Small Business Owners Ask: Should I Give Up, Or Should I Just Keep Chasing Payments?


Recently, a group of UK-based small business owners drew inspiration from Adele’s recent hit, ‘Someone Like You,’ in order to shed light on the late payments problem that continues to plague small companies up and down the country.

Major problem

New research illustrates just how big a problem late payments are for the UK’s 5.4m small businesses. On average, they are forced to devote 10% (an hour) of their working days dealing with unpaid invoices. Three out of every five (60%) invoices issued by UK-based small enterprises are not paid on time.

Chasing payments

In order to increase awareness of this issue, the Daily Mail writes, the website has created a parody of Adele’s 2008 single ‘Chasing Pavements,’ called ‘Chasing Payments.’ The clip sees a group of British small business owners ask themselves, “Should I give up or should I just keep chasing payments,” illustrating the frustration that often comes with handling this task.

Throughout the song’s accompanying video, the small company heads act out the daily struggles that come with hunting down unpaid client invoices. While doing so, they croon lyrical gems such as “I pick up the phone, “To hear the same excuses, “Sorry, Dave’s not answering his phone,” I’m not surprised he’s chuffing useless.”

Has to change

Speaking out, Gary Turner, the Co-Founder of Xero, which runs, noted: “The late payment epidemic has to change so small business founders do not spend so many hours chasing debt and worrying about cash flow on the back. With small businesses making up a staggering 99.8% of the British economic engine, this is a critical issue to sort for the UK economy as a whole.”

Funding operations

This parody has drawn attention to a very real problem for UK small business owners. In early 2016, research conducted by Zurich indicated that 41% of British small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) owner managers believe that late payments had a significant impact on their company’s cash flow. Meanwhile, 67% of SME heads suggested that unpaid invoices are leading some UK small businesses to close down.

It is essential that small businesses maintain a steady cash flow. This allows them to meet regular operating costs such as paying staff wages and buying supplies, so when clients pay late, these businesses find it harder to operate effectively. At best, this limits their ability to grow, at worst it can force them to cease trading. By harnessing the cultural power of music, has reminded the UK’s small business leaders that they should never stop chasing payments.