Is Your Team as Productive As It Could Be?

The mark of a great leader is the ability to keep the employees productive and happy. Are you paying enough attention to what’s going on in your company?

If everything runs smoothly in your business, chances are your team operates at peak efficiency. But every now and then, you may spot some inconsistencies. You may even see stress settling in or people struggling to perform.

There are various reasons why this happens.

However, when a team is not as productive as before, it doesn’t mean that you have to start firing people. Employees that once had no problems doing the work can return to that level of performance with the right motivation.

If you see the following signs, it means some things need to change before you can get your team to perform at their best.

No Advancement Opportunities

One possible reason employees stop giving their 100% is that they can’t see a clear path to advance their careers. This happens in many companies and across all industries.

But is that a reason to fire someone and bring in someone new? No.

If you want to hold onto valuable employees, try offering additional rewards. They may not get a new position, but you could increase the bonuses. You could also add other responsibilities to justify increasing the salary.

Recent Odd Behaviour

Employees with a generally good attitude tend to perform well. But recent changes in behaviour may indicate personal or family issues, perhaps even workplace drama.

That’s not a sign to fire someone. Instead, it may be a sign that some employees need help and support.

If they once did a good job, they have the ability to do it again. It’s just a matter of identifying the issues and helping them overcome those matters.

Demotivation

How do you spot demotivation among team members?

  • Skip work
  • Isolate themselves from colleagues
  • Take only minimal responsibility tasks
  • Refrain from having something to say in meetings

Demotivation is a sign that you can get more out of your team if you take action. Try getting to know your people better and find out what they enjoyed about the work in the past.

Employees Are Too Tired

Teams sometimes don’t operate at peak efficiency because the members are tired, not because of a lack of skills or interest.

Perhaps recent company policy or schedule changes coincided with a drop in performance.
To fix this, try to arrange a few team meetings and brainstorm how to implement a more flexible work schedule. Talk to your people about possible new working arrangements. It’s crucial for you to figure out a way for everyone to work at their best hours of the day.

People Don’t Perform Consistently

If you notice spikes in productivity, you may have a problem with your business. You may see that some employees have stretches of great performance and average or worse the rest of the time.

Inconsistency in the workplace often has something to do with a lack of recognition.

People don’t always need rewards to keep up the excellent work. Sometimes a nod, company memo, or public acknowledgement can go a long way towards motivating people to give you 100% all the time.

Don’t Forget About Exchanging Ideas

Maybe your company is in the green but not growing. It could be a sign that there’s more to your team that meets the eye.

You want employees who do their jobs well and even contribute to discussions. So, trust your team and listen to their pitches and ideas. Perhaps the decisions at the leadership levels are what limit your team’s performance.

How to Plan for Growth as a Small Business Owner

As a small business owner, there’s no greater joy than watching your creation thrive. As you experience success, it’s only natural to think about growth, which is both exciting and intimidating. Starting a business is one thing but scaling up is quite another. But once you know how to plan for growth things do become clearer.

Research by Barclaycard found that to scale up, you need to re-invest 29% of your turnover, which is something of a scary prospect. To grow your business, you shouldn’t think about the company that you have today but the one you want to have in the future. Growth doesn’t just happen; it requires a significant amount of forethought, planning and preparation. The following guidelines can help you create a roadmap to grow your small business and set you on the path to success.

Set and Map Your Goals

It seems like all we hear nowadays is “goals this” and “goals that”, but setting realistic yet aspirational goals is vital for driving your business forward. You need to know what you want to achieve before you set about trying to achieve it.

What do you want to do: double your customer base, increase your turnover by 50% or broaden your range of products and services? Defining a goal is the first step towards achieving it.

Once you have set your goals, it’s time to figure out how you will get there. The services of an accountant or financial advisor can be beneficial here as they’ll be able to inform you of what is – and isn’t – realistic for your business. They can also provide advice, industry insights and help you to adjust your plans accordingly.

