By Gerri Detweiler –
Many entrepreneurs find the process of building business credit frustrating. It’s not terribly difficult, but it does involve a few steps, the most important of which is to obtain accounts that report to commercial credit agencies. By paying those bills on time (or early) and keeping your debt in check, you can help build strong business credit. But because many small business bills aren’t reported to commercial credit reporting agencies, business owners may find themselves with little credit data on their reports.
But there’s a new simple solution that can help business owners build credit using accounts they already pay, and it’s fast and easy. Here’s how it works.
You set up an account with eCredable, a service designed to help small business owners build credit using bills they already pay. You can link specific types of bills (see below) to eCredable, which then reports that information to commercial credit reporting agencies. Those accounts, when reported and paid on time, can help build business credit. Currently eCredable works with Experian and Ansonia and expects to report to another major business credit reporting agency in the coming months. (more…)
Success Story: Vermont –
Two amazingly talented artists (Jessie makes exquisite jewelry and Michael makes eclectic furniture), plus a passion for their fellow Vermont artists’ works, plus an incredible shared eye for all things beautiful: for Jessie and Michael Alon that means not just one gallery, but two. One can’t contain their creativity and dedication.
Nestled in the quintessential village of Chester, Vermont, the downtown gallery, DaVallia Art Boutique, features Jessie’s work combined with arts and crafts from fifty artists. And on the way out of town, Davallia 39 North Gallery focuses on fine art, furniture and accessories for your home.
“Our business is special because we truly love what we do. We elevate all aspects of our business to the level of art. We display differently, we think differently and we care. By being both artists and business owners, we have the ability to apply our creative skills into our business plan. If you leave our gallery with nothing but inspiration, we did our jobs.”
Jessie and Michael say working with VtSBDC has allowed them to: 1. create consistency and fluidity in their message to their customers; 2. know more about employee hiring and training; 3. stay focused on the important things; 4. craft a better elevator speech; and 5. perfect a budget. (more…)
By Megan Tyler –
Getting a business loan can be tough. You know the ins and outs of your own business, but you might not know how to get the funding you need. To make matters worse, small business lending is full of confusing financial lingo that you may not understand. If you need a crash course in business lending lingo, here’s a quick rundown of five confusing small business loan terms.
You see APR everywhere when applying for financing, but you might not remember everything that goes into calculating the APR for different types of financing.
APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate, and it estimates the overall annual cost of a loan including fees and compounding interest. This means that when looking for business financing and credit cards, an APR is often a better point of comparison than the interest rate alone. If your loan doesn’t give you an estimated APR, you can always use an APR calculator to get an idea of how much your loan will cost. (more…)
By Linsey Knerl –
The Big Mac – the special burger from McDonald’s that features “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions and a sesame seed bun” – is almost as much of an icon as the fast-food chain itself. While the world is pretty much split on the one-of-a-kind sandwich (the sauce has a way of being fairly polarizing), no one can deny that it’s an unchanging staple that’s been branded into our culture.
The sandwich is 50 years old this year, proving that some things are still a good idea half a century later. Here are some other hard truths about its success for small businesses that cannot be ignored.
Have a Signature Item
Fast food has gotten weird over the years. I remember when McDonald’s introduced what they called a more “grown-up” menu, switching their classic grilled chicken offering over to something with honey mustard, a fancy bun, and more lettuce than I would ever put into a small side salad. This was on the tail of the failed McSpaghetti, and it predated some of the chain’s experiments into the McGriddle – which has gone on to become a current classic. (more…)