A new year calls for a new start. If you’ve made New Year’s resolutions for your business, great! If not, think about taking these positive steps to improve your business for the year ahead.
Firstly know your own commercial credit report
Your credit report is your form of identification in the world of finance and credit. Lenders, suppliers and financial institutions will more than likely look at this to assess your credit worthiness and financial status. Think of it as part of the interview process before they decide whether to lend to you or whether to work with you or not. They will look at your financial past and present to make a judgement on how reliable you may be. To make sure you don’t shut out any opportunities for your business, make sure to monitor and understand your credit report. Your business should become stronger in the process and you’ll be ready for any opportunities that open up to you at any time.
Monitor how quickly your suppliers and customers are paying their bills
Know how quickly and what day of the month your customers tend to pay their bills, this way you can set payment terms that suit the both of you and know when you’ll most likely receive timely payment. This will help your own cash flow significantly, especially if you have a short time frame between receiving payments from your customers and paying your bills. Find out whether they’re paying their bills on time or not prior to working with them to help you make informed business decisions. The same goes for suppliers, if they suddenly have a phase of delaying payment, does this indicate problems in their finances which would make you think twice before relying on them? Be able to anticipate situations before they occur.
Pay your debts off and pay your bills on time
If you’re entering 2016 with business debts, make it your mission to pay them off. Whether it’s by budgeting or setting up a repayment plan; the amount of money you owe could show up on your credit report along with the invoices that are to be paid. This could reflect negatively on the reliability of your business. Setting up direct debits and reminders beforehand is a good way to ensure you don’t leave it to chance and don’t miss any payments. When setting up contracts with utility suppliers and customers, take the time to negotiate terms that you’re both happy and comfortable with, that you feel are realistic and you’ll be able to meet.
Look at potential customers and suppliers and monitor them
Keep your business protected by only working with people who you find are creditworthy and has a reliable track record of paying on time with no adversities against them. No matter how great they say their finances are, it’ll only take you two minutes to check whether what they’re saying is true and continue to do business with them with peace of mind. Especially if you rely on a small number of customers or suppliers that can have a big effect on your revenue; one late payment from them will have a knock on effect on your own cash flow and paying your own payments on time. To be sure you know about any changes in their financial status, good or bad; our Experian Business Express system allows you to add any business to a monitoring list so you’ll be notified of any changes without having to manually check yourself.
Find your next set of customers
Whether you’re a new start-up or an established business, finding and targeting the right customers is crucial for the continuity of your business. Targeting the wrong prospects can be a waste of time and resource that could be better invested elsewhere. Our product called B2B Prospector can help you to find your next set of customers from a pool of 5.1 million contacts and filter them right down to your ideal list. This helpful tool will help you to create more targeted marketing campaigns.