Why people do or don't pay

Although it might be tempting to assume they are 'bad people' or 'deliberately not paying', this way of thinking is unlikely to help you to get a bill paid.

The mere fact that 'there is a contract' is also unlikely to put food on your table.

Our Dispute Resolution team can talk to you more about figuring out the other party’s interests. Contact us on 1300 795 534 or we.assist@smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au.

Reasons people pay

What are the real reasons that motivate you to pay your bills on time?

Is it to do with how much you need, want, like, or perhaps fear, the business you owe money to?

Are there personal or ethical motivators, such as:

  • You want to impress them
  • You feel sorry for them, or
  • Are you simply ashamed not to pay a bill on time?

Reasons people don't pay

Many of the reasons that you might use to prioritise who gets paid, would be the same as those that might be motivating someone else to pay your bill.

Consider any of the reasons why you may not have paid a bill on time in the past, such as:

  • Was there a misunderstanding, or the wrong expectation, about the level of service, or when something was meant to be paid? Misunderstandings often result in delayed payment of an invoice.
  • Did you have a temporary cash flow problem? When businesses have cash flow problems invoices usually get de-prioritised.
  • Did you have an argument about something? Sometimes when people argue they may intentionally not pay an invoice.
  • How critical is what you were supplying to their business? Where alternate suppliers are readily available, or continued supply is not required, invoices may be pushed down the list of priorities.

Understanding why the other party has not paid may help you decide on your best approach to the debt.