Dear Editor, the last two years of Covid-19 have placed huge pressure on small businesses to keep themselves afloat in the face of debtors, theft, poor service, and employees leaving for greener pastures.
spoken to many people who are in business here in the Cook Islands, the common
theme appears to be, people wanting the service to be provided but then not
paying straight away, paying much later, ignoring invoices, or not paying at
all or wanting you to drop everything to make them a special case and then
still not paying.
the only one with the cojones to write about this so I do this for those
businesses who are floundering along on the back of rising debt levels, people
not paying, the liars, the cheaters and those who take you for a ride at your
is one to do? I wrote about this several years ago and a new model for doing
business will need to be implemented by businesses if they want to survive.
First off, demand 50 per cent upfront before you even provide the service. Add
a penalty rate for late payers of between 5 per cent to 10 per cent and write
that on your invoices. Keep a list of poor debtors and let close associates
know who they are.
one thing these debtors don’t realise is that we are not their personal banks,
we have to pay business overheads, maintenance of our equipment, wages, tax,
VAT and other incidental and ongoing business costs. It costs to run a business
here and it is not helped by you, debtors not paying. We can’t keep ourselves
afloat if debtors don’t pay.
is happening too often is that to get our money for providing the service, we
are forced to work in our businesses rather than work on our businesses to be
sustainable and for growth. If you debtors don’t know the difference then you
should try to be in business too.
those who have short term rentals when the going was good, the service was
provided, and they had already been paid by their client and guess what? They
did not pay, delayed payment, reneged on a payment arrangement, argued over the
bill or just ignored it completely. There is a thing called a mouth or email to
dispute a service that was provided, but this is never done, they would rather
delay or not pay until confronted. Hello, several months later, many come
running back to ask if the service is still available and expect the service to
be provided. Yeh nah, once burnt twice shy.
the outlook for debtors is not going to be pleasant, akama kotou katoatoa, e
tano, as a certain person (me) will be doing the rounds to collect what is
legally, morally, ethically, and economically owing for the service or services
that were provided and not paid for, welcome to 2022.
am 65 years old. I started working when I was 10 years old – picking
strawberries for the princely sum of 10 cents a punnet. I worked weekends and
school holidays. I then worked picking beans, my first full-time job was
working in a vineyard for $30 weekly. I am and always have been an avid
retired earlier this year – a job in horticulture.
pisses me off is people who come in to my yard and see fit to pick my flowers.
No one offers to do anything in return. Most don’t even ask.
message to them – “Get off your obese, lazy backsides and plant your own
flowers, shrubs, trees and produce. It’s good for your well-being, for the
planet and you might actually enjoy it!”