The things I’ve learned….

There are some things that I have learned in life and in business that I feel duty bound to pass on. As one reaches the ripe old age of 53 the only hair that rapidly grows is either in your nose, on your back or in your ears…fact.

I have also learnt that the big invoice you need paying will never arrive before Christmas….

Santa’s little helpers may be incredibly busy over the festive season but I can guarantee that they aren’t busy sorting your cheque out!

We have a saying here at Japanese Knotweed Solutions that goes along the lines of …’any payment that you are expecting in December – move it on the cash flow to January’.

I vividly remember my first experience of this sum 20 odd years ago when we were due a payment of £128,000.00 from B***e on the 12th of December – and had thus made commitments to pay suppliers before the Christmas break. The quantity surveyor said … ‘you will definitely be paid on the 12th and will receive your cheque by the 16th ‘ ….of course we weren’t paid on the 12th but left it till the 16th to chase – when we rang the number an automated message stated that the offices were closed for the Christmas break and would not re-open till 14th January…

On the 28th of December my company was served a winding up notice by one of my suppliers who didn’t believe that we hadn’t been paid – and I spent the whole of the Christmas break talking to solicitors and bank managers ….whilst still trying to put a smile on my face for my wife and kids.

It turned out that the ‘winding up notice’ wasn’t real – it was a photocopy pasted together to look real (…it looked real enough to me).

B***e eventually came back to work and we ended up being paid on the 1st of February – after legal threats, arguments, and more winding up notices being bandied about …..

Something similar to this has pretty much happened every year since – mainly smaller amounts but in some cases bigger amounts – which has lead me to believe that Christmas (from a business point of view)…sucks…big time.

You are stuck with the construction industry being closed for a month, no work getting done and no money coming in.

Your team who have worked hard all year are looking at you for a Christmas bonus and all you want to do is hide in a cave till the new year…

Maybe bears have the right idea?  ……

Happy Christmas one and all.


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