The business argument for paying up

Do please have a look at page 24.  It’s about getting paid.  Now some might think this topic to be a little vulgar.  But it’s not. It’s fundamental.  And the moving industry has a problem.  The story is a bringing together of the thoughts of people in the industry.  I have reported their concerns, mainly anonymously, because many of them were concerned about the reprisals, from the very people who owe them money, should they be identified.  Hmmmm!  Am I alone in thinking there seems to something a little out-of-square here? 

The problems are detailed in the story, so there’s no need for me to repeat them here. But this is the place where I am able to voice my own opinion, so here goes.  Firstly, let me say, that I know cash flow can be a headache and most businesses find themselves in a bind occasionally.  But, as far as I can tell, that’s not the problem.  I also know that, in some cases, invoices are genuinely disputed.  That’s likely to hold things up too. But it appears that there is also something less savoury going on: something that leaves a sour taste in what is supposed to be a friendly and cooperative industry.

If there are disputes about invoicing it seems to me that there should be mechanisms in place to sort them out in short order.  Once they have been agreed, I can see no good reason why they shouldn’t be paid straight away.  To accept a service from someone, and then purposely find ways of delaying payment, or just not paying until they scream at you, is wrong. Not only is it morally wrong, it’s also poor business practice.  Yes, the accountant might be pleased with his debtor/creditor days ratio, but that’s not quite the point is it.

In our business we need friends.  We have to cooperate. If we treat people well, allow them to make a reasonable profit, and pay them on time, we are fostering a relationship in which business can flourish.  When the inevitable difficulties arise, we can rely on each other to help out. If we try to screw them, they will screw us when it suits. If those with the big muscles, deep pockets and short arms think they can get away with it, I believe they are mistaken.  What’s more, the rest of us should not deal with them.

Steve Jordan, Editor, The Mover