No factor is so necessary in building up business as credit, and no factor is so necessary in building up credit as truth. It is comparatively easy to start credit, but the art is to keep credit.
The young business woman who says "I want no credit, I buy and sell for cash" makes a mistake. It is all right to pay promptly, but do not establish a spot cash payment basis, for later on, when you ask credit, your creditors will think something is wrong.
Establish a credit whether you need it or not. It is a good advertisement and a frequent help.
Be reasonably slow in paying your bills, but positively sure that you do pay them.
When you get a sharp or blunt letter asking for a settlement, go to your creditor face to face, set a date when you will make a payment and keep your agreement.
Don't be specific as to amount unless you are decidedly sure you can do it. Be specific as to date, however, and be there or have your check there on the date.
Suppose a woman owes you $100 and you ask her for it and she says "Here are ten dollars on account, and on next Thursday I will make another payment, and as often as I can I will pay something until you are fully paid up." You don't get angry at that woman when you see her intentions are good and she is doing her best.
So long as your creditor gets something every time she writes it keeps her good natured.
It is the woman who breaks promises who gets hard usage from the creditors.
If you owe more than your present cash balance can liquidate, make a pro rata payment all around among your creditors.
Write a good square letter saying nothing would please you more than to send a check in full, and that this payment is made as evidence of your willingness and intention to keep good faith.
Keep in touch personally with your creditors as far as possible. Talk to them of your plans and prospects. Always tell the truth. Have your account as a moral risk rather than as a Dun or Bradstreet risk.
There is sentiment in business. Creditors have hearts and they have good impulses. They appreciate friendship and especially gratitude. Don't believe a word of that great untruth "There is no sentiment in business."
Don't get angry when asked for money. Admit your slowness and tell your creditor that as an offset for your present slowness you have a good memory and a heart that appreciates, and some day your purchases will be much larger, and those who are your friends now will certainly get the benefit when the time comes that you do not require favours.
An honest, frank, heart to heart talk is most valuable. The credit woman keeps the truthful woman in mind and her account under her protecting wing. The credit woman glories with you, and has a distinct interest in your success when it comes.
It often happens that the small bank or small manufacturer is the best place for the beginner to go for credit. You can get closer to the small growing creditor than you can to the big person who is independent.
The big bank is cold blooded. It insists upon security and collateral. Your account in a big bank is only an incidental detail, and the cashier is cold and distant and blunt.
The small bank, however, gives you more time and attention, is more interested in you and can remember you much better than the big bank.
Avoid bad associates. You can't play the races and give wine dinners and maintain strong confidence with your creditors.
You must be worthy of the confidence reposed in you. It is your duty and part of the contract to be reliable and truthful.
Every time a creditor gets out of sorts go to her and pay her something, and she will quiet down.
Be grateful. Don't be afraid to express yourself freely and frequently on this point.
When you are caught up and financially strong stick to those who stuck by you.
Remember, credit is based on confidence in the individual rather than in her bank account.
Don't get into nasty arguments or disputes. Give and take. Be fair. Be square. Keep your temper. Stoop to conquer. Cut out all thoughts of revenge.
When a house does not treat you right, curb your temper, and, as soon as you can, get in touch with some other good house.
Tell the new house frankly why you changed.
Credit is a subsidy, and it stands the hustling business woman in good stead.
Many women have started in business with a capital only of ability, hard work, honesty and good reputation.
The use or abuse of credit determines whether a woman will rise or fall.
Keep your record clean, and if later you get on the shoals your past will stand you in good stead.
If you have been given to sharp practice or dishonesty, woe be unto you when you fall.
Remember these things carefully. Keep in personal touch with your creditors, keep your promises, pay on account when you cannot pay in full, hustle, be honest, keep good company, don't gamble, don't be a sport. If you practice these virtues, offers of aid will come to you rather than flee from you.
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