Define and Track KPIs

KPIs – or key performance indicators – are metrics to track how well your business is doing. Sit down with your accountant or financial advisor to discuss which metrics are most important to your industry and business model so that you can define your KPIs. Keeping a close eye on these numbers helps you measure your success and identify potential problems before they do any real damage to your growing business.

Consider Cash Flow

It’s all too easy to get swept up in the nerves and excitement of the growth phase and forget to balance your cash flow properly. However, cash is king in business, and a negative cash flow presents a significant threat. Growing your business means increasing your costs before increasing your revenue, which disrupts your cash flow and can cause problems if you’re not careful.

You can avoid these issues by creating cash flow projections and planning to ensure that you’ll always have enough cash to continue operations. However, cash flow projections require a lot of time, effort and industry knowledge, so it may be best to ask your accountant for help with this to ensure that your numbers are accurate and you don’t end up in hot water.

Financing Options

  • Substantial growth requires significant investment. Growing your business takes time, manpower and resources, all of which have significant costs involved. Fortunately, there are many different types of financing available to small businesses, but choosing the right one is important. Let’s take a look at some of the most common options:
  • Business loans. Banks, credit unions, nonprofits and microlenders offer business loans whereby the lender pays out a lump sum that the business owner then repays in regular installments. This is a popular financing choice for business owners looking to make significant investments.
  • Business credit cards. This option isn’t usually the best choice for making large investments but it can help to smooth out any short-term cash flow issues as you grow, as long as you manage your account responsibly.
  • Equipment loans. This type of loan is specifically designed to help business owners buy equipment and functions similarly to a bank loan. It’s a fairly low-risk way of borrowing so this option is worth considering if you need to buy more equipment in order to grow your business.
  • Equipment leasing. An agreement whereby a business owner rents equipment for a designated period of time, with the option to purchase or upgrade the equipment at the end of the contract.

Summary

Growing your business is undoubtedly exciting, but there’s still a lot to think about. Careful financial planning and expert advice can help your business grow at a steady and sustainable rate and allow you to continue providing excellent service to your clients in the meantime. It’s only natural to want to drive straight in, but taking the time to set clear goals, investigate financing options and define your KPIs will ultimately accelerate your growth.

The Five Vital Components That a Good Cash Flow Forecast Must Have

Not sure where you stand and where your business is heading? A cash flow forecast can give you a good idea.

Before listing the components of a cash flow forecast, it’s crucial to understand the concept of what this kind of forecast is. Essentially, it’s a vital tool that helps you understand your finances.

To be precise, a cash flow forecast estimates how much money comes in and goes out of your company. And it can be as detailed as you need it to be and for whatever period.

But for a cash flow forecast to be helpful in any business, it needs to have the following components.

Projected Sales

This is what all cash flow forecasts depend on.

An excellent way to come up with projected sales figures is to look at historical data. You must use seasonal patterns, promotions, market trends, and past figures to estimate future sales.

But if your company is new, it’s possible to make sales projections from competitor, supplier, and industry data.

Projected Expenses

Every business has expenses, including rent, insurance, manufacturing, and others. That’s why it’s a key component when making a cash flow forecast.

It’s essential to have a firm understanding of what goes out of the company for the next month or year, depending on the forecast term.

Projected Outgoing Payments

To make an accurate cash flow forecast, you must know when payments have to go out. Make sure to check with suppliers, vendors, investors, banks, and service providers.

Include that information in the forecast to know precisely when you have to pay more. It should also give you a good idea of any delayed payments.

Projected Incoming Payments

When working with repeat customers and clients, it’s easy to see patterns with your cash inflow.

Look at historical data to see how people pay and identify how many of your customers pay upfront. You also have to figure out how many of them delay payments or perhaps often pay late fees.

Knowing when money comes into your business will help you make a more accurate cash flow forecast.

Communication and Good Software

Thanks to all the technology available today, working with numbers isn’t as hard as it used to be. That’s why software is a vital component when it comes to making a cash flow forecast.

