Make Wealth Flow Towards You!

How to make money run after you (Part 9)

Posted by on Jan 28, 2012 in Money Management | 27 comments

Credit Cards and Businesses!

My Ninong came to visit us from Canada a few years ago, and during one of our lunch get togethers, I overheard a conversation he had with my mom about credit cards. My Ninong you see is a retired corporate executive and is brilliant with money management but was never really a businessman. My mom on the other hand, although an excellent business woman herself, and is a mentor to me in more ways than she knows, believes in cash more than credit and has been very conservative with loans. So the conversation went something like this:

 

Ninong: “You know, the credit card companies in the Philippines are getting a little too aggressive for me. When I got back a few days ago, I received a phone call from my bank saying that they were giving me a card for free with a ridiculous credit line. It was so big that it scared the hell out if me! So I turned it down.”

 

Mom: “Yes, the same thing happened to me a few months ago and I also turned them down, I mean, it is scary how much credit they are giving away, I don’t want to be responsible for that kind of money, I mean, I am afraid of what could happen if I lost the card and fail to report it on time, I would be liable for a huge amount.”

 

So I joined the conversation as I believed in the complete opposite.

 

Me: “…Well, I definitely understand why both of you feel that way, and I would agree 100% if I was using credit cards as a consumer… But as a businessman, I actually would think twice about turning down a credit line that the bank is willing to offer you for free. In fact, I personally have multiple credit cards right now and I work hard on increasing the spending limits of each of those cards. Because you see in business, it is crucial to have ‘Ready credit’ at a moments notice.”

 

Both of them looked at me incredulously as if saying, you are out of your mind if you are using credit cards for business purposes.

 

So I explained further:

 

“Okay, don’t get me wrong guys, I do not use credit cards to start a business. Using credit cards to fund a start-up business would be extremely risky and definitely not very smart… My purpose for credit cards is to get me out of emergency cash-flow jams when the business is already up and running with a steady stream of income…Every single business on Earth will eventually have a cash-flow problem. Take the case of my first business*, sales were dismal, in fact for the first 8 months of its existence, there was no money coming in and I was pouring in all my savings and income from my job into the business to pay for salaries, rent, electricity, etc. And because I didn’t know how to use my credit cards properly back then, I had to resort to borrowing from loan sharks who would charge me anywhere from 5 to 7% per month just to pay for my overhead. It wasn’t pretty that was for sure. But when I finally learned how to properly use credit cards, that helped me tremendously with my next business ventures”

 

*I shared the story of my glorious failure and comeback of my first business in my article series titled: Business and the start of a beautiful relationship parts 1 to 3. To read those articles, please go to my blog at www.wealthflowproject.com

 

Now, at this point, both my Ninong and my Mom were listening intently, so I continued.

 

“You see, once you figure out how to start a business with positive cash flow, and be profitable from the very beginning, that is the time I take full advantage of my credit cards. Because even if your business has a positive cash flow business model like mine, it will eventually have a cash flow problem down the line, the difference is, this time around the business has actual sales but sometimes, collection delays can will cause you to scramble to generate cash for payroll, or rent or any other business expense. This is where my credit cards come in very, very handy. If I already see a cash flow problem a few weeks from now, I would already start canvassing and calling up my credit card providers and ask how much the rates are for short term loans. And because, I’ve learned to properly manage my credit cards extremely well (with the help of my wife), I can get very affordable cash loans without collateral from my credit cards.”

 

Ninong: “How much interest do they charge you per month?”

 

Me: “The lowest interest I’ve ever received is 0.79% fixed interest per month for 12 months and the highest one I ever accepted was 1.25% fixed interest per month for 12 months. Which is way cheaper than those loan sharks would charge. And, to top it off, I didn’t need to provide any collateral, the check was ready in 2 business days, and most of all, it provided me with cash-flow security during the most trying times of the business.”

 

Ninong: “Well, I definitely see your point Mark, but exorbitant credit lines are just way to risky for me especially since I’m just staying in Manila for a few months. Aren’t you scared of having too much credit at any given time?”

 

Me: “Credit if used unprofitably is definitely scary, but if used to keep your cash flow healthy, I welcome it with open arms anytime. And believe me Ninong, in the next few years, everything will be about credit. I’m just glad I learned how to use it to my advantage early on because when the time comes where everything will be about credit, I will be one of the few who will be ready.”

 

And with that, I passed him the stuffed chicken my Mom makes so well, and we had a wonderful lunch.

 

Stay tuned for the next article where I talk about negative and positive cash-flow businesses.

 

Author Box:

Mark So is a fervent businessman, Investor and educator.  He is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy—a business, finance and corporate training center.  He is the founder and Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Asia, A Trading club of Forex Traders across Asia. He is also the Founder and Chief Trainer of the Philippine Franchise Institute which specializes in training and growing existing Franchise businesses.  A sought after speaker for business, investing, You may email your comments and questions to: markso@wealthflowproject.com or call the office at 6874445 / 6873416 / 6874645 for a schedule of his seminars

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27 Comments

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  1. christian m. mencias

    I’m an avid reader of your articles in manila bulletin. I hope you have many more tips on how to make money and managing finances. Thank you for your very informative articles.

  2. Neri

    That’s absolutely right Mark!

  3. richard c viador

    this article gives me a new insight about credit cards and how to use it well.thanks sir mark for a wonderful advice.God bless!

  4. Kimberlie Stramiello

    I love the efforts you have put in this, thanks for all the great blog posts.

  5. lolly

    i’m also scared of those credit cards, but with this article , i’m learning little by little on how to use it .

  6. RHEA

    That opened my mind and got me thinking on how to take advantage of the credit card for our business’ needs. Thanks Sir Mark!

  7. Michael

    Good day, Mark.
    After reading your last article re credit card loans. I am still quite apprehensive in using these kinds of loans. Though it’s rates are quite competitive than those offered by banks, it’s still scary to avail such kind of loans. Maybe later when you have explained or expound more on these kinds of of sources of funds for our business. Thanks!

  8. Yllen

    Thank you for the insight.

  9. James

    This is the best by far! Short term loans with no collateral? Genius! I never thought of it that way. I always turned down calls from my credit card company regarding short term loans. Now I know that I can actually call them WHEN I need short term loans. Great great great!!!! :)

  10. Loreto Apilado

    Credit card for me is a sacred. I consider as cash and not credit (utang). Its for convenience with utmost discipline. I love your advice on credit helping my business, but for me credit is I considered as capital…a hard working capital literally.

  11. Djoanna

    Never saw credit card in this light… Thanks!

  12. bheng

    sir mark i am really very much interested on attending business seminars so i could learn more because in the near future if God’s will i wanted to start my own business too.please kindly reply me for some tips in starting a business and what kind of business etc. thank you!!

  13. Jurdan

    Thanks for this Mark,

  14. buddy oberas

    Thanks Mark, clear and simple illustration of becoming smarter in this article. Bless you more

  15. Gilbert Z. Apostol

    Thank you Sir Mark for giving me a new perspective on how to use credit card to my advantage. It sure gave me a fresher outlook on credit card use particularly in using it in my business.

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