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Business Credit Reports Demystified

Businesses rely on credit to succeed. And yet, business credit can be an intimidating and confusing area. Your business is taking hold; you’ve found ways to grow your market, and you want to jump on the opportunities to expand by partnering with other businesses. Perhaps that means you want to take out a small business loan to acquire additional inventory to keep up with increasing demands. Or, perhaps you want to partner with a company you think will excel at managing your supply chain so that you can spend more time focusing on the areas in which your business thrives.

Business credit reports can help you identify your own business’ stability in the eyes of others who may want to partner with you, just as it provides you the ability to get a deeper look into the track records of business partners you choose to rely on. Here’s a guide that will help you demystify business credit reports, so that you can feel confident in knowing how to improve your business’ standing and make sure the businesses you partner with are solid too.

Check your credit reports.

Did you know that in an average two –year period, only 33% of small business owners view their own business’ credit reports? And yet, a low credit score can quickly sink your business. Low scores raise bright red flags. Just as you would hesitate to partner with another business with low scores, others will steer clear of your business if your scores are problematic.

Check your business’s credit reports so that you can know when problems arise and address them before they lower your business’ overall credit profile.

Credit Scores

Personal credit scores are confusing—who decided that the scale should span from 300 to 850? Fortunately, business credit scores are simpler. A business credit score ranges from 0 to 100. High scores are better and mean lower risk.

If you are looking to strengthen or build your business’ credit profile, try to get your business’ score above 75.  Likewise, if you are looking for businesses to partner with, look for ones with scores north of 75.

Payment History

Just like with personal credit, a business’ payment history affects its credit risk rating. One of the biggest factors in assessing credit worthiness is by examining the business’ payment history. Are payments being made on time? Are payments being made at the minimum amount or are debts being paid down faster? Slow repayment can indicate slow revenue and higher risk, while faster repayment can indicate growth and lower risk.

If you are trying to improve your business’ credit score, be sure to make payments on time, and where possible, pay more than the minimum payment. These practices demonstrate reliability and trustworthiness, and will improve your customers’ confidence.

Company Profile

A business credit report provides a company profile including age, industry, employment base, sales, prominent executives, and parent or subsidiary businesses. Older companies are typically more stable and have documented history that shows the company’s borrowing and spending habits. More recent businesses might also be safe, but you may have to dig a little deeper and analyze their credit reports a little more closely to determine that.

If you are trying to boost your business’ credit profile, use your credit reports to inform you on how you are doing in setting a consistent and positive pattern in credit-based borrowing and spending.

Filings and Legal Issues

There are usually two kinds of filings on a business credit report. One includes legal filings such as lawsuits, liens, or bankruptcies. These latter two can significantly increase risk. Lawsuits may or may not indicate credit risk, depending on the nature and pattern of lawsuits for a company. The other kind of filings are UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) filings. UCC filings can be used to interpret how a business provides collateral, or security, for the credit being provided.

About the Author
The author of this article is Nicole Johnson, a credit editor and expert at


A Simple Guide to USPS Address Validation

The United States Postal Service (USPS) uses standard addresses to identify all physical locations which can accept mail deliveries. Because of new construction or relocation, the USPS updates its database monthly, and provides recommendations for verifying mailing addresses. For businesses with heavy outgoing mail, it is important to verify that the mailing addresses they use are valid per the USPS Zip+4 address database.

The process used to validate a legitimate address follows two steps:

  • Standardization
  • Delivery Point Verification

What is Standardization?

Standardization is the process by which an address is put into a standard format which will more easily match the addresses in the USPS database. Components of standardization include the following:

Converting common terms to abbreviations – Most people are aware of the standard two letter abbreviations used to identify the various states within the United States. But many people don’t realize that the USPS also uses standard abbreviations to identify street suffixes and secondary units. The standard abbreviations can be found at the USPS website (USPS Official Abbreviations) and updating a mailing address with approved abbreviations is the first step in standardizing an address. For example, the USPS accepted abbreviation for AVENUE is AVE.

Correcting spelling errors – Just as with editing most documents, it is important to correct spelling errors within an address. Many street and city names use common terms, and if spelled incorrectly, they may not match a valid USPS address and end up as undeliverable. A good service or application will spell check an address looking for and correcting common terms.

Verifying and converting to uniform city names – Just as the USPS uses common abbreviations, they also maintain a list of uniform city names. Confusion can occur over time where city names may be referred to differently in advertising or city signage, so that many people don’t know the uniform city name used by the postal service. A non-uniform city name may make the mail undeliverable. An example of this issue is with New York – an address to New York City, Manhattan, the Big Apple, or NYC would need to be corrected to read simply New York as the city name to ensure deliverability.

Ensuring the address is complete – Perhaps the most important aspect of address standardization is to make sure the address has all components that the USPS, or any other delivery service, is expecting. By including all parts of the address, you ensure that each component is identified for what it is, i.e. street, city, or state. The addition of the zip code is the final check for the USPS to know they have identified the correct physical location.

The minimum parts on all mailing addresses for mail within the United States are street number, street name, city, state, and zip code. Zip Code lookup is one of the most used features of the USPS website and enables you to enter the street address, city, and state, and retrieve the zip code, with the four digit extension. This feature will also format the address following the standardization rules above.

What is Delivery Point Validation?

