Archive for

Business Credit – The Difference Between Success and Kissing Your Business Dreams Goodbye!

Business credit can provide you, the business owner, with the available funding to purchase a wide variety of supplies and services for your business. You can normally start out by setting up business accounts with the major suppliers of office supplies and use that credit business account to purchase small office supplies (pens, paper, envelopes, etc), as well as large ticket items such as office furniture (computers, chairs, etc) depending upon the depth of your credit account with that business.

Keep in mind that those ‘small’ purchases of standard office supplies can add up to more than you think, but more importantly, by purchasing them on a business credit account you are establishing and adding to the credit history of your business. You can see about setting up an account with more than just one business supply those particular items you need for your business.

For example if you can get a business credit account set up at Staples, See if you can get one set up with Office Depot as well! Other companies that have products or services you need for your business may be willing to set up a credit account for your business. This could include things like remodeling supplies, if you have a brick and mortar type business; things like paint, wallpaper, landscaping needs, etc. (Hey, a good first impression is important!)

With these important business accounts set up you can quickly begin to build a solid business credit history.

Now In Order To Do This Quickly And Properly Keep In Mind These Two Very Important Details Regarding Your Business Credit:

1. Pay On Time: Pay a little earlier if you can when you are making a payment on a business credit account. It is best to make it a habit to always pay a few days in advance if possible.

This will help you avoid simple mistakes like forgetting that a holiday is coming up that will delay processing of your payment or may delay delivery of your payment if you are sending a check by postal mail. Most companies have a period of a few ‘grace’ days before you are considered officially late and it goes on your business credit report, but don’t take the risk. Stay sharp and on top of your corporate credit, don’t get sloppy.

2. Speaking Of Your Business Credit Report: Make sure these companies that have extended your business payment history to you are reporting to the business reporting bureaus.

DO NOT hesitate to ask them!

Be very polite and tell them you are working on establishing credit for your business and want to make sure they are reporting to one or more of the major business bureaus. They will normally be glad to explain which ones they report to because you are now presenting yourself as someone who is serious about developing a very good business credit history which implies that you will be paying them on time and not become a problem for them.

You want to begin establishing credit for your business as soon as possible, even as soon as when you start your business.

In fact, building credit for your business should be an important part of your overall business plan.

If it’s not already in there, you need to add it in now!

Having available business credit can be the difference between being successful and profitable versus having to close up shop and kiss your business dream goodbye.

Tips on Buying an Existing Business

Buying an existing business may be the preferable alternative to starting a business from scratch. Taking all the elements into account, there are both notable pros and cons of buying an existing business.

Advantages

* Immediate Operation

Someone else has established the company – once you take over, all you need to do is maintain the status quo.

* Quick Cashflow

You can generate income from the day that you take over, thanks to existing inventory and receivables.

* Existing Customers

Customers and suppliers will already have been sourced, and what’s more good relationships will have been established with both.

* Easier Financing

It will be easier to obtain finance because the established business will already have a strong track record.

* Less Competition

It will certainly be easier to deal with the competition through an established business than a lesser known-one.

Disadvantages

* Cost

Sometimes, establishing a business off your own bat can be far cheaper to do than if you were to buy an existing one.

* Problems

There may be problems to deal with in the business, which may be why it’s on the market. You need to establish what these are at the outset, in order to make sure that you are not buying into a potential disaster.

* Personality Clashes

You may find that you come into conflict with existing managers and/or employees.

* Obsolete Goods

You may also find that both inventories and equipment may not exist any more.

* Uncollectable Receivables

Receivables listed on the balance sheet may prove to be uncollectible.

Getting Started

Much like making any major purchase, there are important steps to take when it comes to buying an existing business.

You need to do extensive research into the type of business you want, the ones available that are right for you. When you have made your final choices, extensively research the background of the business, look at its successes and problems, and then evaluate whether or not you want to proceed. It is worth erring on the side of caution, just in case you land on the wrong side of any unscrupulous vendors. Hire a lawyer and accountant who can guide you through the process while offering advice into the bargain.

There are many places to look for the businesses that you want. Trade publications are a good first port of call, depending on the industry that you want to work in. Also check out business magazines and newspapers. The internet will also have lots of advertisements and classifieds for businesses for sale. If you want to, you can also use a business broker, who can screen businesses for sale and assess if there are any pitfalls. Although, that said, the fees for this will only add to the end total.

And even if you like a business that isn’t classified as being on the market, it still wouldn’t hurt to contact the owner and make an offer. The worst that can happen is that the owner will say no.

What Happens Once You Have Found a Business

As mentioned, do extensive research on the business that you want, as well as the industry and the market in which it is in. Lawyers and accountants should be able to offer help and advice in this regard. By doing so, you will increase your chances of making the right decision instead of investing in a business that could go off the rails.

In most cases, the vendor won’t release any information until you have signed a letter of intent that makes a non-binding offer and also a confidentiality agreement.

It should be noted that the business is being sold for a reason. What you have to do is find out what that reason is. It may be past bad management. An out-of-date product. Or a bad local economy. What you have to do is assess how big these problems are when it comes to make your decision in buying the business.

You should investigate the following:

* Organizational Documents

These document the organisation of the business and include partnership agreements, articles of incorporation, and business certificates. These should be examined to determine how the business is structured and capitalised.

* Contracts and Leases

These include property and machinery leases, sales and purchase contracts. They should determine the exact obligations the business is subject to.

* Financial Statements

You should look at the financial statements for the past three years to assess the financial shape of the business.

* Tax Returns

Again, go through the tax returns for the past three years to assess the profitability of the business and to determine whether any tax liability is outstanding.