs remove the need of having to source external investors and offer enough runway to build and scale a profitable business."

2. Build Your Business Credit Profile

To build credit for your business, The Balance Small Business recommends getting registered with business credit agencies, paying invoices on time, avoiding using too much credit, separating your business credit history from your personal history, and choosing a supplier who shares payment data to a business credit agency.2

"Many small businesses suffer from incomplete credit reports, since many creditors or suppliers do not report the payments made to the business credit agencies," writes Marco Carbajo. "This is why having a good supplier relationship is so important. Thus, if you know your business makes all the payments on time, it is really advisable to pressure [suppliers] to report all the payments to different business credit agencies."

Keep an eye on your business credit score by checking reports from major business credit bureaus like Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax Business, and Experian Business.

3. Utilize Rewards or Cash Back

Make use of credit card rewards or cash back to get the most out of your credit. Check the options provided by your current business credit cards, and look for options with more appealing reward offerings. Credit card rewards can include extra points or dollars for spending on office supplies, phone services, or travel. These can quickly add up to help with your cash flow.

4. Keep Your Debt Under Control

Always work on reducing your business debt. This will, in turn, help your business credit score. Beyond making payments on time, work to stay cash-flow positive so you can pay down your debts as quickly as possible. Rework your budget and reduce expenses. Make changes to ordering and inventory so that you're able to operate more efficiently.

If you keep your debt under control and always work to maintain a great business credit score, you can use credit to help you with many business expenses, which will help with your cash flow. Get even more out of your credit by earning cash back and rewards on purchases you'd be making anyway.

 

1. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/363461

2. https://www.thebalancesmb.com/discover-5-easy-ways-to-get-business-credit-393434