Of course, the accuracy of a forecast also depends on communication between various individuals and departments. If people don’t input the correct numbers and ignore concerns or inefficiencies, your database will have the wrong information.

Although cash flow forecasts rely on numbers to give you the desired projection, those numbers come from people. That’s why having clear lines of communication in a business can help ensure the accuracy of the data you work with.

Don’t Sleep on Projections

You can’t rely on a single cash flow forecast for the whole duration of the business, especially if it’s a longer-term one. Lots of things can happen from year to year and month to month. And a forecast that looked promising two months ago may not hold two weeks from now.

That’s why it’s critical to create one early on, ideally at the start of every financial year. As you proceed, revisit the projection and adjust accordingly since cash flow forecasts are flexible.

Six Quotes That Can Make You a Better Leader

Everyone has a fascination for famous quotes, and for good reason. Some of these have the power to alter one’s perspective and outlook on life and even in business.

What makes some people vastly more successful than others? They became experts in their fields and uncovered the best business practices and philosophies.

Sometimes, a single quote can tell you a lot about a person and how they reached success. That’s why learning from the best entrepreneurs, even via a quote or two, is one of the fastest ways to become a better leader.

Take inspiration from the following.

You Must Have Some Kind of Vision for Your Life – Oprah Winfrey

Oprah is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. And the famous businesswoman stresses the importance of having at least a direction in life.

It’s not always essential to have a plan. But to succeed, you have to know where you want to go. Otherwise, life can do the driving for you and put you in the passenger seat.

Chase the Vision, Not the Money – Tony Hsieh

Tony Hsieh, a co-founder of Zappos, was a successful digital entrepreneur. He, too, liked to emphasise the power and impact of having purpose and passion in life.

Chasing money won’t get people through rough times. On the other hand, passion can. And it can also influence others around you.

Starting a Business is a Huge Amount of Hard Work. You Had Better Enjoy It – Richard Branson

These are words to live by if you want to start a business.

Richard Branson spent the better part of the last few decades telling people how he became successful. And there’s a constant in his thoughts and teachings:

Starting a business isn’t easy. So what’s the point in doing something you don’t like?

It’s always better to go into a field that you not only know but also enjoy. It will help to get past challenging obstacles and maintain focus on achieving success.

Find a Way to Say Yes to Things – Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt was Google’s CEO and one of his primary philosophies is to accept openness and stepping outside the comfort zone.

Saying yes to meeting someone or doing something new is not a bad thing, and it can teach you new things that make a difference, like making better business decisions.

It Takes 20 Years to Build a Reputation and Five Minutes to Ruin It – Warren Buffett

Establishing a reputation and authority takes time and consistency. It’s not something that others give you; it’s something you earn over time.

Yet, consistency is the key to maintaining that hard-earned reputation. And minor unanswered mistakes can ruin any business in one day.

It’s Fine to Celebrate Success, But It’s More Important to Heed the Lessons of Failure – Bill Gates

Once the richest man in the world, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has plenty of wisdom to share. And this is one of the most important.

The famed entrepreneur and philanthropist understands the necessity to celebrate wins. But he also acknowledges that each mistake and failure teaches a lesson.

Not learning from those lessons and failing to apply knowledge is more dangerous than celebrating a bit much.

Learn from the Best

You may have little left or a lot to learn about becoming a great leader and entrepreneur.

Whichever the case, it’s best to remember the teachings of people who have reached unquestionable success.

Protect Your Business – The Six Types of Insurance You Need to Have

Every industry can have a wide range of liabilities. A dental practice may not need the same types of insurance as a shoe manufacturer or a digital marketing agency.

However, all companies will need a few essential types of insurance, as mandated by law or otherwise.

Worker’s Compensation

This type of insurance covers medical treatments, death benefits, disabilities, injuries, and other potential work-related liabilities.

It’s something every business should have after hiring its first employee. That said, it may not be as necessary if you don’t have any full-time employees.

Professional Liability Insurance

Not just service companies, practically every business needs protection against negligence claims. Professional liability insurance can protect against claims of harm or damage as a result of non-performance or mistakes.

