Higgity, Haggity, Hoggety, High

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A couple of weeks ago, a fellow self-employed PR professional and I were discussing a client who owed them a great deal of money and was constantly avoiding payment.

The usual excuses of “we haven’t received your invoice”, “it’s in our system for processing” and “the cheque’s in the post” were made.

A situation that every self-employed individual has probably faced at some point or another and, rather disappointingly, will more than likely face again.

What these ‘payment avoiders’ don’t realise, or most likely don’t care about, is the impact of their late payment on the small business’ cash-flow and how this single act can financially capsize an otherwise successful operation.

Chatting about the inevitable consequences of being unable to settle outstanding bills as a result of this late payment conjured up vivid images of creditors closing in for the kill, ready and willing to claim their next scalp.

Looking at the more light-hearted side of the situation, The New Christy Minstrels sum it all up perfectly with “Them Cherokees are after me” from their 1962 humourous hit Three Wheels On My Wagon.

I’ll let them take up the story….



  • I can relate to this too Allison. Unfortunately, ‘payment avoiders’ seem to be a sign of these economic times, and it’s always going to be the more vulnerable one-person businesses who suffer the most. We just don’t have the time or resources to act as ‘collection agents’ for ourselves! Hopefully things will improve for all of us soon!

  • Absolutely, Mark! I’ve been self-employed for over ten years and haven’t seen this for some time so it is a real shame that it is creeping into business practices again. Let’s hope the appreciation of suppliers starts to increase again soon.

  • Wow Allison, some really good points here that I can totally relate to! I like to think that when I was in salaried employment I never took this approach to external suppliers. Given the massive increase in self-employed people across the UK let’s hope slow paying clients start appreciating the value of agreed pay, on time for work agreed and done! Would they treat a Visa or BT bill in this fashion!? Unlikely.

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