Meet your data self

Posted on by Jo Shaw

Estimated read time: 3 mins

As the owner of a small or medium-sized business, you’ll be used to keeping a close eye on your business finances – but did you know that all this information forms a picture of your business that you may never have met? It’s time to get to know your Data Self.

Banks and credit providers have a detailed picture of your firm – this can be made up from information such as when you pay an invoice from a supplier, apply for a credit card or file your accounts with Companies House.

You might not see them, but your Data Self guides every move on a company’s journey. Like your personal Data Self, this version of your business evolves as your borrowing activity changes, so it’s important to monitor its financial health and improve it wherever possible.

The strength of your Data Self could be the difference between getting the credit you need to expand to new offices, move into international markets and grow your team – or seeing your plans stall completely. Your Data Self can also be key to unlocking preferential rates on credit and loans, helping you to keep monthly costs down and potentially weather any future interest rate hikes.

Invest in your Data Self

Ensuring that your Data Self is performing well is no different to investing in your team, refurbishing your premises and buying new equipment. Get it right and, with relatively little legwork, you’ll soon be on track to reap the rewards.

By paying your bills on time, filing accounts promptly, and keeping company details up-to-date, credit providers will see someone capable of paying off their debts. But when you fall behind, the opposite is normally true.

Your business credit score determines your suitability for any kind of loan, and understanding it is the first stage in building a strong Data Self. Credit reference agencies like Experian, generate a score based on factors such as your credit arrangements with suppliers, public records and court actions, including County Court Judgments (CCJs).

Of course, you can’t plan your company’s next steps if you have no idea whether the banks will lend you money. Using Experian’s My Business Profile, you can see exactly what providers look at when they assess your eligibility before you make an application. Remember that this information is available to your suppliers and customers too, which may influence their decision to work with you.

Once you know your score, you can begin to build it – by updating publically-held information, making sure payments are received in full, avoiding making multiple credit applications and paying down your debts.

For more details on Experian’s My Business Profile, and to start your 30-day free trial, click here.

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