If an address is standardized correctly, it can be easily validated as a deliverable physical location. When an address is entered on the USPS zip code locator, it is put in standard format, verified that it is a valid location per the database, and given a ZIP+4 number which ensures the correct location will be reached.

By using a USPS Address Validation application or service, businesses can ensure their mail reaches its intended destination.

About the Author

This article was contributed by blogger Nicole. Nicole writes about print and Internet marketing secrets.

Medical Translation Services = More Marketing Success In the Latino Market

The Latino market is larger today than ever before, and it continues to grow steadily. As marketers realize the potential of this mostly untapped market, the potential there becomes very clear. As a population, the Latino community spends millions of dollars on healthcare every year. They have many places to go for medical services, but they are much more likely to go somewhere they feel welcome and able to communicate their needs effectively.

Under-Served Market

The Latino community in general is an underserved demographic in many markets. It has taken many providers of services, including medical services, a while to understand just how large a part of the overall market Latinos are. The result is a lack of services that Latinos feel comfortable using, so they avoid going to new providers who may or may not be able to provide them with the service that they need.

With the use of medical translation services, you can provide the service that the Latino market is looking for and tap into the enormous potential of thousands of possible customers and patients who are looking for a provider to meet their needs.


Everyone wants to feel that they can trust their doctor, dentist, pharmacist, etc, but what if you can’t understand them? Communication is a key part of being able to trust your medical professionals, and if Latinos feel that they can’t communicate their needs to you, they won’t come to you for their healthcare needs.

Imagine using a doctor who didn’t speak your language. Would you feel that they have your best interests at heart, or would you feel that they are only after your money? The Latino community has many choices of medical providers, but the ones that they choose are the ones that they feel they can trust and feel comfortable with. Using medical translation services opens the lines of communication so your Latino clients feel safe and comfortable seeking care from you. It also helps you provide better service to those people.

Better Service

In order to provide the best services that you can to your patients, you need to be able to communicate effectively and build trust. Many people simply won’t return to a company that they don’t feel comfortable with. This leads to missed appointments and a lack of care that can have serious consequences.

Medical professionals need to be able to relay important information to all of their patients, but a language barrier can make this difficult or even impossible, so many simply disregard the potential of seeing Latino or other patients who don’t speak English as their native language. This results in poor service overall, but especially for those patients who can’t communicate well enough to make their health needs known.

You can provide your Latino patients the service that they deserve when you can communicate effectively with them, and you can rest assured that you are doing the best job possible in treating all of your patients by making the effort to communicate effectively with them.

Medical translation services can help you serve the Latino customers you have now, and help grow your business by opening the door to the growing community of Latinos in your area. Providing the services that they need means building upon the success you already have, and becoming the provider of choice for all your patients.

About the Author

The writer of this article, Nicole, is a freelance writer who has been writing about content writing and translating for years.

6 Business Documents You Must Have Translated If Doing Business Internationally

International business offers wonderful opportunities for your business to access new markets and grow your profits. It can be the key to your business’ success. But, being able to communicate with your business partners and potential clients is key no matter where they are located. When you are doing business internationally, accurately translating core documents is essential.

An accurate translation does more than just translate your document word for word. It translates the intent of your document because let’s face it, every country has its own social nuances. Talking about a donkey in one country may get you a chuckle and in another it may get you punched in the face. It is vital you have these six documents correctly translated when you are doing business internationally. Because, no one wants to get punched in the face.

1. Financial Documents

Do you think numbers are the universal language? Hold the calculator. There is a lot more to financial documents than just ones and fives. Financial documents tell the story of your business’ financial record. While they do use balance sheets and expense reports, they also have:

  • Statements of change that explain why your business’ equity has changed throughout a given period.
  • Statement of cash flows that outline what your business’ cash flow has been throughout a given period.

Are ones and fives used in these? Yes, but sentences are too. And, once sentences come into play, language nuances control whether or not your audience or international business partners understand you and your business.

2. Instruction Manuals

Nearly every product sold comes with an instruction manual. Why? Because your customers need to know how to use it, down to the very last little gizmo attached. When you are selling products internationally, not all of your customers are going to speak the same language, but they are all going to want the same information in a language they can understand.

3. Marketing Materials

You are in business to sell. If you are doing business internationally, this is no different. While marketing in many countries has seen dramatic changes, consumers’ purchasing behaviors are still affected by marketing. If your potential consumer can’t understand your marketing materials, chances are pretty good they won’t be able to understand your product and will not buy it.

4. Informational Brochures

Informational brochures are significant piece of your advertising success in today’s Social Media driven market. They provide the raw details consumers are now demanding. Whether your brochure is shared online or through hard copy, it needs to do more than just tell your audience to buy – it needs to educate them. To do so, it needs to speak their language and paint pictures they can understand everything correctly.

5. Contracts

A contract is a legally binding document stating each party’s obligations and the consequences for not meeting those obligations. When you are dealing with someone from another country, even if they speak the same language, their interpretation of the law can differ. Your contracts need to be translated so they make sense culturally. So, make sure that you have business translation done on any contracts that you want to make sense to your customers or business associates who speak another language.

6. Insurance Documents

Insurance protects your business against unfortunate events. If you are doing business internationally, don’t you want to be protected there too? Protecting yourself in one country and not the other is a lot like only buying auto insurance for your head and not the rest of your body.

About the Author

The writer of this article, Nicole, is a freelance writer who has been writing about international business practices for years.