Weekly business rail, with tips on business credit scores, BBB warning about time shares and more.
Tip of the Week
With the everyday rush of tasks that comes with small business ownership, it can seem difficult to add yet another thing to monitor, but your company depends on it, especially small businesses looking to grow. There are good resources out there that can help you learn to manage your business credit. Now, as the economy begins to recover, is the time to start focusing on your business credit score. Here are some tips from Experian to get you started.
- Check: Know what is in your business credit report at all times and understand your business credit score. Your business credit report is used to make important financial decisions about your company - how much money lenders will loan, how much credit suppliers will extend and what interest rates to charge.
- Correct: Be proactive. Make sure your business information is accurate and up-to-date. Outdated or incorrect information can give the wrong impressions about your business, resulting in unfavorable decisions that negatively impact your bottom line.
- Protect: Monitor your report regularly and sign up for alerts that warn you of changes that could indicate fraudulent use of your business credit information. Popular alerts include notifications on inquiries and new trade lines. Furthermore, protect your business from non-paying customers, partners and suppliers by checking their business credit report before doing business with them.
- Separate: Many small-business owners don't separate personal from business expenses and therefore don't build business credit tradelines. In the beginning when starting a business, using personal guarantees and credit is needed. However, the weakness of relying solely on personal credit is clear. If your business ever becomes at risk, your personal credit score becomes at risk as well. Failing to separate business from personal credit also can limit your business growth potentials.
- Grow: Managing the factors that drive your score can make a positive impact and lead to more opportunities to grow your business, ranging from gaining capital to gaining customers. Therefore, take good care of your small business name and reputation. Choose to work with lenders, suppliers and creditors that report your payment history to the credit bureaus. And of course, pay your bills on time.
Most people are looking for ways to reduce their debt or gain some extra spending money in today's difficult economic conditions. Selling a timeshare is one way for these property owners to gain a better financial position. This need, however, has spawned new schemes to cheat people out of their money.
"There are complaints being filed across the country about callers who say they are in the timeshare resale business and who have been misrepresenting sales potential as well as making promises that are not being kept," said Steve J. Bernas of the Better Business Bureau. "This is a variation of the well-recognized scam that convinces people to send money on a promise of receiving something in return. It simply has been updated to take advantage of current financial conditions."
Bernas warned potential customers of timeshare resale businesses to have a clear understanding of all terms and conditions of the company's contract before signing. Also, if the business offers a listing service, find out where the company's ads will appear, and determine what criteria the company uses when matching potential buyers and sellers of timeshare properties.
For more information on this scam and others, go to www.bbb.org.
Spring training is almost upon us, and Forbes’ annual look at the business of baseball will soon be released. In the meantime, take a look at last year’s list of the most valuable teams:
1. New York Yankees
2. New York Mets
3. Boston Red Sox
4. Los Angeles Dodgers
5. Chicago Cubs
6. Los Angeles Angels
7. Philadelphia Phillies
8. St Louis Cardinals
9. San Francisco Giants
10. Chicago White Sox
Number to Know
0.5: Percent that retail sales were up in January, according to the Commerce Department, a reason to be cautiously optimistic about the economy, according to experts.
Do you have an original Nintendo Entertainment System? You might want to consider selling it. A woman recently sold hers on eBay for $13,105. The sale was helped by the fact that the woman packaged the system with the rare video game “Family & Fitness Stadium Events.”
GateHouse News Service