Late payment frustration boils over in Liverpool…

Cashflow & Forecasts, News,

We often talk about late payments and the impact they can have on small businesses. They put additional pressure on cash flow, cause sleepless nights and can be even cause the failure of businesses if they are allowed to escalate.

Sadly, some large businesses take advantage of their size and buying power, putting pressure on smaller enterprises to accept the situation or lose the sale, but they effectively end up subsidising the large business. This is why the Carillion collapse was such an issue last year.

The frustration caused to business owners by late payments can be huge, and yesterday this boiled over for one builder in Liverpool. He was owed £600 for his work towards a new Travelodge, and decided to take action himself.

Instead of chasing for payment, and accepting any payment promises, he drove a small digger into the reception of the new Travelodge and caused havoc.

Whilst the action taken was undoubtedly wrong, and is likely to cause greater hardship to the family of the builder involved, any business owner will be able to empathise.

The work had been completed, yet payment had not been made, despite repeated chasers.

The builder was missing the £600 over Christmas, and his family’s celebrations suffered as a result.

Whilst the amount may not be huge, when compared to the Carillion situation for example, the principal is wrong that payment had not been made in accordance with the agreed terms.

Sadly, there is little incentive for larger businesses to adhere to the payment terms they may have agreed to, particularly if the supplier wants to maintain the relationship.

The Government announced a crack-down on late payments in the Spring Statement last year, and evidence has been called for recently. These steps though will take time to feed through, and many small businesses are struggling now; waiting for any changes to come through will be too late for some of them.

Whilst we can in no way condone the actions taken by the driver of the Liverpool digger, we absolutely understand the frustration that prompted it.

If you’re struggling with late payments, there are things you can do. Check out our earlier blog posts, or get in touch to find out how we may be able to help. We’ve helped lots of businesses improve their cash position over the years, and would be very happy to help you too.

 

You can find more details about the Travelodge Digger here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-46953987