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5 Ways to Establish Business Credibility

5 Ways to Establish Business Credibility

The picture a business portrays to the world contributes to its success.

Ife Adedapo writes on how to build business credibility.

Lack of credibility on the part of small businesses poses an obstacle to their accessing funds from credit institutions, experts say.

It has been discovered that mismanagement of funds obtained through loans often contribute to the failure of small businesses. As a result, banks are usually reluctant to grant them loans because they often find it difficult to repay.

Financial advisors say one of the most important factors in building a business is to establish business credibility from all angles.

According to financial experts, one of the hindrances impeding access to finance for Small and Medium Enterprises is the absence of information about the credit worthiness because they are generally perceived as high risk bearers, although, they note that having information on credit history and status of indebtedness does not automatically guarantee access to bank loans.

The experts say other relevant factors such as provision of acceptable collateral, cost of funds, and suitability of the loan to the enterprise operations as well as the operational structure of the business can still affect access to loans.

They suggest that businesses should endeavour to develop a credible image among their staff members, competitors, clients and even potential clientele because negative word-of-mouth can break a business.

To guard against bad debt, credit bureau institutions in the country collate a detailed credit history a client, which will provide a complete perspective of the business’ indebtedness either as a borrower and/or guarantor. This information, according to experts will allow financial institutions to make informed decisions when granting credit facilities to their clients.

In spite of this, experts say not only is the financial credibility of business owners important, their depiction to every stakeholder in the business is also important.

To achieve this, they have highlighted the following:

1. Right treatment of staff

The inclusive method of employee engagement has been professed by business owners as an effective means of getting the best out of them, according to a business consultant, Mr. Ayorinde Bamgbose.

He says treating the staff members with respect at all times, respecting their privacy and rights, paying them fairly, encouraging suggestions from them, listening and taking action on their concerns has proven to be useful in obtaining good reports of their workplace.

Experts say the staff has more outreach into the public sector than the business owner, therefore they bosses should ensure that the picture they paint of the company is a good one.

2. Pay bills regularly

One way highlighted by experts in building credibility for businesses is by paying bills on time whenever possible.

They say not only will this build the business credit score, but it would also leave a favorable impression among their vendors.

According to them, it can also lead to extra benefits, such as additional discounts or vendor freebies.

In addition, they say convincing reports from salespersons or clients can assist businesses in obtaining lines of credit from bank lenders.

Recently, the Credit Bureau Association of Nigeria adopted an alternative data, as a substitute for financial records which can be harnessed for employee recruitment purposes.

The Chairman of CEBAN, Mrs. Mobolanle Adesanya, says in more advanced economies, alternative data such as utility bills for electricity and mobile communications have proven a veritable substitute for financial records.

She notes that the method was to enable other members of the society who were not already in the banking system, but with other verifiable means of identification for risk management purposes, to have access to credit.

3. Treat clients fairly

Experts say providing honest services coupled with fair treatment can help in building business credibility.

This, they say can be achieved by addressing problems quickly and in a reasonable manner, even if it is at extra cost.

Returnable goods policy as implemented by some businesses and the act of granting a staff member the power to solve clients’ complaints has improved their reliability.

They say information is easily disseminated by clients to their acquaintances about the business regardless of whether their experience was positive or unpleasant.

They also advise that businesses should be made credible by providing clients with outstanding services which will help to sell the business.

4. Use testimonials

Professionals suggest winning potential clients over with written testimonials on website, news bulletins, advertising and good corporate social responsibility reporting. They say any business can buy promotional advertising, but actual quotes from real clients establish a lot of credibility in the eyes of potential clientele.

They advise that keeping composure no matter what occurs, and not getting angry at provocations outside the privacy of their home can build integrity.

They say through content, trust, thought leadership, expertise, relationships can be built, adding that content creates more awareness of the business.

Businesses and individuals that are not creating content are missing out on incredible opportunities to connect with people in a way that brings them close to you and your brand, experts say.

5. Interact with the right people

Interacting with people who will have positive influence on the business performance has been proposed by experts. These acquaintances, they say will empower you and make the managers better people.

They advise the avoidance of people who kick, demoralise, criticise and envy their success.

They say the friendship can be nurtured by establishing real relationships and working together with them. Take time to know and research the people you hang out with. Just as you need to establish trust with your community, expect the same of those you bring into your inner circle.

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