17 Aug August 17, 2020 – Credit Suite Steve Wible, Wind Energy Week and IBM Rebuilds Offices
Building business credit is not that difficult. The difficulty is you
have to find businesses that report to the credit agencies
build your profile.
Stephen Wible is a marine corps veteran with a deep background in real estate sales, flipping and property management. He is an expert on building business credit, and speaks energetically on the importance of learning more about the credit application process. Stephen provides impactful insight into building business credit and obtaining loans for business, teaching and presenting to thousands. A veteran of the real estate game, Stephen has led multiple successful companies and has had as many as 300+ rental properties in his portfolio. He is now the Director of Business Development for Credit Suite, Inc: a recognized leader in teaching business owners how to use business credit that is not tied to your personal social security number. In his latest book, Business Credit: The Complete Step-By-Step Guide, Stephen outlines why business credit is so important, how to obtain it, why it should be monitored, and where it can take you!
Tom Kiernan – CEO, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)
Neal Gyngard – 12-year veteran wind technician and founder of Tower Climbing Grease Monkeys
Over 80% of Americans (Republican and Democrats) want more
wind energy. The cost is coming down. We are creating jobs and
carbon free, pollution free electricity.
Tom Kiernan began as CEO of the American Wind Energy Association in May 2013. Prior to joining AWEA, Tom was President of the National Parks Conservation Association for 15 years. Neal Gyngard spent 12 years in the wind industry, with experience building wind farms and operating and maintaining them. Today Neal is the Chief Executive Officer and Owner of the Tower Climbing Grease Monkeys (TCGM), an international community of wind workers with over 20,000 members.
Joanne Wright – Vice President of Enterprise Operations, IBM
IBM is using technology to rebuild confidence and trust
and enable a safe working environment.
Joanne Wright is vice president of IBM Enterprise Operations, where she is responsible for redesigning the company’s operating model and driving digital solutions within the company. She leads transformative tactics that increase speed and agility throughout the enterprise, while accelerating the value that IBM’s business brings to customers, partners, and employees. Previously, Joanne was chief operating officer of IBM’s Supply Chain, responsible for strategy, execution and transformation of IBM’s global supply chain, delivering to clients across 175 countries. IBM has been working to address these complex challenges and has a new initiative – Emerge Smarter – that includes technologies and protocols to help firms bring their employees back to the workplace, and reimagine the office for the long term.
Highlights from Steve’s Interview
I work at a company called Credit Suite, and its CEO, Ty Crandall, him and I are cut from the same cloth. So his immediate reaction when he interviewed me for the job was, no way, don’t hire that guy. Because he knew instinctively I’m an entrepreneur at heart, and entrepreneurs don’t make real good employees because we all want to do our own thing. But what he didn’t realize is this was my first job at 50+ years old, and I was ready to just relax and stop building and start maybe helping somebody else build. Plus, I was really passionate about what this company did, I was excited. So when I got turned down, I was devastated. Thank God, the person they hired instead of me just failed miserably. So they had no choice, they had to pull the parachute and bring me in. But anyway, he’s a great guy, gives us a lot of freedom; he is a real innovator. Actually, not just him, Our COO, Megan, who is his partner, they’re just amazing people. They have a real passion for helping small business owners, that is all they care about, which I love.
So let me walk you through the experience of working for someone as an entrepreneur. First of all, the opportunity to turn off is very appealing because as an entrepreneur, you’re always on. But that’s hard to explain to somebody who doesn’t understand that. It was difficult to do at first, because when I first came in, the first thing I wanted to do is rework everything. “Hey, you’re doing this, I think you should do this this way.” But then I’m like, whoa, I’m just a guy, I’m just an employee. But what’s great is Ty really does encourage that entrepreneurial spirit. So it gave me an opportunity to take my position and expand on it. Ironically, although my mother has always said I had a face for radio, I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed doing interviews. Ty gave me an opportunity to do a webinar once and I just loved it. It was like, wow, turns out I do love to talk. So it is difficult to turn it off. But once you do, it’s amazing, you get to enjoy some of that downtime. My wife tells a story all the time. When she was pregnant, we were at Myrtle Beach for a vacation. My wife’s on the beach and our son is on the beach, and I’m in my chair on my cell phone. This was in 1994 when cell phones were not little tiny things they are now. So she said you just look like a moron, you’re the only person on the beach that’s talking; I was talking to my employees.
Now, let’s switch to our main topic. For people who hate credit, I’m on the same page as you or at least I was for a long time, till I realized that there’s no way to grow a business without leverage. It’s just impossible unless you have a 50,000% markup on everything you do. So that’s why business credit is so much better than personal credit. Because I don’t believe in personal debt myself, don’t like it, don’t want it.
