Being relatively new I have made a point of calling in and introducing myself to a large number of our clients located throughout the Shoalhaven, Illawarra and Eurobodalla. During this exercise I spoke with a client of EC's called Terry who is a real straight talking old school plumber from a small country town in the Shoalhaven on the south coast. For many years this plumber was doing work on a handshake and finding he was not getting very far at all. He spoke to the Master Plumbers Association who put him onto EC to help him draft his terms and conditions of trade to protect his business.
5 years on this old school plumber still finds it hard to believe how effective the terms and condition of trade have been for his business. Terry admits that he was initially very reluctant on making the investment due to the fact he works for a lot of people he knows in his local area in the Shoalhaven and also sometimes up in the Illawarra region. He now realises that yes he is a great tradesman but they just don't teach you this side of business at TAFE on how to run a business effectively.
These days, Terry still has a few clients not willing to pay on time, but he now has the ability to simply point out to his debtors (in a nice way) a few of the consequences if they fail to pay him as per his terms and conditions of trade. As a result, Terry now finds that his clients pay on time, and life is good!!
He never thought a simple piece of paper could be so valuable, prevent so many headaches and keep his pockets lined with cash.
What's Terry's advice for every business owner? In his own words â€œno matter what area you live in throughout the Illawarra and Shoalhaven, do not procrastinate! Protect your cash flow as soon as possible with terms and conditions of trade, for such a small investment it makes working life so much easier. Believe me when I say if I can do it anyone canâ€.