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How Does Your Garden Grow? 5 Mindblowing Tips to Build Business and Watch Your Dreams Grow

Reviewed by Ty Crandall

November 13, 2023
build business credit suite

Build Your Business Like a Master Gardener Grows His Garden with These 5 Amazing Tips

When you build business, it is similar to growing a garden.  You have to find good ground, till it up, and fertilize it. Then, you have to plant the seed, water it daily, and keep the weeds out.  Soon you start to see tender shoots begin to sprout.

Before you know it, you have strong, beautiful plants. You can’t just let it ride though.  You have to continue the hard work if you want your garden to thrive. Weeds continue to pop up, and overcrowding can sometimes be an issue.  Pruning may be necessary, and some plants may even need to be considered for relocation.

All of these principles can be applied to business as well.  

From the Ground Up: Build Business as a Startup

A lot of the same principles apply when you are building business from the ground up as when you are working to scale an already existing business.  You have to find the right location, research the area to see if it will even support your business, and put all the pieces in place in regards to employees, hours, financing, and much more.

Discover our Get Business Credit guide, with everything you need to know about building credit for your business.

Tip #1: Find the Good Ground: Location, Location, Location

First things first.  You can’t plant a garden without the land to do it on, and you cannot start a business without a place to house it. Whether your real estate is actual, or it is a virtual corner of the internet, you have to have good ground.

What makes good ground?  A number of things.

Who is Visiting the Garden?

If you are going to have a delicate flower garden, you need people who enjoy flowers.  If you intend to grow vegetables, there needs to be enough people to eat them. Do the research necessary to determine whether or not the demographics of the population relate to your target market.

This requires extensive market research on the front end.

Are There Native Weeds that Will Be Hard to Pull?

Weeds compete with your plants for resources like sunlight, water, and minerals.  In the same way, competition can rob your company of nourishment by taking customers from your business.  Before you settle on a location consider the competition of the area. They may not be strong enough to make choosing another location necessary.  You may know you can compete with them, no problem.

However, if they are the type of weed that will be too much trouble to pull, command too much time, and rob too many resources before you can really build business, it may be more wise to simply move on to better ground.

Who Will See it? Visibility Counts

You can have the most beautiful garden in the world, but if no one can see it, does it really matter?  The same is true of a business. You may have the best donuts, the creamiest ice cream, or the most awesome deals on the cutest clothes, but if no one knows you exist because they cannot see you or find you, it doesn’t really matter.

Visibility is not everything.  There are plenty of hole-in-wall, out of the way success stories out there.  Being in a highly visible location sure does make things easier however.

How Can Location Help Build Business for an Existing Company?

If you are already in business and you are looking to scale, you may find that choosing good ground is just as important.  You will have to make the decision as to whether or not your business is going to stay put, relocate, or open a second location.  

This will require more consideration on population, competition, and visibility.

Discover our Get Business Credit guide, with everything you need to know about building credit for your business.

Tip #2: Fertilize the Finances: Building Business Credit to Build Business

Whether you need to build business from the beginning or you are looking to scale your business, you will need funds.  The best way to ensure you have those funds when you need them is to make your business fundable. How do you go about that?  You have to prepare the ground so that the seeds can grow.

Start building business credit before you need it.  This will help you access funding that is not dependent upon your personal credit score. Why does that matter?  There are a few reasons.

Why Business Credit is Important to Help You Build Business

If your business is reliant on your personal credit, then they directly affect each other.  Not only can a poor personal credit score make it difficult to fund your business, but if your business struggles your personal score can be affected negatively.  

Another reason having separate personal and business credit is important is that business credit cards typically have higher limits.  Since by their very nature business expenses are large, you will likely end up close to your max limits if you put them on personal credit cards.  

Even if you pay your bills consistently on-time, this high debt to credit ratio will lower your personal credit score.

How Do you Build Business Credit to Build Business?

The first step is to establish your business as its own entity separate from yourself. It is a simple process, but it takes time.  The following steps are necessary:

  • Get an EIN from the IRS so you do not have to use your SSN as and identifying number for your business.  It is free to apply for an EIN on the IRS website.
  • Incorporate your business officially as a corporation, S-corp, or an LLC.
  • Get your business its own address and telephone number.  The number needs to be through a toll-free exchange. Have each listed in the directories like 411.
  • Set up a professional website and separate business email address. Be sure your email address has your business URL in it and that it is not from a free service.  This is not the time for Gmail or Yahoo.
  • Open a separate, dedicated bank account specifically for your business. All business transactions should run through this account.  Pay yourself a salary rather than using the business account for personal expenses.

Once you have your business established as an entity separate from yourself, you can start the work of building business credit to build business.

How to Build Business Credit to Build and Scale Your Business

You are going to need access to funds to not only run your business, but also to build it up.  When the time comes to grow and expand, you will need it just as badly if not more. The only way you will be able to access the level of funds needed without a major investor or being independently wealthy is to have strong business credit.

The catch is, generally speaking, you have to have credit to get credit.  If you do not already have business credit, many credit companies will not approve you.  However, you cannot build credit without accounts reporting your on-time, consistent payment history to the credit agencies.  It can seem that building business credit to build business is impossible. We know the secret however.

What’s the Secret to Building Business Credit to Build Business?