As you may expect, your industry will have its own set of standards, concerns, and situations covered under this type of insurance.

Property Insurance

A property insurance policy can protect against a wide range of physical damage, and it’s something that businesses need whether they lease or own the property.

Through property insurance, a company can also protect their physical assets like inventory and equipment.

Furthermore, it can protect a business from environmental damage such as floods, fires, and malicious offences such as theft.

Product Liability Insurance

Service-based businesses may not need this as much. However, companies that sell products can’t afford to do without product liability insurance which can help protect the business from damages caused by its products. It’s a flexible type of insurance that can cover a specific product or a range or category of products.

Business Interruption Insurance

Business interruption is one of the most overlooked and undervalued insurance policies. It can cover a range of environmental or even catastrophic events that lead to a halt in operations.

Simply put, a business interruption insurance policy can help keep a business afloat when disaster strikes.

Having this insurance could compensate for lost income when you need it most. However, most companies covered by this insurance have a physical location, like retail stores, for example.

Data Breach Insurance

Data breach insurance policies are relatively new. But they can be invaluable for businesses that work with vast amounts of sensitive information.

Storing any non-public client and employee data makes a company liable for its security. The insurance could provide protection in the event of a hack, or physical data breach occurs.

Consider Bundle Insurance Packages

Insurance can add up, especially when a business needs coverage across multiple areas.

Therefore, some business owners choose bundle packages to save money.

For example, a business owner’s policy or BOP offers a lot of what a company might need:

  • Vehicle insurance
  • Property insurance
  • Crime insurance
  • Business interruption insurance

Such a package may not cover everything, but it covers most, and it’s cheaper than getting each policy individually.

Every business has Some Risk

No company has zero operating risk. For small companies, one lawsuit can be enough to call it a day. In this regard, having the right insurance policies can be vital in ensuring your success.

Is it Worth Getting an Unsecured Loan?

Most people or businesses look at an unsecured loan as a last resort for much-needed funding.

However, not everyone understands that there are both benefits and drawbacks to this avenue of raising money for personal or business use.

Whether or not you’re considering getting one right now, it’s important to understand what an unsecured loan means for you and your business in the long run.

Pros of Unsecured Loans

Potential Low Rates

Having an excellent credit score can put borrowers in a good position when applying for an unsecured loan. More specifically, it makes them more likely to secure one with a low interest rate.

In some cases, those rates could even come close to those of secured loans. Because of this, applying for an unsecured loan may be a fast and relatively affordable way to get your hands on the necessary funds.

Lower Risk

A secured loan requires some form of collateral. By its very name, an unsecured loan is not secured by anything other than the borrower’s promise to repay the debt.

It’s not a home equity loan where someone puts up their home as collateral for the loan, for example, where an inability to pay could lead to the lender taking possession of and liquidating the asset to recoup the principal.

You don’t have to worry about such matters with an unsecured loan.

Faster Access to Money

Secured loans require extra documents, which may include proof of salary and asset ownership.

When applying for an unsecured loan, much of the documentation rules are relaxed. This usually leads to faster approvals and fund releases.

More Options

Getting a loan is hard enough for most people and companies. But unsecured loans offer more options, which makes it generally easier to get a loan.

There are different types of unsecured loans and a wide range of entities that can offer this type of loan, like banks, online lenders, and credit unions, among others.

Cons of Unsecured Loans

Bad for Credit Scores

Due to the increased risk, unsecured loans have a higher impact on credit scores.
The presence of an unsecured loan account in your credit report is enough for lenders to look at you as a higher risk, never mind actually defaulting on the loan.

Unwanted Suits

When someone defaults on an unsecured loan, the standard practice on the part of the lender is to sell the uncollectible balance to one or more debt collection agencies.

Collecting payment then becomes the problem of these often aggressive and unscrupulous agencies.

If you ever default on an unsecured loan, do not be surprised if you’re to get sued by an unfamiliar company in the future.

