MIDNIGHT AT THE OASIS – DAY 20 OF A 30 DAY BLOG (RANT?)
What is it with some big businesses? Do they wait for a small business to stumble before they sink the boot in? It seems that way if today’s events are anything to go by.

I have spent several hours on the phone with two small business owners trying to help them get stock for their businesses. They have been cut off because their accounts are late being paid.

In each case they have been making a concerted effort to get the supplier accounts under control by making weekly payments. All calls from suppliers are returned. Their indebtedness today is nowhere near as bad as it was just three months ago. Yet the suppliers are cut them off – just when they were a few weeks away from having all debts paid off.

Such unreasonable action by suppliers against trading partners of long standing is appalling. But I know it happenes every day.

I’m not suggesting small busines is given a free ride. I am advocating reasonable consideration by someone who looks at the situation and considers the relationship – not a bean counter looking to make quota for the day.

Each of these businesses is family owned and employs five or six other people. Without the stock which has been cut off these businesses will starve. Surely their suppliers know this. I should point out that I could make a case that the suppliers, in these two instances, created the cash flow problems by supplying more product in the first instance that the businesses needed and then demanded payment instead of allowing a credit for stock returned early.

One day the ants who populate small businesses will band together long enough to teach a big business or two a lesson about relationships, respect and service.

I hope that I am around to see it.

What all this has to do with business is this – small business is the lifeblood of the country an my company? If we let small business wither and die, our retail landscape will become one huge homogenised shopping mall and how awful would that be?

Trouble is, small business can be its own worst enemy and I should know because I own one.

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