The secret is the vendor credit tier.  These are trade vendors that will extend net 30 terms to you without checking your credit.  Typically, you only have to make a few initial purchases, and some need to see that you have been in business for a certain amount of time, to be eligible for net 30 terms.

Trade vendors, as those in the vendor credit tier are known, will then report your on-time payments on invoices with net terms to the credit agencies.  Then, your business credit account is opened and your business credit score can start to build.

You will want to get a D-U-N-S number pretty quickly or else any information reported to Dun & Bradstreet won’t matter.  It is not possible to have a credit score with them unless you have a DUNS number. Get one on the D&B website for free.

That’s important, because Dun & Bradstreet are the largest and most widely used business credit agency. Others include Equifax and Experian.

Is That All There is to Building Business Credit to Build Business?build business credit suite

Nope, that is just the start.  It is a necessary start however.  If you try to skip the vendor credit tier the rest will not work.  

Once you have 5 to 10 vendors from this tier reporting your payment history to the credit agencies, you can apply for store credit cards from the retail credit tier.  These include cards from retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Office Depot, and more.

Since you have a business credit score due to vendors from the vendor credit tier reporting your positive pay history, you will likely get approval.  Then, after enough creditors from the retail credit tier are reporting, your can apply to the fleet credit tier.

These are cards from businesses such as Shell and WEX that you can use for fuel and vehicle repair costs. When you have enough of these reporting you can hit the big time with the cash credit tier.  The major credit cards like Chase, Mastercard, and American Express live here.

Remember this is an effective, simple process, but it takes time.  Be sure to take the time you need, because it only works if you make your payments.

Tip #3: Timing Is Everything

Enough about finance.  Let’s assume you nail the credit building process and have all the business credit you need. Let’s go a step further and assume your business is thriving and you are considering what you need to do to build business.  Scaling is a serious consideration right now. Should you do it? How should you proceed?

When you are growing plants in pots, sometimes you need to repot it.  If it gets too big to fit the pot it is in, you may need to put it in a bigger pot.  There is always a risk however. If you are not careful you can kill the plant by moving it.  It has to be done in exactly the right way to avoid damaging its roots.

If you move it and it doesn’t need to be moved, you run that risk for no reason.  However, if the plant is too big for its current home, you really have no choice. Moving is a risk.  It may survive and it may not. If you leave it where it is it will die for sure.

In a similar way, you have to take some things into consideration before you make the decision to scale your business. The first consideration is, would growth and expansion even be profitable?  Is the business really outgrowing itself?

Another way to word it is, does the demand support the expansion.  If you add more space, add another location, move to another location, or extend hours, is the demand there to really increase profit after you consider the cost of the growth.  It will take some research to figure out the answers, but if you do not do it on the front end, you could uproot your business and do more damage than good.

Tip #4: Consider Labor

Whether you are in the early stages of planting a garden or in the process of daily tending, you have to labor.  A garden takes consistent work. You get out of it what you put into it. You have to weed it, water it, and fertilize it.  Pay attention and make sure there are no bugs threatening your precious blooms.

In a business, your employees are a huge part of what helps you build business.  Your business is only as good as the service you give. You can have the best product in the world, but if your employees are lacking, you and your business are going to suffer.

You have to weed out the bad employees and be diligent not only choose employees that can grow and thrive in the work environment you provide, but keep them and help them grow.  Make them want to stay.

You do this by offering the best benefits you can afford, paying fairly, and making them feel like they are needed, useful, and have potential for growth. This is how you water and fertilize your employees so that they can help your business grow.

Discover our Get Business Credit guide, with everything you need to know about building credit for your business.

Tip #5: Choose Complementary Plants

This is one of those things that typically only master gardeners consider.  Beginner gardeners often do not even know this is a thing. It is related to choosing a good location, but so much of a different consideration it really is a tip all its own.

Some plants naturally complement each other.  For example, some plants bloom beautifully large during the day.  If you plant night bloomers near them, then the larger day blooms will protect and shade those night bloomers from the direct sunlight that could damage them.

When the day bloomers close up as the sun goes down, the night loving plants have plenty of room to stretch their limbs under the moonlight.  The plants not only help each other, but they complement each other as well.

You want to make sure you plant and grow your business near complimentary businesses.  A lunch place may do well near businesses that have employees that need somewhere close and fast for lunch.  A pizza pub or bowling alley may fair well next to a movie theater. Early movie goers can grab a pizza or enjoy a late game of bowling when the movie is over.  

A business that sells lighting or hardware will likely thrive in areas where a lot of new homes under construction.

Choose a place where the businesses around you compliment yours.  This is a huge tip to build a business.

Plant Your Dreams, Water Them, and Watch Them Grow as You Build Business

How does your garden grow?  As big and tall and you want it if you follow these tips and put in the time and thought necessary to ensure it is strong and healthy.  Choose the right location, build your business credit, research so you can scale at the right time, nurture your employees, and choose the best complimentary businesses.  If you do these things, you can build business and increase profits year after year.

About the author 

Faith Stewart

Faith has a BBA with a major in Accounting, and a combined 20 years of experience in the fields of finance and account.

Before switching to writing, she spent 10 years working in various areas of small business and personal finance and accounting, including working as a public auditor at BKD, LLP, Financial Director at Central Arkansas Development Council, and Commercial Credit Analyst at Farmer's Bank and Trust.

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