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3 things we learned about money from Talking Trade

clock 4 months ago

It’s time to talk about cash, money, wonga, reddies, and peas…

How do you get money out of people that haven’t paid you? Have you ever had to take time off work? Do you have backup plans in place? Do you have a pension in place?

Andy is joined by Martyn from Coles Scaffolding and Darren Clifford, a chippy on-site, to talk about cash and construction on our weekly live show, Talking Trade.

Here’s a recap of everything you need to know from the last episode….

1. Dealing with difficult customers

Customers refusing to pay for your work is – unfortunately – an issue as old as the industry itself. Our guests told us that since the beginning of Covid, more and more people have been unable, or unwilling, to pay them.

“We have had to go to debt collection agencies ourselves, but then they want you to pay them upfront, so then you’re even further behind on your money.”

– Darren Clifford

There are some methods you can employ to encourage customers to pay:

“When we have a private customer, we use bank transfer. They know they’re safe and paying into a legitimate company; we don’t use cash.”

– Darren Clifford

Or Martyn proposed some ways he uses to protect himself and his business in the worst-case-scenario:

“Our invoice terms are now 14 days. If you don’t pay within 14 days, it doesn’t come. It stays on your house and we take the boards off so you can’t use it.”

2. Insurance can be useful

Some say that accidents at work are an inescapable truth of being a tradesperson. But what happens when an accident is so serious that it stops you from working?

That’s what happened to our guest, Darren, who broke his leg after falling from a ladder last year. At the time, he hadn’t taken out any insurance and had to contact his utility providers and mortgage advisors to let them know what had happened.

“I have taken some insurance out now, actually. It’s £35 per month; I can put more in, if I want to. It covers me up to £5000 for any injury I sustain at work, and I get £150 a week for a period of twelve weeks, and then they review it after that.”

– Darren Clifford

“I’d advise anyone to have a bit of money tucked away, if possible, just in case.”

– Martyn Coles

3. More pensions needed

Recently, we asked you, members of the On The Tools community, whether you had a pension. Only four out of ten interviewees had a pension plan in place.

“I haven’t got a pension, but since setting up the company, we’ve invested in a nest pension scheme. I always try and advise our lads to save a bit of money, if they can, but we’re all weekend millionaires, aren’t we? It’s difficult to save. I don’t think I’ll ever retire, I love the job too much.”

– Martyn Coles

“I’ve got a private pension that I took out in my early twenties. I can’t see me ever retiring either, to be fair. It’s not a massive pension pot.”

– Darren Clifford


Find more Talking Trade episodes here.

Do you want to suggest a topic or guest for Talking Trade? Get in touch.

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