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Small business being hit for six!
It's really quite sad to note that the majority of calls coming into the office so far.. read more
Small business being hit for six!
Posted: April 11, 2012
It's really quite sad to note that the majority of calls coming into the office so far this year have been from smaller businesses and sole traders. I suppose that every business has to start somewhere and, more often than not, they are founded on trade received from friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Whilst this is the logical way to start it can often cause problems further down the line when things start to get rough. Friends assume that you will help them, continue supplying goods and services and accept that their payments may be delayed for a while until they sort themselves out. Obviously, you want to help but you soon find out that your bill seems to have disappeared to the bottom of the pile never to be seen again. It's not only that, big businesses nowadays seem to see smaller Suppliers as fair game for paying late or, sometimes, not at all. As their profit margins are hit so are your terms and payments. Spurious disputes arise and, as you really need their business, you find it hard to argue too much. Work that was originally signed off as good and acceptable now seems to be substandard or someone has just opened a box and found that there is only half as much in it as you have invoiced for! (Why is it that there are always claims for shortages but invariably for 'overs'?). Add to this the actions of Banks in reducing the availiability of funds, particularly by way of invoice financing arrangements, and you're left with the huge headache of how to pay your Suppliers, bills and Staff.
There are just so, so many ways that the smaller business is made to suffer and many feel that they have to concede just to keep the orders and work coming in. This often leads to cash flow problems that stunt growth or, in some cases, send the business under. Cash is the life blood of every business and when that stops flowing then the end is near.
Just because the people who own or run the business are rich doesn't mean that their business is successful. Some people get rich at the expense of others - and they just don't care!
There are people about who aren't like you. They have no principles, they have no morals. If their business isn't doing well then they wind it up and start up all over again expecting you to carry on supplying them as if nothing had happened.
Friends are people that you have outside of the '9-5' timespan. In between those times they are valuable Customers, nothing more.
The Customer is King. DO NOT allow him to become a Dictator!
So, I hear you cry, how do we stop all of this???
Well, to start with, you are going to have to be a man (or woman) and stand up for yourself. It's your business and livelihood that is at stake. Communication is essential. Talk to your Customer, tell them that business is a two way thing, it's all about give and take. Not you give - they take. Negotiate a win - win deal that is suitable and profitable for you both. Make it clear that you value their business and want a healthly relationship going forward that will enable you both to grow and succeed. Make it clear that you can help them but, in return, they need to look after you.
There are so many scenarios in which you can get easily caught out there's no way we can address every situation here. So, if you've got a particular problem then please, feel free to call and discuss it with us - (confidentiality is guaranteed) - and we'll do our best to help you. There'll be no charge. Alternatively, we can always be your BIG BROTHER and sort them out for you. We have a wide and comprehensive range of services on offer at very affordable prices that will suit all businesses allowing you to do what you do best, growing your Company. Whether you just want a moan and a chat or some advice, are worried about one Customer or them all, right through to a complete Credit Control service including credit vetting moniotoring and debt collection, we can tailor something to your needs allowing you to relax a bit more.
For an immediate response call 07933 758070 or e-mail me at
Don't let the beggars get you down!!