NEWS – Dorchester Bay Neighborhood Business Loans

NEWS

Five Steps to Build Business Credit

 

Building business credit is an important part of growing a business. A good business credit score can enable you to acquire financing more easily, increase the value of your company, and protect your personal credit.

Here are five steps you can follow to build credit for your business:

1. Choose the right business structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability, and corporation)

Choosing which business structure is right for you is an important step when starting a business. The entity you select has legal, financial, and operational implications.

2. Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) – An EIN, also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is used to identify a business entity. You can apply online and get your EIN immediately! Visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website for more information: bit.ly/3aCNNtM

3. Open a Business Bank Account

Separating accounts helps companies organize accounting records, avoid overspending, and accurately file taxes. When you separate your business and personal funds, you can determine how your business is doing. 

Tracking income and expenses is difficult when you have mixed funds. But when you open a business bank account, you can more accurately use your bank statement to create a paper trail to compare your accounting books to your bank statement through bank statement reconciliation.

4. Establish credit with Vendors/Suppliers that Report to Credit Bureaus

Some suppliers report credit information to the bureaus, while others don’t. When possible, work with suppliers who report their payment experiences to one or all of the credit bureaus. There is no easy way of telling which companies report information and which don’t. Your best bet is to ask their accounts payable department directly. Generally, midsize and larger companies report payment information.

5. Monitor Your Business Credit Reports

Strong business credit scores can be key to getting your company approved for trade credit and financing. But they can be very different from personal credit scores given their respective factors.

By far, the most important factor when it comes to business credit scores is payment history. Credit scores are almost exclusively calculated based on payment history. Business credit reports may report bills that are just a day or two late, so paying on time is crucial to maintaining strong scores. Learn more about how to check your business credit: bit.ly/2TSyfLV.

For more information on general support to maintain your business, please contact Anthony Ciavattone, Loan Officer at (617) 533-9577 or aciavattone@dbedc.org.

Business Owner Spotlight: Nickolas Dejernette, Owner of P.A. Landscaping and Home Improvement

Business Owner Spotlight: Nickolas Dejernette, Owner of P.A. Landscaping and Home Improvement

Nickolas Dejernette is the owner of Professionally Affordable Landscaping & Home Improvement based in Roxbury, Massachusetts. P.A. Landscaping & Home Improvement LLC offers high-quality landscaping, renovation, and remodeling services to the Boston/Newton area since 2012. Nick’s previous experience leading a customer service department and his studies of business psychology and marketing helped him build P.A. Landscaping.

Nick shared with us his path to entrepreneurship and how access to capital helped him expand his business.

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How did the idea for your business come about?

My father owned a landscaping company, and my uncle has a home improvement company. As a teen, I worked for both companies where I gained experience and learned skills that helped me build P.A. Landscaping & Home Improvement LLC. 

What prompted you to start P.A. Landscaping & Home Improvement? 

My full-time job after college did not pay enough, and I needed extra money to take care of my family, so I started the company to earn extra cash on the side. I earned close to $10k in the first week, and then my company took off from then on.

How did you come up with the name of your company?

I wanted a name that speaks to all customers. I know that all customers want quality work done at a reasonable price, so I chose to name my company Professionally Affordable (P.A.) Landscaping & Home Improvement LLC.

How did you hear about Dorchester Bay Neighborhood Business Loans?

I learned about Dorchester Bay Neighborhood Business Loans from a close friend. It is a true story that helped me build P.A. Landscaping & Home Improvement. As a startup business, I first came to Dorchester Bay to request a microloan for working capital. One of the great benefits of working with Dorchester Bay is the technical assistance I received, which helped me grow my business. 

My list of regular residential and commercial clients increased from five to 10 clients, which resulted in increased cash flow by 50% in one year. I returned to Dorchester Bay the following year to apply for an expansion loan to service new contracts that came as a result of business growth.

What advice would you offer to anyone who is thinking about starting a business of their own?

Do it and be your own boss! Take your life into your own hands, and do not wait for someone else to give you a raise instead raise yourself. If you are going to work hard, work hard for yourself, and never give up! You have to be obsessed with improvement, maintain a good attitude, never cheat, and one day all the right doors will open up for you!

What entrepreneurial tricks have you discovered to keep you focused and productive in your busy daily schedule?

No tricks to speak of, but I will say get a mentor with experience in your field of work or line of business. You need the drive to work hard to achieve your goals.

 

Business Owner Spotlight: Kristen Ransom, Founder and Chief Technology Officer, and Brandon Ransom, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer – IncluDe Innovation

Business Owner Spotlight: Kristen Ransom, Founder and Chief Technology Officer, and Brandon Ransom, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Kristen Ransom, Founder and Chief Technology Officer, and Brandon Ransom, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, lead IncluDe Innovation located in the heart of Dudley Square in Roxbury, Massachusets. IncluDe is a digital design and development agency that helps social impact organizations tell their stories digitally through graphic, web, user interface, and user experience design.

Kristen and Brandon shared with us the concept that sparked the inspiration to start IncluDe and how access to capital helped them expand their business.

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How did you come up with the name for your company?
The name IncluDe stands for Inclusive Design and Development. The name came from the realization that communities of color have an abundance of great ideas; all that’s missing are opportunities. We started IncluDe to use our design and development expertise to help traditionally underserved businesses increase revenue and impact.

Every day in communities like Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan, we encounter passionate entrepreneurs with ideas that could solve our communities’ most pressing challenges. The difference between these entrepreneurs and their counterparts in areas like Cambridge is access to the technical workforce required to turn their ideas into reality.

How did you hear about Dorchester Bay Neighborhood Business Loans?
We heard about Dorchester Bay’s loan program through various programs at the Roxbury Innovation Center as well as Dorchester Bay workshops at the Fairmount Innovation Lab. Dorchester Bay Neighborhood Business Loans team always struck us as genuine, helpful, and passionate about helping small businesses like ours succeed. What motivated us to apply to the Neighborhood Business Loan Program, was the Level UP Financial Workshop Series led by Johnny Charles, Anthony Ciavattone, and Brenda Guerra. It was then that the team walked us through the process of applying to the loan program.

As new entrepreneurs, how was your experience with Dorchester Bay Neighborhood Loans?
Our experience with the loan process was smooth and encouraging. The Dorchester Bay Neighborhood Business Loans team were helpful and talked us through the entire process. The team showed us ways our business cash flow can improve, and helped us understand available financing options.

Dorchester Bay Neighborhood Business Loans helped us find a way to take our business to the next level. We recently opened our new office space in Dudley Square, and can now prepare for growth by expanding our team.

What advice would you offer to anyone who is thinking about starting a business of his or her own?
As a business owner, you’re responsible for all aspects of the business, and you can’t have expertise in every field. Be humble enough to ask when you don’t know and open enough to accept help, and follow through on that advice.

Are there entrepreneurial tricks you discovered to keep you focused and productive in your busy schedule?
Don’t get bogged down in busywork, but instead focus on impactful actions that move the needle for your business. If and when possible, delegate tasks and collaborate with partners. Also, leverage digital tools for managing projects and tasks.