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Interview with Garrett Sutton of BusinessCreditSuccess.comTell a Friend

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Erik Salmon, CCFC. A certified cash flow consultant / business coach specializing in business finance and startup, Erik has been in the business startup and credit industry for over a decade. He co-hosted "The Make It And Keep It Hour" on KTSA San Antonio TX, has written several articles on business credit and business startup, and has helped over 10,000's of thousands of clients, ranging from small startup and home-based businesses to large private corporations.

Q: Erik, please tell me about "Business Credit Success." What's been the general attitude towards the book? Has the book received many positive reviews so far?

A: We’ve been hearing rave reviews from readers of Business Credit Success. They tell us it’s a straightforward guide that helps them understand how the process of building business credit – which is a mystery to many – works. In addition, we are also helping business owners through our coaching program that helps them set up their business in a way that is optimized to obtain financing in the name of the business and minimizing the need for personal guarantees. We are glad to be able to offer them affordable solutions since there is are lot of overhyped and expensive programs out there.

Q: It can be difficult starting a business in any economic environment but this current environment can make things even more challenging. If a person has bad credit and wants to start a business what would you recommend that person do?

A: I would recommend that they still start the setup of the business following the steps laid out in our eBook. This initial process can take up to 180 days. While the business is getting setup, you can go ahead and start working on the personal credit issues. This way once these issues are corrected, the business can move forward without delay. Even if take 2 years to correct your personal credit issues, the business is aging which adds value and opens up funding opportunities. In addition, there are national retail business accounts that do not require the owner to have a strong FICO. The sooner you start on this process, the better!

Q: If a small business owner came to you with bad credit and said "I need financing to expand my business". What are some things you recommend that business owner do?

A: This is a common scenario as most entrepreneurs damage their own credit in the process of building their business. The first thing to do is an evaluation of the business to identify any compliance issues that may have been missed as well as to determine what barriers there are to financing the expansion. A funding and cash flow plan will have to be developed. It will outline solutions to any financing barriers, and balance out cash flow. Depending on time frames, alternative financing may have to be explored due to the personal credit issues. At the same time, personal credit issues will have to be corrected or at least addressed. Bottom line it’s better to identify funding and cash flow issues early on rather than later.

Q: It's been said right now is the perfect time to start a business because you can pick up talented labor cheaply and business related assets are generally cheaper. Would you agree or disagree with that statement?

A: I think that any time is a good time to start a business as long as it is well planned out. It needs to solve a problem or meet a need, and should be fully capitalized. Under capitalization is the main cause of business failure in the first 5 years of a business. Lower labor costs are only one factor and even in good economic times there are ways to keep labor costs down.

Q: Are there any scams business owners should be on the look out for?

A: YES! When it comes to corporate credit or business credit building programs, there are more scam programs than there are honest ones. Common sense has to rule the day when evaluating any business credit building program offered. The main thing is that if it sounds too good or too easy and all you have to do is pay a high fee to obtain credit, then red flags should be going up.

Typical scams are:

· Guarantee that you will obtain $xx of corporate credit (usually for a steep upfront fee)

· Guaranteed credit card or lines of credit

· The business credit is built for your company (no work on your part)

· No personal guarantee ever

· Overcharging for basic information and services

A useful strategy, buying aged companies can be a legitimate way to jumpstart a start-up business, but it requires a great deal of due diligence to make sure you aren’t taking on someone else’s tax or financial liabilities. And if a company requires you to purchase an aged company to obtain large amounts of funding, then you are looking at another scam.

Q: Please give me your thoughts on the consumer protection czar, Elizabeth Warren? ( Do you believe this current administration is doing consumers and small, medium size business owners any favors by imposing more rules and regulations?

A: The interview that you have linked to is about consumer protection that deals with consumer credit. Business credit is virtually unregulated. The major credit protection laws that were passed in the last decade (The FACT ACT that protects consumers with regard their credit reports, and the Credit CARD Act that helps protect credit cardholders) do not apply to business credit. This is all the more reason why entrepreneurs need to be educated on how business credit works and how business credit affects their business and cash flow.

Q: I would like for you to be Nostradamus for a moment. A lot of people in the media have said "America is in decline" which I disagree with but after America comes through this recession where do you see American business and American entrepreneurs 10-15 years from now?

A: Americans are a resilient people and historically have only gotten stronger in times of difficulties. Small business has always been the backbone of American economy and as long as government stays out of the business of small business, then I think American business will be stronger sooner than ever in 10-15 years.

Thanks Erik!

-Shane from Buy Here Pay Here Car Lots


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