So here’s the deal about the distinction between personal versus business credit. The system has ingrained in us that we should put our social and everything, from our first employment application, credit application. So it’s been ingrained in us to sign for everything, to put ourselves personally in debt, and be responsible for that debt. The problem is twofold. One, the IRS recognizes your business as its own entity if it’s not a sole proprietorship. If it’s an LLC, if it’s an S corp or a C Corp, it recognizes it as its own entity. It’s treated as its own entity and you’re a shareholder or a manager or a member of that particular entity. We, on the other hand, treat it like it’s us. So we use our personal credit for that entity, but yet that entity can have its own credit profile. That’s both a good and a bad thing, and I’ll give you the good. The good is that businesses tend to get 10 to 100 times the credit limits that individuals do. It makes complete sense if you think about it.
I like to use this example. As an individual, if we wanted a gas card, Shell or BP or whatever, and we applied for a gas card and we had great personal credit, they would probably give us a couple hundred dollar limit. Because let’s be honest, how much are we really spending in gas? So we don’t really need high limit credit, $300 to $500 would be considered a high limit credit for a gas card for an individual. But now, imagine you own an over the road trucking company. They’re spending $5,000 to $20,000 a month for fuel. Now imagine you’re trying to fund or finance that using your personal credit cards, what’s that going to do to your personal credit score? Every time utilization goes up, what happens to your score? It goes down, and it always goes down at the exact worst time, just when you need it. So businesses will get much, much, much higher limits. But more importantly, it reports only on the business credit profile, not on you personally if you know how to deal with it. The problem is, like I said, we’re not trained to do that. It’s even worse, employees at these companies that approve you for credit, neither are they trained. Their bosses and their superiors, they’re aware of it, but they don’t want you to share it. As a matter of fact, the largest retailer in the world, I’m talking retailer, not Amazon, is Walmart. Walmart’s entire business plan is based on business credit. Everything you buy from them, they haven’t paid for yet.
Now one question that comes up frequently is, at what point in your entrepreneurial journey should you be able to succeed at this campaign to the point that you could get a true business credit card credit, not debit? Here’s the thing. Building business credit is not that difficult, the difficulty is you’ve got to find people who report in order to build your profile up. So like if you get a Capital One Spark card, that’s great. It says business owner, that’s fancy, it looks like you have a business card. It’s not a business card, it’s a personal card that reports on your personal credit. So in order to get to those, let’s say vehicle financing, you’re going to need between 12 and 14 tradelines reporting. But who do you go to, who can I get approved from now to get those trade lines reporting on Dun and Bradstreet, Experian and Equifax? That’s really the magic bullet when it comes to business credit. So those 12 to 14 tradelines, payment experiences is what we call them, it’s showing you’ve paid your bills.
Here’s what I’m going to do, I’m going to teach you how to get approved for credit tomorrow or even today. So lenders and creditors and vendors have something called fundability factors, really cool fancy name. But what it really is, is fraud detection. So it’s just a fancy way for fraud detection. Because as a new business, if I started a company today and I applied for credit with let’s say somebody like Quill who sells office supplies and whatnot, I have no credit profile and I don’t want to personally guarantee it. So they have to look for these certain factors, these dates I call them. You’ve experienced something like this if you’ve ever applied for a credit card online, Capital One or wherever. You apply for a credit card, and eight and a half seconds later, you already know whether you get it or not. So when you apply for that credit, you’re going to get one of the two things. You’re going to get that you’re approved and your limit, or you’re going to get that pop-up letter that we all hate that you’ve probably seen, which is we’ll be sending you a letter in the next 30 days, which means you’re denied. So obviously, no one looked at that application, it happens in seconds; artificial Intelligence was involved. The artificial intelligence has these algorithms built in to make a decision on your application without anybody ever looking at it. Well, exactly the same thing happens in business credit, only they’re not looking at your credit report or income history, they’re looking at these fundability factors.
Now, I’m going to give you three of these factors right now that 99% of business owners I talk to fail. If people are going to start a business, these are three things they have to focus on when they start the business. So the first thing that a lender is going to look at is, believe it or not, your phone number. When I talk to most business owners and I ask for their business phone number, they give me their cell phone number. The problem is, back in the day, you used to pick up your phone and you would literally dial 411 and ask for Joe’s pizza, Tom’s repair shop, or whatever, and the operator would give you the address and the phone number and connect you. That was called the National 411 Database or the Yellow Pages. So that database still exists today, it’s called the National 411 Database, and you can list your business there for free. Unfortunately, you can’t list a cell phone, you have to list a real business number. This is where we run into a problem because most business owners today operate out of their homes. Especially startups are operating out of their home, it’s a side gig or whatever. Even if it’s not, they generally don’t have an office phone number.
