News release Poor credit worthiness is one of the biggest obstacles SMEs need to overcome in order to achieve growth

BY SUPPLIED - MARCH 12, 2015

Experian South Africa has partnered with The National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) tohost a series of ‘Credit Wellness Workshops’ at the 2015 national My Business Expo.

“The objective of hosting a national road show of ‘Credit Wellness Workshops’ will be to educate, encourage and assist SMEs to become credit worthy and maintain a high level of credit worthiness,” says Michelle Beetar, Managing Director of Experian SA .

“Many SME’s are harming their chances of gaining access to credit, getting better deals from suppliers, and securing additional funding to help grow their business, due to a lack of awareness and understanding of their business credit profile,” says Beetar.  

The 2015 My Business Expo is a national road-show that kicks off at Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg on 12 March.

The ‘Credit Wellness Workshops’ that will be held at the expo will equip SMEs with key tips and strategies to assist them in understanding their business credit profile, and how this may impact their efforts to expand or improve their business.

A business credit profile forms a key part of the decision making process for lenders and service providers. Whether a small business is applying for finance with a lender, credit with another business, competing for a supplier contract or simply trying to get a good deal on their business mobile contract, they need to understand that their business credit profile will play a role. That is why is it vital that they understand what their credit profile is saying about their business and how these suppliers, clients and lenders view their business.

“We will have facilitators’ onsite at these workshops to provide SMEs with free access to their business, as well as their personal credit reports.  We encourage SMEs to be aware of what impacts negatively and positively on their credit profile, and to make a habit of checking their credit profile regularly to ensure that it accurately reflects their circumstances,” says Beetar.

Equally important is for SMEs to protect their revenue flow by managing their credit risk and understanding who they are dealing with.

Managing cash flow and debt is often a challenge for small businesses, with late payment cited as one of the biggest causes of this. Businesses should start by aiming to recruit and retain customers who are good payers.  Taking on the wrong kind of customers could have a negative effect on their own businesses and ultimately may lead to its own demise.

One of the tools that will be introducing to delegates at the expo is Experian’s Business Check.  Launched last year, Business Check allows businesses to not only view their own business credit report and score, but also check the credit data of the commercial customers they are dealing with, the individuals behind those businesses and determine whether those customers are likely to pay on time.

Similarly, just because a customer pays on time, or they have proved reliable in the past, doesn’t mean that businesses should be able to rely on this as a certainty in the future, particularly in a challenging economic environment. It is just as important to review the credit position and payment performance of existing customers as it is for new ones.

Businesses should monitor their customers on an on-going basis so that they can take appropriate steps if circumstances change.  Business Check offers an email alert service that informs users to any changes in a company’s ability to pay them, enabling them to take early action and maintain important relationships.

Through the workshops, SMEs will be exposed to the credit management tools that they have available to equip them to be proactive when it comes to knowing the financial stability of those that they are dealing with.

The annual My Business Expo entices more than 25 000 visitors, 500 exhibitors and sponsors each year – it’s the most successful show of its kind in the country.  It is geared towards future and seasoned business owners or entrepreneurs and delivers practical and interactive information, strategies and ideas which can be applied to their future, start-up or growing business.  More than 250 partners and exhibitors will be dispensing knowledge relevant to address the latest trends and needs in the business environment.

“We are excited to be including the Experian Credit Wellness Workshop as part of the national My Business Expo and believe that it will help educate delegates to think more about how to  overcome the obstacles stopping SMEs getting  access to finance,” says Mike Anderson, NSBC Founder & CEO.

My Business Expo is free to attend for anyone that pre-registers who is serious about starting a business or expanding a business.  The events take place in Johannesburg on 12 March, Durban on 4 June, Port Elizabeth on 13 August and in Cape Town on 10 September.

 

CAPTION: Keith Wardell SUPPLIED IMAGE