The first article in this series listed several tactics to increase your business success. I will devote the rest of the series to taking a closer look at each of those tactics.
When I got in business, I had no money. I borrowed nearly every penny to start my first business. I became pretty darn good at borrowing money. I was one of the first auto recyclers to borrow large sums to buy cars, a feat that many people in the business believed to be impossible.
The key to getting my banker to say yes was cultivating a relationship. If you want to know step-by-step how to build a solid relationship that will let you get the capital you need, buy my book, Getting to Yes with Your Banker, on Amazon.
For now, let me share a little about the importance of having good credit. To a banker, there is no substitute for good credit.
How do you keep good credit?
One of the crucial steps is to protect yourself from identity theft and credit fraud. Make sure you have a watch on your credit report. All the credit bureaus offer them. Credit monitoring service is not expensive. It costs about $14 per month and is an absolute must. Having a watch on your file means that the bureaus will alert you whenever anyone accesses your credit file and whenever your credit score changes.
You should also check the accuracy of the information in your credit file. Order a tri-bureau (one that covers all three credit bureaus) report with scores. Be proactive in removing any inaccurate derogatory information.
Is your score at least a 720? If it isn’t, you need to think about how to get it there. A 720 is the current cut off for prime loans. If your score is at least a 720, your past credit history will not be the reason your loan application is turned down.
Once you know where you stand and have a program to keep an eye on your credit reports, you need to be diligent about keeping promises to your creditors. If you can’t pay a credit card in full, pay the minimum due and PAY IT ON TIME. Yes, it was only ten dollars, but it’s the promise you kept, not the amount you paid, that matters.
My credit file has records dating back to 1979. It’s perfect. Not one late ever. That’s the sort of reassurance bankers like. They like a sterling credit report much better than a story. Bankers don’t have time for stories. They care about results. Be known as the client who moves fast, handles his business, and stays in front of issues. My bankers love me because I’m credible, entertaining, and VERY candid. I call it like it is. They can count on my results.
The other reason that bankers love me is that they make a lot of money on me. When I come to them for money, I have a very profitable use for it, and I know that a quarter or a half point won’t make any difference to the quality of my life or my business.
I act accordingly.
I don’t try to beat every banker out of every quarter point. I want them to point at me when I come in the lobby and say, “There goes one of our best customers. We make a lot of money on him.”
If you do your job right and make a strong application for a loan (one that has solid answers to the what, why, how, etc.), banks will likely want your business enough to give you a competitive rate. If they don’t, ask them to review the rate.
However, think beyond the one transaction. Think long term. Build a relationship with your bankers. Notice I said bankers. I always have two. Having two lets the banker you are talking to know that he or she has potential competition.
A little potential competition is good for the heart and good for the relationship. Stay tuned for more on good credit and how to keep it in next month’s article.
Remember only you can make business great!
Ron Sturgeon, Mr. Mission Possible, has been a successful business owner for more than 35 years. As a small business consultant, he can deliver wisdom and advice gleaned from an enviable business career that started when he opened a VW repair business as a homeless 17-year-old and culminated in the sale of several businesses he built to Fortune 500 companies.Ron has helped bankers, lawyers, insurance agents, restaurant owners, and body shop owners, as well as countless salvage yard owners to become more successful business people. He is an expert in helping small business owners set the right business strategies, implement pay-for- performance, and find new customers on the web.
As a consultant, Ron shares his expertise in strategic planning, capitalization, compensation, growing market share, and more in his signature plainspoken style, providing field-proven, and high-profit best practices well ahead of the business news curve. Ron is the author of nine books, including How to Salvage More Millions from Your Small Business.
To inquire about consulting or keynote speaking, contact Ron at 817-834-3625, ext. 232, rons@MrMissionPossible.com, 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117.