High Interest Rates

Even with a sterling credit score, unsecured loans will have higher interest rates than comparable secured loans.

In fact, most unsecured loans come with exorbitant interest rates. Even worse if the borrower has bad credit. You can blame it on the riskier nature of these loans.

Should You Do It?

Applying for an unsecured loan is a matter of risk vs. reward. It’s often a situational choice that depends on the financial position of the borrower.

How to Ensure Your Invoices Are Paid On Time

As a business owner, late payments from clients and customers can be highly problematic. As well as disrupting your cash flow and threatening the financial health of your enterprise, late payments cause a lot of hassle and headaches. Fortunately, however, you can take steps to ensure that clients pay their invoices on time. By being organised and employing the following techniques, you can keep late payments to a minimum and improve your cash flow.

Put a Clear Process in Place

When you sign a new client, it’s all too easy to get carried away and forget about the practical details. Whilst a new project is undeniably exciting, it’s essential to get clear on the practicalities of getting paid. During the onboarding process, make sure that you ask the following questions:

  • Who should I send the invoice to?
  • What is the approval process?
  • Who do I speak to if there’s an issue?

Take time to review and agree to the payment terms, and ask any questions if you need clarity. Handling the payment details upfront saves so much time and hassle in the future and dramatically increases the likelihood that you’ll be paid on time.

Make Sure Your Invoices Are Clear and Accurate

Your invoices must be easy to understand with a transparent pricing breakdown. It’s also essential that they’re accurate; mistakes result in many unnecessary back-and-forths and are likely to delay payment. Sending clear and accurate invoices goes a long way in helping you to get paid on time.

Send Follow Ups

No one likes to feel as though they’re nagging, but it’s necessary to remind clients and customers when an invoice is due soon. It’s essential to be polite and friendly but firm. Many clients don’t mean to pay late, but they’re busy, and it simply slips their mind. A follow up a few days ahead of the deadline is a very effective way of jogging their memory and prompting them to take action.

Use Invoicing Software

Keeping track of invoices and deadlines often feels like a full-time job in itself. However, it’s essential to send invoices to clients on time; how else can you expect them to pay on time? Furthermore, you need to keep a close eye on whose payment deadlines are approaching and so that you can send follow-ups if necessary. Using invoicing software will automate much of these processes, saving you a significant amount of time and hassle.

Invoicing software allows you to create custom invoicing workflows, automate payment reminders and alert you to which clients have and haven’t paid; this puts you more in control of your finances and reduces the margin of human error within the invoicing process.

Consider a Late Payment Charge

If late payments continue to present a problem for your business, consider introducing a late payment charge to incentivise your clients to pay on time. No one wants to pay unnecessary overdue fees, so this is an effective way of ensuring that your clients pay their invoices promptly in the future. Be transparent about these fees from the beginning to ensure that clients understand they will be charged extra for late payments. Make sure to send reminders ahead of time to allow them to avoid these fees.

Don’t Feel Guilty

In particular, new business owners often feel guilty about sending invoice reminders and chasing up late payments, but remember that you have every right to be paid for the products or services you provide. Whilst it’s OK to be empathetic towards clients who may be struggling financially, that responsibility doesn’t fall on your shoulders. The financial health of your business must remain your priority, so never feel guilty about chasing up outstanding payments.

Summary

Being organised goes a long way in ensuring that your invoices are paid on time. Getting clear on the practicalities of payment from the start will help to ensure that the process runs smoothly in the future. Creating accurate invoices and sending them promptly is also enormously helpful. These small and simple steps can have a hugely beneficial impact on the financial health of your business, so make them a priority today.

How to Ensure That Complacency Doesn’t Rob You of Success

Does the grass no longer look greener? It may surprise you to know that feeling good about your business doesn’t always mean you’ve succeeded.

Maybe you spent most of your career working hard and overcoming obstacles. You’ve already reached some level of stability others strive to achieve.

Life is good.

But can it be even better?

Have you met all the goals that you set when you started?

