Credit Matters Blog

Who Do You Blame For Non-Payment?

Kim Radok 12 September 2012


It seems today that we live in a world where everybody else is to blame for our problems. For instance, I often hear business owners blame their customers for not paying their invoices.

The fact that most of these business owners blame their customers occurs because it is easier to blame the customer rather than accept responsibility for their own actions. We have all been guilty of blaming others at some stage of our lives. I am no exception, as a wise old credit manager told me one day when I was in a rant and rave mode. 

Those business people, who blame others for their business predicaments, generally do so for the following reasons;

(a)  a lack of business acumen and experience;

(b)  not listening to their employees;

(c)  refusing to learn from their experiences with customers;

(d)  avoidance and not making decisions to address the issues exposed; or

(e)  believe they cannot do anything to resolve their issues.

A lack of business acumen and experience is one we all fall into to some extent, especially when we first start our business careers. You cannot know what you have not learnt or experienced. All the other reasons are the fault of the business owner and their managers at some stage.

However no matter the situation, all need not be lost. The minute a business owner and their managers decide to accept their responsibilities, the world changes. Furthermore there are so many ways of doing business today and there are options available if we wish to explore them.

Let us assume you are a business owner or manager who has made the decision to take responsibility for your business. What can you do? I suggest you should review the following information.

1 Stand up and take back ownership by saying - "It is my/our business and I/we can trade in a manner that I/we want to!"

This statement is both uplifting and is the starting "line-in-sand" point of all your self-motivational reinforcement strategies for moving forward.

2 Surround yourself with good business mentors who can guide you when business gets tough and leaves you feeling isolated.

3 Find those employees who care about their jobs, their professionalism, and about the welfare of the business which employs them. More importantly, you need to be willing to trust these people and their experiences.

Note: a business is a community of people; it is not just an accounting trading entity.

4 Create the Terms and Conditions of Trade which suit YOUR business.

5 Provide BOTH sales and accounts employees with appropriate training and the tools of their respective professions. In addition, encourage both groups of employees to respect each other and to work together.

History shows us repeatedly that a champion team beats a team of dysfunctional champions.

6 Be customer centric about matters of service and supply; but not about payment rights.

7 Use the different payment facilities available to your business today and design selling practices around these payment methodologies.

8 Design each selling and payment strategy for the customer in front of you. There is no such thing as a normal customer.

9 Be willing to invest in the protection of your business name and reputation through legal action. Legal action is a means of achieving many different objectives other than just recovering your debt from the recalcitrant customer.

10 Create an environment where you and your employees never stop learning. The business community stops for no-one these days. The one certainty which we know is that change is normal, not the exception.

In conclusion, if you blame others for your business misfortunes, generally you will be the victim of others and the circumstances they create around you. Harsh as it sounds, this will be the reality when you blame others.

On the other hand, if you take charge, inevitably in the majority of situations, you end up being in control in your business.

May you be paid today rather than tomorrow

 Kim Radok