Revenue - 16 years and counting

T

Tommy

Guest
Re: back to basics..

However, the picture painted by Jem/AP was of SMEs frequently & consistently taking on business with no real idea of when they are going to get paid. I just doesn't make sense to me that this would be the case.
It mightn't make sense to you but it is believe me it is 100% fact. The best that a small business person can normally do is to try to suss out some information from personal contacts as to the integrity (ie the credit worthiness) of their customer, in advance of either taking on the assignment or completing the work to a certain stage where they would be badly exposed if things go wrong. Obviously if they hear something alarming they can take appropriate action but otherwise they have little option but use their gut instinct and operate on the basis of trust from there on.

(This obviously doesnt apply to contractors who are supplying to the likes of Intel or the big plcs but most small businesses dont have that luxury.)

Its easy to apply "best practice" theory in saying how small business "should" operate but the reality is that the real world is different and the "law of the jungle" unfortunately applies. I dont mean to be smart in saying this but the notion of a small tradesman or merchant doing "due diligence" on their customers is laughable.

ps If you don't believe me, read any book on small business or entrepreneurship. Fire in the Belly by Yanky fachler is a good introduction.
 
R

rainyday

Guest
Re: back to basics..

It mightn't make sense to you but it is believe me it is 100% fact. The best that a small business person can normally do is to try to suss out some information from personal contacts as to the integrity (ie the credit worthiness) of their customer, in advance of either taking on the assignment or completing the work to a certain stage where they would be badly exposed if things go wrong. Obviously if they hear something alarming they can take appropriate action but otherwise they have little option but use their gut instinct and operate on the basis of trust from there on.
And presumably they take this risk into account when deciding whether to take the business or not?
 
X

XXXAnother PersonXXX

Guest
Re: back to basics..

deciding whether to take the business

I'm not sure about other small companies, but 'Deciding to take the business' doesn't enter into it with our company. We take the business, or our competitors will.

It simply costs too much to acquire new customers to turn business away like that.

Maybe larger companies have such luxury.
 
R

rainyday

Guest
Re: back to basics..

It's not a question of luxury - If taking the business is going to drive you out of business as a result of not getting paid for a long period, then it makes perfect sense to pass on the offer and let your competitor go under? Why would you do otherwise?

Unless of course, the risk of not getting paid is actually quite small?
 
X

XXXAnother PersonXXX

Guest
Re: back to basics..

If taking the business is going to drive you out of business as a result of not getting paid for a long period, then it makes perfect sense to pass on the offer and let your competitor go under? Why would you do otherwise?

You generally don't know at the time that you are not going to be paid, or be paid late. Why would anyone do work if they knew they were not going to be paid?

Unless of course, the risk of not getting paid is actually quite small?

We've not been paid a few times. We did the legal proceedings on one occasion, but it took over 3 years, and at the end, the money recovered was just enough to pay our solicitor. We didn't get anything.

In summary:
- Small businesses don't know in advance that they are either not going to be paid, or be paid late.

- If someone offers a small business custom, the small business will generally take the custom. Most small companies don't have the luxury of picking and choosing.

- Given the choice of deferring a revenue bill, or going bust, it's generally better to defer the revenue bill. (Unless of course the business is going under anyway)

- If someone decides not to pay, there is little practical recourse.
 
R

rainyday

Guest
Re: back to basics..

I think this discussion is indicating that not be paid is the exception, not the rule.
 
T

Tommy

Guest
Re: back to basics..

I disagree with some of your comments about boardroom skullduggery. Arthur Anderson had 100's if not 1000's of accountants working on Enron, many of whom had visibility to the flawed corporate structure. It was not a case of boardroom skulduggery with the secrets being whispered by the chosen few - Anderson's were well known as having an extremely aggressive culture in all aspects of their business..... Indeed I declined a call from a recruitment agency in relation to Anderson Consulting many years ago, because of what I knew about their culture.
Hi Rainyday

I was kind of intrigued by your comments above regarding Arthur Andersen and Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting). I wasn't aware of any business problems within Accenture and certainly a quick glance at www.accenture.com seems to indicate that Accenture remains a thriving company despite the collapse of Arthur Andersen. Btw, the Irish Revenue had enough confidence in Accenture to award them the contract for the development of their ROS system. I very much doubt that they would have won this highly sensitive contract had there been any question marks hanging over the company, or indeed their "culture".
 
D

daltonr

Guest
Re: back to basics..

Indeed I declined a call from a recruitment agency in relation to Anderson Consulting many years ago, because of what I knew about their culture.
I took the call and went to the interview despite repeatedly telling the Recuiter that I wasn't interested in a permanent role. I also told the interviewers (on all three interviews) that I wasn't interested in a permanent role.

They were shocked when I eventually declined a permanent role!!! I spent half an hour on the phone trying to convince them that I knew what I was doing.

I found one of the interviewers in particular to be very arrogant.

When he asked me how much I'd expect to earn, I told him my then daily rate, (which was good, but not excessive).
His response was:

"My heart bleeds for you"

-Rd
 
E

extopia

Guest
Re: back to basics..

Jeez guys, listen to yourselves...

Arthur Anderson was trying to suck ye all in but ye all had the great wisdom and foresight to decline their advances, sometimes after up to three long interviews. And when was this exactly? And who else was hiring at the time?

Will ye ever get up the yard?!
 
R

rainyday

Guest
Re: back to basics..

Hi Tommy - My comments refer back to the Andersen Consulting days of the late 1990's, when they were part of AA (predating Accenture). They were reknowned in the industry for their aggressive attitude to everything - aggressive recruiting, aggressive training (their bootcamp for new recruits in Chicago was legendary), their aggressive attitude to grabbing business regardless of their ability to staff/deliver that business), their nickname of 'the Androids' referring to their tendancy to march on site with hordes of junior droid-like consultants who did thinks the Andersen way, by the book, with no independent thought or judgement involved. I'm sure there is a bit of exaggeration and competitive envy built into these stories, but nevertheless, that was their reputation in the marketplace. When the whole Enron thing came out years later, it didn't hugely surprise me.
 
Top