Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at October 9, 2017
When you are first starting out, setting up your business can seem daunting. You may be sorely tempted to just take something, anything, in order to be done with it already.
Don’t! Setup is important. And your business can suffer if you don’t take proper steps in the very beginning.
Lenders perceive an 800 Number or toll-free phone numbers (such as with other legitimate area codes) as a sign of business credibility. Even if you are a single owner with a business based out of your home, a toll-free telephone number gives forth the perception that you are an even bigger company.
It is incredibly easy and inexpensive to set-up a virtual local phone number or one or more toll free 800 telephone numbers. In addition, you should have a fax number or e-fax. This is because there are still some instances where a business or an individual would want to send or receive a fax.
A cell or home phone number as your main business line could get you flagged as an un-established entity. Do not give a personal cell phone or residential phone as your business phone number.
With your brand new phone number in hand, what’s the next step? You need to get it listed with 411. This is your business telephone number and also your business’s fax number. Why do you need these? It is because that kind of listing instantly builds and demonstrates business credibility. This is along with a professional website and a physical business address, plus any necessary licensure.
Your phone number must have a listing with 411 for most credit issuers and lenders to approve you. Check your record to determine if your small business has a listing, and that your information is accurate. You can check here: 411.com. If your business does not have a listing, List Yourself, Yext, D&B Credit Builder can help you get your business a listing.
First, you will need to set up a website. Don’t worry; these go hand in hand.
Credit providers will research your company on the internet. It is in your best interests if they learned everything directly from your company website. This is a lot better than if they learn it from a competitor or from Yelp or any other ratings site. While you do need a presence on Yelp, it should not be your only web presence.
Not having a company website will severely hurt your small business’s chances of getting business credit. By using places like TemplateMonster.com and Upwork.com, you can get a site up cheaply and quickly, and it will look decent, from the very beginning.
You will eventually want someone to design your site, particularly if you are not artistically inclined or you aren’t too savvy with this, or you just don’t have the time. But for your business as you are getting up to speed, having a business website which looks good will go a long way.
And make sure you purchase hosting. Using a free WordPress site via WordPress (so the URL for your business would look something like yourbusiness.wordpress.com) does not inspire confidence in lenders. You can get your website hosted by a hosting company like Go Daddy or Host Gator.
This is because it is important to get a company email address for your business. This will usually come with your website domain; it’s either a small additional fee or your hosting provider will kick it in with your package. This is not only professional; it also greatly helps your chances of getting the thumbs up from a credit provider. Do not use a Yahoo, AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, or similar type of email for your business.
Consider the lender’s perspective. They want assurances that you will pay your bills on time and will not skip town. Without a listed phone number, or a professional email address, they’ll see you as fly by night. You definitely do not want that. Your phone number and email address can get you denied. Or you can make them work for you.