Despite a difficult business climate over the last few years, our entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in America. We are resourceful and resilient and constantly find ways to overcome our challenges in business and in life.

When starting a business, one of the biggest challenges is securing your funding. You can have one of the best ideas out there, but until you get your financial house in order, that great idea for a business will remain a "some day I ought to" dream.

It takes a significant investment to bring a new business from concept to reality, and more often than we'd like to admit, it can take years before significant profits can be realized. Innovation may start with a great idea, but right after that comes the need for money -- and usually a lot more than you think you need.

Your Personal Credit Score Matters

VC or angel investors will wait for a new business to prove itself before considering jumping on board. Most often, in the earliest stages, new business owners have to secure financing on their own. Entrepreneurs often start with personal credit lines or need to personally guarantee a loan, so their credit history and credit worthiness are very important.

While an entrepreneur wears many hats to launch a business, they are often unaware or unprepared to deal with issues surrounding their credit worthiness. If they have a low FICO score and cannot secure simple loans, the business may not be able to launch, or it may fail soon after launch when cash on hand dries up before sales have a chance to grow. Poor or mediocre credit history can result from several things:

Late or missing payments will bring your score down A divorce can muddy the waters on a credit report Medical billing can be notoriously inaccurate and have a negative impact Errors on a credit report are common and can cause problems until they are resolved or removed Over-extended credit will further reduce your credit score

For these reasons, it's really important that you be proactive when it comes to your credit score. Even if you don't think that this has been a big issue in the past, there are always ways to improve a decent credit score.

5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Credit Worthiness

Credit repair firm, Lexington Law, suggests five activities that will help preserve and enhance your credit worthiness, which will make your credit maintenance and repair much simpler:

Check Your Credit Report Regularly. Errors often appear in credit histories, either from erroneously reported data or identity mistakes or mismatches. The credit bureaus don't know what is accurate; they just report what they receive. You have to check your history yourself regularly. Check Your Credit Score. Your FICO score and your credit history are interconnected, but reported separately. Know what they both are and use a professional to verify accuracy, if needed. Your FICO score is used by 90% of lenders nationwide. Reduce Your Debt. This is a no-brainer but it impacts far too many people, especially entrepreneurs who load up on debt to pay the bills while they work to make their venture successful. Consult a financial planner or a credit repair professional for a fresh perspective and to help you clarify your situation, prioritize and develop a repayment strategy. Savings. If you don't have much in savings, you aren't alone. According to a recent Equifax survey, 42% of Americans don't have the liquid funds to cover a $1,000 emergency. You don't need a big income to start saving. Cutting just a little from your monthly expenses can help build savings, and savings amounts are often considered when a person applies for a loan. Get Informed. Entrepreneurs may know a lot about their specific technology or product, but they may not know so much about credit. Financial knowledge isn't intuitive and no one has the answers without doing some research or getting help.

Find the right partners who can educate you and hold your hand as you navigate the complex world of finances and credit. You'll make better decisions, and others who will evaluate you and your credit worthiness will see you more positively to support your dreams and hard work. I also highly recommend you check out a few of my past articles such as: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom, How to Retire Rich, and How Money Does, Indeed, Buy Happiness.

Published on: Apr 26, 2017