construction subcontractor payment problems

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Wise Up Wednesday: An Old Message Might Just Save Your Business!

Cash Is Reality

Bearing in mind that Cash is reality, there’s a very old message that goes like this;

# Turnover is vanity…

# Profit is sanity…

# Cash is reality!

You may have never heard it before or you may have heard it a hundred times. Whichever it is please stop and think about just how true it is!

A few months ago I wrote about a chat with the MD of one of our Gold buddies who runs a very successful Specialist Contracting business. They’ve been in business since the 1990’s and are pretty good at what they do. They have used our advice from time to time and I am pleased to say that we have helped them recover some substantial sums.

We had a long chat about this and that, some serious some not so. We are a similar age and can remember a different industry from the one we know today.

Steve joked that you keep pumping out the same old “boring” message – but he added it’s absolutely what Specialist Contractors, Trade Contractors and Subcontractors need to hear and take action on. And if you don’t want to hear it then switch off now.

But before you do here is a salutary thought for you to consider:

  • Failing to take note of our boring message could cost you your business!

So, I thought I would share with you 3 Easy Ways that you could use to keep your business safe, in the hope that you will do just that!

cash is reality

Cash Is Reality

Cash is reality! In other words getting paid is essential for your business to survive. You can have a multi-million turnover, you can have a high gross profit margin, but if you don’t get paid your business will fail.

It really is that simple.

So, here are my three key ways to ensure you get paid;

Way #1 Check Out Who You’re About To Work For

How much do you actually know about the organisation that you are getting into a contract with? More importantly will they be around to pay you when the time comes?

I appreciate that you may really want that order, but what if they screw you over, or even go bust?

If you don’t think it can happen to you then you need to speak to some of my clients. They didn’t think it would happen to them either!

And terms that allow a Contractor not to pay you if the Employer becomes insolvent are enforceable which means that you have to know that the Employer is good for the money too!

Way #2 Read, Understand and Keep A Copy Of The Contract

If you think that all contracts are the same, or that the Contractor will not change his “take it or leave it” atitude, please think again.

Not reading or understanding the contract is fatal because if you don’t know what you are signing up to the Contractor will rub his hands with glee. Especially when he is using all his onerous terms to screw you over and not pay you properly.

And if I had a tenner for every time a Client has said he hasn’t got a copy of the contract in the last 29 years, then I would be a very rich man.

No contract, no remedy, it’s that simple!

Way #3 Do What The Contract Says When You Should Do It

If your team don’t do what they are supposed to do, when they are supposed to do it, then you will lose your rights. It’s as straightforward as that.

Never mind the Contractor’s BS about “getting contractual”, not following the rules puts you in breach of contract. And as the underlying law is that you shall not benefit from your own breach, where do you think that’s heading?

That’s right. Even in Standard Form Contract you are losing your rights!

Your team need to know what to do and when to do it.

Ignoring All This Is Not An Option

It’s too late to wish you had read, understood and applied the contract when the Contractor is not paying you…

A wise Specialist Contractor (thanks David) posted on one of my threads on LinkedIn that; “The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool” [Steven King Author].

So please remember that;

# 99% of contractual problems end up with you not getting paid, and not getting paid has cost literally thousands of construction Subbies their business in the last 12 months!

# 90% of the time you could have protected your profits and your business by the simple expedient of…doing a bit of research, reading and understanding the contract, and following the rules!

Conclusion

Don’t be naive. The grass is not necessarily greener on the other Contractor or Client’s lawn, it’s just a different lawn!

And if he was such a great Contractor or Client to work for, then why is he asking you to tender for the work rather than using those Specialist Contractors he has regularly worked with in the past?

Don’t just accept a contract that you don’t understand or haven’t read.

And if things are going wrong, don’t bury your head in the sand, take action. Problems (especially payment problems) only get worse if left to fester!

I hope you enjoyed my “boring old message” and please check out our web site and all the free information you can find there. And why not become one of our members, after all our advice has recovered £millions for our Buddies – but you don’t want to know about that it’s boring!

Remember, Cash Is Reality

P.S. Remember it’s all too easy to ignore this and put your business at risk. Please don’t do that. Give our friendly team a call on 01773 712116 or email  here. You can read our Contracts Information here.


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Construction’s a tough place to do business right now, and Specialist Contractors need all the help you can get. That’s why you will find our resources and expertise are invaluable, whatever the size of your business and whatever your specialisation. We’re here to help you solve all your business problems, including the crucially important contractual ones, such as getting paid.

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