As SBC I get to talk to the most amazing people every week, from small businesses, big firms and business representative and support organisations.
What struck me this week is that while I think I’m trying to convert them to the idea of paying their small suppliers quicker, in reality they are already on that same page. In most cases they’re grappling with the ‘how’ not the why.
For many bigger customers the procurement, approvals and payments processes are such that it takes a long time to get payments though to suppliers and it would cost a lot of money to speed those processes up. Some are still paper based and need to be updated but there’s the question of cost. Getting approval to spend that money when there are other demanding business needs can be challenging to say the least.
There’s a knowledge gap though that we need to bridge too. Many small business owners don’t realise that the processes of their customers are so complicated. I’m a serial offender. I have often sent invoices through to the person who gave me the work in the first place, only to find that there’s a whole department behind the scenes into which my invoice has been sucked and disappeared.
On the other hand why should we expect someone who has never run their own business, who works in a payment department, to understand that £300 could be the difference between my small business surviving and going to the wall. We need to communicate better supplier to customer and vice versa. If small suppliers do get money into their accounts quicker #EveryoneBenefits