Why are we scared about asking to be paid?

By LBV

05 May 2010

Ask most employees what they grumble about and ask their employers about most, and it’s likely to be getting their pay cheque on time.

Yet when we create new enterprises, we suddenly seem to lose this boldness and capitulate to our customers when they’re late in paying our bills and invoices to them – to the tune of over £62 billion for small businesses!

So why this change in attitude over money between being an employee and being an employer?

I have a suspicion it’s about fear.

We’re frightened that if we appear pushy, our customers won’t come back or, even more damningly, our customers start to think: “If they’re so desperate for our money, then they must be in trouble, so better take my business elsewhere”.

So what do we do?

Well, for starters, let’s be more open about talking about money and getting paid – raise it as soon as we can as part of negotiations with customers and clients.

Be clear about when they want to pay and when you want to be paid from the outset. Negotiate, haggle, and agree compromises. After all, we do that already over the price and delivery schedule, so why not the payment terms?

Plan the cash flow: so many businesses fail because they run out of cash before they get paid – I’ve seen it happen, including to a business that was making more than £1 million profit annually (I helped their employees subsequently buy-out the business).

Finally – don’t forget the easy stuff: there’s a lot of legislation you can use to support you asking to be paid.

The biggest (and least well known) being the Late Payment Act which says that as a small business, you can charge interest on what you’re owed if its late in being paid. And after all, it’s not you that’s chosen to charge interest: it’s the government and their legislation... so no risk to your personal relationships.

I’ve used it a number of times and on each occasion got paid more promptly and had that client/customer book me for further work.

Simple things that, with a bit of thinking and planning, can make all the difference to getting that overdraft reduced and staying in business.

Or maybe there’s something about ‘being British’ that means we like being owed more than £62 billion and not being able to cash it?

Adrian Ashton, business advisor and trainer, Pennine Lancashire Enterprise Trust and www.adrianashton.co.uk

 

Enjoyed this? Read more from LBV

Latest news

1

Forbes makes Manchester move Forbes Manchester

Forbes makes Manchester move

15 Apr 2024

2

Blackpool approves plans for pair of apartment complexes New South Promenade Apartments Visuals

Blackpool approves plans for pair of apartment complexes

12 Apr 2024

3

Distinguished engineer takes senior role at Lancaster University Rebecca Lingwood

Distinguished engineer takes senior role at Lancaster University

11 Apr 2024

4

International building supplies firm to open new plant in Preston New Kerakoll Group Premises Visuals

International building supplies firm to open new plant in Preston

11 Apr 2024

5

UVS launches new dedicated global service Screenshot 2024-04-15 at 11.23.34.png.png

UVS launches new dedicated global service

15 Apr 2024

Hwc 2024 Email Signature 980x120
Background image for hub sign up block

LBV Hub

Reach 50,000 members of the Lancashire business community

Post your news
Post your events
Post your offers
Company profile
Social reach
Magazine coverage
Sign-up
Events
Health and Wellbeing Conference 2024
Hwc 2024 Social Media 1200px 1
Networking
23 Apr 2024

Health and Wellbeing Conference 2024

Crow Wood Hotel, Burnley , BB12 0RT

08:30 - 13:00

Help to Grow Management Course
HTG2.png.png
LBV Hub Seminars
15 Apr 2024 - 17 Jul 2024

Help to Grow Management Course

Preston Campus , Preston , PR1 2HE

09:30 - 14:00

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Vista
EVENT LISTING SIZING Vista.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
16 Apr 2024

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Vista

Hampton by Hilton, 2 Frontier Ave, Blackburn, BB1 3AL

06:45 - 08:30

Business Networking in Chorley - BNI Endeavour
EVENT LISTING SIZING Endeavour.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
16 Apr 2024

Business Networking in Chorley - BNI Endeavour

Oak Royal, Bury Lane, Chorley, PR6 8SW

06:30 - 08:30

Business Networking in Lancaster - Eden Business Network
EVENT LISTING Eden Business Network.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
17 Apr 2024

Business Networking in Lancaster - Eden Business Network

The Borough, 3 Dalton Square, Lancaster, LA1 1PP

18:30 - 20:30

Business Networking in Accrington - BNI Zeus
EVENT LISTING SIZING Zeus.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
17 Apr 2024

Business Networking in Accrington - BNI Zeus

The Mill House, Corn Mill Yard, Accrington, BB5 5HX

06:45 - 08:30

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Diamond
EVENT LISTING BNI Diamond.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
17 Apr 2024

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Diamond

The Marriot Hotel, Garstang Road, Broughton, PR3 5JB

07:15 - 09:00

Cyber Secure 360: Safeguarding Your Digital World
CyberSecure 360 LBV-32.png.png
LBV Hub Seminars
18 Apr 2024 - 18 Apr 2024

Cyber Secure 360: Safeguarding Your Digital World

Accrington Stanley, Accrington, BB5 5BX

08:30 - 12:00

Business Networking in Burnley - BNI Kudos
EVENT LISTING BNI Kudos.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
18 Apr 2024

Business Networking in Burnley - BNI Kudos

Prairie Sports Village, Windemere Avenue, Burnley, BB10 2FU

06:45 - 08:30

Business Networking in Preston- BNI Brunch
EVENT LISTING SIZING Brunch .png.png
LBV Hub Networking
19 Apr 2024

Business Networking in Preston- BNI Brunch

Samlesbury Preston Hotel, Preston New Road, Preston, PR5 0UL

09:30 - 11:00

The Pro Club
Untitled design (6).png.png
LBV Hub Networking
19 Apr 2024

The Pro Club

Fraser House, Lancaster, LA1 4XQ

09:30 - 12:30

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Infinity
EVENT LISTING BNI Infinity.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
19 Apr 2024

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Infinity

Hampton by Hilton, 2 Frontier Ave, Blackburn, BB1 3AL

06:30 - 08:30

Advertise with us

Reaching 50,000 members, our print, digital and event platforms offer a fantastic way to raise your business profile and help you grow.

Find out more Lbv115 Online Graphic
Subscribe now

Weekly news bulletin