Once upon a time, not so long ago, small businesses were able to get credit with few restrictions. Sadly, times have changed. Obtaining credit can now be quite difficult for your sign businesses, and many are afraid to stumble upon unfavorable terms or accrue excessive debt.

However, when used wisely, credit can be a powerful tool for small business owners. And, in reality, while the financial world has changed drastically, the rules for credit aren’t exactly new. In fact, the strategies for building credit have reverted back to the rules that businesses used to use years ago. The problem is that many people are having trouble adjusting. Build credit for your business by relearning how to do so, and you’ll see a big difference in years to come. Here are four rules you’ll want to follow to build credit for your small business:

1. Keep ‘Em Separated. When building credit for your business it is vital that you keep your business credit separate from your personal credit. For many it is “common knowledge” that personal credit cards, or home-equity lines can be used for business purposes. While doing so does make it easier to get started, you end up putting your personal assets at risk if contracts are put on hold or are cancelled. Build your business credit by starting small with a business credit card, and keeping your personal credit completely separate, also, always make sure to use a source that has great ecom credit card processing systems when making a purchase.

2. Build Your Business on Debt. As your business grows, paying back your vendors is an opportunity to view business credit. Instead of paying back in cash, use revolving credit accounts. Doing so builds your credit profile and can save you money in the future in the event that you need to borrow more. In addition, if clients owe you money, you can turn it to the positive side by borrowing against accounts receivables to reduce problems in cash flow.

3. Make Friends with Your Local Banker. Back in the day, every business owner had a close relationship with his banker, and that resulted in a trusting relationship. In recent years, that close relationship has been lost. However, if you are using a local community bank, chances are they want to get to know you and your business. Not only do they want to understand your needs and work with you to find financial solutions for your business, they likely have a powerful network of connections in the community that can prove useful for your business. Having a solid relationship with your banker can be a major benefit for your small business.

4. Think of the Long Run. Small businesses should be thinking of the long run for many reasons, and building good credit is one of them. They should be able to provide a long-term plan for their loans, in addition to providing solid reasons as to why the loan is needed. Small businesses should aim to prove to potential investors that they are in fact a good risk.

Financial success and building credit takes time. Return back to the “old-fashioned” ways of building credit and you will find that success comes just a touch easier.