The reality is that it can be even harder to get better results after an extended period of doing good. Because once complacency sets in, you can lose track of your dream goals, and you stop chasing success.

So, how do you ensure that you don’t miss out on the things you want?

The following tips will help.

Tip #1. Continue to Learn

When you become complacent, you don’t acquire new skills and knowledge. You think you don’t need anything else.

This mindset is dangerous because it could leave you vulnerable to future problems.

Avoid complacency by adopting a different mentality. Develop a consistent learning habit that always keeps you wanting to know more and do more.

Tip #2. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Routine can be helpful when it comes to systems and processes. But too much of it can kill your enthusiasm.

From time to time, make changes in your routine. Switch up the tactics or company policies occasionally and get everyone else to snap out of it, too.

Tip #3. Always Research Your Competitors

Think about the market as it was when you started.

How many of your competitors did you beat for a slice of the marketplace?

Put yourself in their shoes to avoid falling complacent and content with your current position. Keep an eye on your competitors and always consider every one of them a potential threat.

You never know who might come up from behind and leave you in the dust.

Tip #4. Ride the Momentum

Did you achieve one of your biggest goals? Don’t celebrate too fast or too much.

Instead of feeling good about that one achievement for the next quarter, try setting a new goal quickly after.

When you get good momentum, it’s essential to ride the wave, thinking that maybe you won’t get another fantastic result. But it’s also vital to put yourself in a mindset that wants to go after even more success.

Tip #5. Stay on Top of Trends

Know the marketplace better than the back of your hand.

It’s not just your competitors that pose a threat to your business. Clients sometimes go with new trends, and that’s why you have to know what they want at all times.

If there’s a shift in the marketplace, you have to be prepared to weather the storm.

Most businesses that can’t adapt or pivot will fail. Stay complacent for too long, and that could happen to you.

Don’t Abandon Your Vision

Complacency comes when you feel content. But think about what it took to get to where you are now. You have a sustainable business, and while it’s not exceptional, you’re not worried either.

How did you get here?

You got here on your vision of what you could achieve. If you lose your vision, you can become complacent and fall prey to unexpected hurdles in the future. Keep dreaming big to retain your drive to succeed.

How to Develop a Solid Social Media Marketing Plan

Is your online presence not as rewarding as you want it to be? Maybe it’s time to change your approach. If you don’t have a social media marketing strategy, it’s time to consider getting started.

Social media is one of the most powerful tools you can use to improve your business in today’s environment. It helps build authority and generate contacts, to start with. Not to mention it can save you a lot of money on marketing.

But you have to do it right, too.

Set Realistic and Meaningful Goals

Social media marketing can have many goals, but having too much of it can prove detrimental. That’s why it’s critical to find those most vital to your business and stick to them.

Do you want exposure, leads, or both? Or do you want to establish your brand? Are you looking for networking opportunities?

Answer these questions to find your desirable outcomes. After that, you can create a unique marketing plan to go after the results you want.

Narrow Down Your Audience

Know who you want to reach with your message.

The biggest pitfall of social media marketing is speaking to an overly broad and diverse audience. You can’t attract people’s attention if you aim to capture just a general audience.

It’s crucial to find the people that need your particular brand of financial advice. Identify their popular hangouts and the type of content they prefer.

Choose the Right Platforms

You can create a social media profile on so many platforms these days. But is the time investment worth it?

Do all platforms offer the same quality or industry-specific exposure for your firm? Not really.

Facebook is an excellent platform because it invites open communication. Instagram, on the other hand, is still primarily a photo and video-sharing platform.

LinkedIn is an excellent alternative to Facebook for some companies. After all, it’s a more professional platform where many industry gurus offer advice. It’s a place where experts look for employment and businesses look to hire help.

In addition to the above, also consider the type of content you want to post.

A YouTube channel where you can post free advice could also increase your exposure. If you create webinars, host podcasts, and offer advice in your field, then Spotify may also help you establish authority in your niche.

Never stick to one platform if you want to maximise exposure. But you don’t want to spread yourself thinly, either.

