One of the downsides to having your own business is having to chase money that is owed to you. This year I am seem to be doing more chasing than usual. There seems to be a number of different recalcitrant payers.
1. The Conman; as the name implies they engage your services with absolutely no intention of paying you for those services. I tend to encounter one of these cretins a year, they often have a very high opinion of themselves, arrogant, self obsessed and parasitic. This year's was a supposedly reputable development company from North Wales, who turned out to be far from that. The cheque's in the post is a favourite line of this type of person.
2. The Dreamer; these people are well intentioned, they are looking to make money from a new venture or development but do not realise the cost of the work involved or have a plan to raise sufficient finance to keep their project on track. You would not believe how many people engage your services with no means to pay you, I wonder if they go to the supermarket and ask if they can pay fro their grocery once they get some money? With these guys you get the money eventually, but expect a bloody long wait.
3. Mr Forgetful; send an invoice, 30 days later send a reminder, then maybe a reminder phone call - at this point you may be lucky and they'll have the cheque book in front of them as you call and they'll remember to send you payment. If you're not that lucky, they'll forget and you end up going through the previous steps again and wait another month at least. Mr or Mrs Forgetful does pay, but expect to wait between 3 to 6 months.
4. Resentful; these people resent parting with their cash, resent you for having their cash, and resent how much cash the work costs. Typically you get paid after the 1st reminder, although resentfully!
5. The Bully; typical behaviour of big companies who think they can use their might and the volume of work they can provide you as an excuse to practice in dodgy payment procedure. Be wary of companies with different arms, i.e. Joe Blogs Group, who incorporate Joe blogs Building, Joe Blogs M&E etc., common practice for these outfits is to use their sub-contractors to manage cash-flow. Expect late payments, withholding money for arbitrary reasons - spelling mistake on your invoice, invoice submitted a day late for example. These companies bully and won't change, avoid them at all costs!
6. A1 Client; My favourite! Tend to be small companies or private individuals, they tend to be successful but understated, friendly and polite and always pay early! These are a delight to work for, and you can NEVER do enough for these people!!
Just a little insight into the world of small business, and if you engage someone to do work for you, pay them early or on time, you'll always get much better service in the future!
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