Do’s and dont’s if you are being chased for money

So many of my posts focus on how to get paid but it occurred to me that there is a whole other world out there that may need some help- those who owe the money. I am sure tight cash flow has affected us all at one stage or another and not being able to pay an invoice on time doesn’t make you a bad person- it makes you human. How to handle being in this situation however is hard so here are my suggestions if you find yourself being chased by suppliers:

– Tell them. So simple, so obvious but so rarely done. It is like being an alcoholic- admitting you have a problem is the first hurdle. Admitting you can’t pay someone takes almost as much guts which is why so many people don’t do it.

– Ask for an extension. Another 7 days, 14 days, it doesn’t matter- if you need more time, just ask for it. I have never met a business owner who isn’t sympathetic to the plight of another business owner doing it a little tough. Just ask.

– Pay something. Even if you don’t tell them, just put something in their bank account. Whatever you can afford.

– Offer a payment plan. Weekly is ideal, fortnightly is next best. But if you do, make sure you are comfortable with it. The worst thing you can do is commit to something you can’t afford.

– Say sorry. So many people struggle with apologising but it is the single most powerful word you have at your disposal in this position. Swallow that pride and use it liberally.


– Ignore them. Single most frustrating thing about collecting money. Anyone who ever has had to will know what I mean. Answer their calls, call them back, reply to their emails. Just don’t bury that head in the sand. It won’t go away.

– Promise to pay if you know you can’t. Nobody likes being told what they want to hear.

– Make up a dispute just to buy yourself time. Lying and saying you aren’t happy might make you feel slightly less guilty, but all you will do is antagonise your supplier and pi** them right off.

– Say you have paid it when you know you haven’t. The epitome of dishonest, you would be shocked at how many people still do this. This is often made worse by then ‘blaming the bank’. Please, just don’t do it.

– Agree to unrealistic or unreasonable demands. You have rights- probably more than you realise. If your supplier is being difficult and refuses to help you out, explain that them doing so isn’t going to make you pay any sooner and may in fact have the opposite effect. Tell them that you are doing your best but if they aren’t willing to co-operate then there isn’t anything else you can do.

I hope this helps guys. If anyone would like an email template on how to ask a supplier for more time, just let me know. Cheers

Do’s and dont’s if you are being chased for money

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