Even I Have A Soft Spot For Credit, With Limits
Even though I love what I do, I work hard and long to make Indie Business Media, LLC and the Indie Beauty Network profitable. To do that, I associate with the banking and credit card industries from time to time. But as you can see from this post and this one, and this video clip, I'd rather save money than spend it.
Having said that, even though I don't rely unnecessarily on credit, I do partner with credit card companies when doing so makes my business cost effective and efficient. So I was excited when a writer at Credit Cards.com asked me to comment on how I use credit cards in my business. I was even more excited to learn that they were kind enough to include some of my comments in today's article about how small businesses use credit cards.
Great article, guys! Thanks for including me!
A few things I told them that didn't make the cut follow.
1. Always Take Notes. Credit card companies and banks record everything you say when you speak with their reps on the phone. You need to do the same. Write down the name and employee identification number of the person you speak with, the main points of each conversation and the date and time. This ensures that if there's ever a dispute over a promise made or a fee waived, you have your own set of records.
2. Get Late Fees Wavied. If you are a good and consistently paying customer who misses a payment date by a few days now and then, ask them to waive the late fee. Usually, the fee has to be imposed before they can waive it so be sure that you check your statement to make sure that it is deducted from the following statement.
3. Respect Your Indie Self. I didn't mention this in the interview, but I never miss an opportunity to share my opinion that we Indies should view ourselves as financial partners with banking institutions and credit card companies, not merely as consumers of their products and services.
If you're a consumer, you'll end up being consumed.
Bring a well informed business head to the table when taking out a loan or getting a new credit card. Negotiate the lowest interest rate you possibly can, and the most favorable payment terms. Get a low annual fee credit card that you pay off each month to avoid interest charges altogether. Try to avoid late fees, but when you can't, ask for them to be waived.
Indies bring as much to the financial and business tables (actually more, since we also drag our hopes and dreams along for the ride) as banks and credit card companies do. We need them, yes. But where would they be without us?
As an equal partner, don't give away your money in the form of late fees and high interest rates. Decorate your office. Not theirs.