But there is a solution to it that’s not expensive, and it works. It’s called a Voice over IP or a Virtual Phone. As a matter of fact, people are familiar with Google Voice. That’s the right street, just the wrong direction. Google owns that number, you have no rights to it, they lend it to you, for lack of a better word, and they could take it from you at any time. If any of you go to our website or reach out to us, I’ll actually give you who you can go to to get that number, we’ll share that information freely. So that’s the first thing, you want to get a real business phone number that forwards to yourself. You want to use that number everywhere, including when you register with the Secretary of State, when you register with the IRS and get your EIN number, and then when you get your DUNS number, which I’ll give you a link to a website so you can go ahead and do that. So that’s item number one.
Number two, and this is a huge mistake I see, I own a firstname.lastname@example.org or yahoo.com. Now, I have several Gmail email accounts that appear to come from my real URL but it’s really a Gmail email account, it’s called G Suite. Even though that is a Gmail fronted account, it doesn’t matter because what the algorithm sees is a professional email address. Remember, what they’re looking for is that you’re not fraudulent. So I like to put it this way, and this leads me to the third point, which is your address. Now, when we talk about business credit addresses being approved for business credit, there are only three addresses that will pass. The first would be a commercial building. So you own a pizza shop, that’s your building, whether you rent it or own it, you operate out of that building. The second will be something called a virtual office. A virtual office, in the 70s, that industry sued to be recognized as a real commercial address. So there are two major companies, you can google up virtual offices, you can find them. They’re all over the country. They’ll rent you an office space virtually, and you can use that address and it acts like a PO box. Now, forget I even said that word. The third would be your home address. You can certainly use your home address, most business owners start in their home and then graduate from there. But we don’t recommend the home because your limits tend to be smaller, because once again, it makes you look small.
So here’s what people don’t realize, business credit reports unlike personal credit reports are available to the public. If I want to pay the fee, I can pull your business credit report. Ty has actually done this, you can actually pull somebody and tell them what’s on their report. Here’s one of the problems, it shows a picture of your office. So imagine you’re living in an apartment or a single wide trailer in your junkyard, and you’re pretending you’re a pharmaceutical rep. So the address is important. Now here’s what you don’t want to do, you don’t ever want to use a PO box ever. Here’s why, and this is going to make sense to people. If I want to borrow money from you may be to buy 30 cars and I fill out the credit application, and on my credit application, I put my name and my business phone number, which was a throwaway cell phone, and my email was I’email@example.com, and then my address was a PO box, you wouldn’t be comfortable lending me even $1.
Now, I mentioned Dun & Bradstreet very briefly earlier. So Dun and Bradstreet are one of many business credit reporting agencies, but they’re one of the top three. The problem with contacting them only is twofold. One, they’re going to try and convince you to pay them to report people you’re doing business with. So you’ll have to pay them to build your business credit profile. That can be good, but I’ll explain why it’s bad. The second thing they’re going to do is they’re going to convince you the sky is falling if you don’t pay them to verify who you are. How they verify who you are is they ask you. So here’s the deal, they are required to give you the DUNS number by law for free, there’s no charge for it. It’s an international number, all you have to do is ask for it. It is free, you don’t need to buy anything from them at all. When I talk about building business credit, I’m talking about organically building it. What I mean by organically is you do business with me, I report naturally, you don’t have to pay them for me to report; I’m going to do it anyway. I’m paying them to report my customers.
Now, here’s how Credit Suite can help speed up this process. Typically, it takes a small business owner about five to seven years to build their business credit profile, we help business owners do that within six to nine months from scratch. You start a business today, within six to nine months, you’ll have over $100,000 in credit on your company name if you started it today. But we’re an education company, we’re going to teach you how to build your profile. We’re not an accountant, we’re not lawyers. We’re going to advise you only on building your business credit profiles.
As a matter of fact, one thing I like to do is give away a free four-step guide. Just go to CreditSuite.com, on the homepage, you’re going to see ‘download your free four-step business credit building guide,’ it’s free, no one’s going to bother you. It’s going to get you started on the right road. If you have any questions about anything, you certainly can call us at 877-600-2487, we’re happy to answer any questions, we’re a very giving company. Our YouTube channel I think has over 4,000 videos on building business credit. We help almost all kinds of businesses including Amazon businesses. There are some restricted industries though, we can’t deal with people who have gambling businesses, arms manufacturers, strip clubs, but pretty much everything else. We have lots of programs, but obviously I never like to talk about price unless it’s one on one. But we have many options for every business, so just don’t be afraid to reach out. Plus, in addition to that, we have so much free information.