When I first started my own business things were pretty good but the longer I have been in business the more it would seem that people take longer to pay their bills. I always seem to be owed several thousand pounds. I do make sure that I have terms and conditions on my invoices stating that I own all materials until the invoice is paid in full. I have even heard of tradesmen going and removing things that they have fitted because a bill hasn`t been paid.
I have realised that people now expect even more for their money and think that they can take longer to pay too. Hopefully things will change soon!
I have learned never to be afraid to phone people and ask about where the payment is. If they owe you it then you shouldn`t be worried about asking for it. I have certainly had to harden up over the years. Some people ask how much they owe as you are finishing and others seem to want to wait until you have to ask for payment. Sometimes I feel like going around there and taking out what is mine. I guess there is a fine line between what is considered reasonable and what is considered threatening.