Curate Valuable Content

Digital marketing, in general, is all about the content. And this applies as well to social media.

While you’re hoping to get some clients on board for training or implementation, you don’t have to give away trade secrets for free, and it won’t serve you to fix all their problems with blog posts and articles.

However, you still want to provide valuable content, and what you write should establish you as an authority figure. You can also give some insight into your unique program that can help others transform their businesses.

The key is to find the right balance.

Use a combination of written and audio-video content, for example. Give everyone a chance to research your company and services to get the answers they’re looking for.

Remember to Focus on Communication

Don’t treat your social media marketing plan with a set and forget attitude. Once you put it in motion, it becomes something you have to monitor and improve continually.

The most significant advantage is perhaps not even visibility. It’s the ability to start conversations with prospective clients on the topics that you cover. Facebook Groups is a perfect medium to do this.

The more you communicate, the easier it is to expand your network and stay in your prospects’ foremind.

How to Build and Maintain an Excellent Business Credit Score

An excellent business credit score can accelerate the growth of your small business by making it easier to secure credit and attract investors. Furthermore, a great credit score reduces the cost of borrowing and can help you to secure more flexible terms from credit providers, thus protecting the financial health of your business and creating greater scope for investment.

So how do you build an excellent business credit score? There are steps you can take to put your business in the best possible position for borrowing in the future. Let’s dive in.

1. Register with Credit Bureaus

Credit bureaus collect and organise credit information to create a report to help lenders come to a decision. You should register with the major credit bureaus as soon as possible to understand your credit score and discover which lending options may be available to you. The major credit bureaus are:

  • Experian
  • Dun&Bradstreet
  • Equifax
  • TransUnion

2. Check Your Score Regularly

It pays to keep a close eye on your business credit score. Checking your score regularly will allow you to quickly spot any problems and rectify them before they do real damage to the financial health of your business. It’s a good idea to sign up for alerts to notify you of any changes to your credit score so that you’re always one step ahead.

3. Separate Your Business and Personal Finances

It’s a huge mistake to mix your business and personal accounts, for a number of reasons. First of all, it makes it incredibly difficult and time-consuming to file a tax return and leaves you liable to costly mistakes. Furthermore, any dips in your credit score will then prove doubly damaging. Maintaining separate business and personal accounts makes it far easier to manage your finances and helps you to present a stronger case to potential investors or creditors. 

In order to keep your business and personal finances separate, set up a business bank account and apply for a business credit card as soon as possible. This will allow you to maintain clear and accurate records from the start, thus demonstrating financial responsibility and professionalism.

4. Maintain Good Personal Credit

Credit providers often take a business owner’s personal credit score into consideration when deciding whether to lend or not. Messy personal finances are a huge red flag to potential lenders. If you can’t handle your personal finances well it’s unlikely that you’ll fare much better in business. Here are a few simple ways to build an excellent personal credit score:

  • Pay your bills on time
  • Keep a close eye on direct debits
  • Ensure you always have a cash reserve for unforeseen costs
  • Use your credit card like a debit card and pay off the balance immediately after making a purchase. This helps to build an excellent credit score without running the risk of accumulating debt.

5. Talk to Your Vendors

It’s worth asking your vendors whether or not they report payment performance to the major credit bureaus. If they do, you can use this to your advantage to build a stellar credit score. Paying these vendors on time, or ideally early, is a fantastic way to boost those numbers. This signals to credit providers that you’re financially responsible and can be relied upon to make timely repayments.

Hard Work Pays Off

Building an excellent credit score takes time and hard work, which is why you should start to implement the above steps right now. A stellar credit score will help to rapidly accelerate the growth of your business in the future, but you have to put in the groundwork today. They say it takes years to build a reputation and just minutes to destroy it. The same is true for your credit score. Once you build a great score, don’t rest on your laurels and assume that all the hard work is done. You must make a concentrated effort to maintain this credit store and continue to be financially responsible because the rewards are definitely worth it.