Doing Business
Over the last few weeks I have been battling with two customers who, for different reasons, refuse to pay. This is always a dilemma - do you threaten them, do you take them straight to court, do you ride it out?

Cashflow is of course the most important factor in any business, and if customers are taking the mickey, they are endangering your own business. No-one should have to provide credit facilities to other companies. I have a general problem at the moment with companies constantly pushing for the cheapest deal, or getting advice or services for free - whatever happened to fair-play. Unless I compete with your company or product, there should be a mutual benefit to encouraging business - after-all, the greater the number of businesses, the more money should be flowing around the system.

One of the companies causing me problems is overseas, and they are trying to wriggle out of a fixed price contract, for which the service has already been provided. Given their location, and their unethical, unbusinesslike and illegal approach, I have no problems now with taking them to court - after-all - I do not want to do business with companies like that. The company does, however, have much more to lose - their business is dependent on being seen as trustworthy and ethical. If during a court case, they are proven to be anything but - they are likely to lose a lot more than a simple court case.

I suppose my rant is - why do companies do this? If I employ someone to do something, I expect to be charged for it, and I will pay for it within the agreed time. I will also ensure that I get the product or service I want and will be paying for.

Any comments on this - have you had similar experiences? Please let me know.