Lauren Silkowski is a small business specialist at U.S. Bank. Silkowski actively works with and networks among local small business owners with less than 3 million in annual revenues. She builds individual relationships and serves as a trusted advisor to help improve financial positions and streamline processes for small businesses. Silkowski provides a detailed analysis and customized financial solutions for every business model while providing a superior level of service.
Silkowski graduated from The University of Illinois at Chicago with a business degree concentrating in marketing and accounting. She has worked with small businesses and the financial industry for several years. Silkowski has been able to help many small businesses achieve their goals, overcome challenges and fine tune strategies with her financial expertise. She shares her financial expertise and knowledge with small business owners.
(Photo courtesy of Lauren Silkowski)
What are the top five things small businesses can do to be successful in the marketplace in terms of finance?
- Monitoring your personal credit scores. Banks typically will pull a personal credit bureau report when you apply for bank financing. It is a good idea to periodically check your credit score to ensure it is accurate and up to date. Banks typically look at payment history, credit utilization and debt to income.
- Establishing business credit. Whether you are starting up a business or have been around for several years, it is pertinent to establish financing in the business name. Banks reference prior loan payment history when they are looking to decide on a new loan request. Having a positive history of business loan payments can help you with future financing needs. Becoming over-leveraged is something to be cautious of as well.
- The value of business lines of credit. Many small business owners utilize a working capital line of credit to assist with their cash flow cycle. Having a business line of credit is valuable for business owners to help avoid depleting their cash reserves.
- Take advantage of tax deductions. It is important to understand what assets can be used for business tax deductions each year. Many purchases and leases of new commercial equipment and vehicles can allow for business tax deductions.
- Protecting against internal and external fraud. Banks have many different types of technology to help manage the movement of money in and out of your business and put protective controls in place. Being up to date on recent events, such as the liability shift with credit card payment processing, can help keep your business protected from fraudulent transactions.
This article was written by Michelle Guilbeau for Small Business Pulse