Skip to content

Entrepreneurs Panel

Laura Tenison
Jeremy Roberts
Julie Meyer
Debbie Pierce
Brian Hay
Michael Oliver
Steve Purdham
Tony Caldeira
Charlie Mullins
David Pollock
Richard O'Sullivan
Jennie Johnson

Is it in my interest to dump supplier?

Jeremy Roberts

Joined forces with Tim Bacon in 1996 to set up Life Restaurants, which launched the Via Vita restaurant chain. They opened the Living Room on Deansgate in 1999 -the first of a 13-unit chain that their company, Living Ventures, sold in July 2007 for £28 million – and did a deal with The Restaurant Group in 2005 which saw the pair take control of the Est Est Est estate, since rebranded as Blackhouse Grill and Gusto.


One of my regular suppliers has got the hump over a late payment and has just sent me a demand for payment with interest. I know this is legally enforceable but is it unreasonable of me to bin them off after I’ve paid? They’re not the only supplier out there, after all, and they aren’t the only ones with cashflow issues.


Charging interest on late payments is always an emotive issue and, frankly,I find it insulting from a regular supplier if you have generally been on time with your payments in the past.

However, if you put yourself in your supplier’s shoes, you can understand why they might want to use the threat of interest as an incentive to pay on time, even if it is generally waived – which is what should happen if the relationship is strong.

Unless you are generally in cashflow difficulties – in which case it is sensible to discuss the matter with your supplier and offer to pay – you should ignore it and your supplier probably will too.

It is good for everyone if a business pays its bills on time and, especially in these days of low interest rates, good relationships with suppliers are worth a great deal more than any interest you might earn leaving the money in your bank account for a few extra days.

  • Kathryn Parsons, co-founder of Decoded, started with little more than faith and determination, but four years later it’s grown into a global business. Ahead of her appearance at Accelerate 2015 in...

  • Author, writer and marketer Ryan Holiday on how entrepreneurs need to interpret failure.

  • Sue Vizard, business coach and author of Jump Start: The Start-up Book for Your Dream Business, looks at some of the questions solo entrepreneurs should ask themselves.

  • Ian Wright, founder and chief executive of, is bringing together SMEs and NEDs - without the hefty recruitment fees.

  • Former professional golfer turned entrepreneur Colin Stevens has had a busy 18 months. The Better Bathrooms founder has increased turnover at the firm, secured a multi-million pound investment and...

Five Minutes With

David Hughes sums up his entrepreneurial career to date thus: four spectacular successes and two failures. He founded the sports retailer Allsports and achieved turnover of £180 million before a vicious price war meant decline, administration in 2005 and a sell-off to rival JD Sports.

It took Richard Shonn, managing director of 151 Products, three years to find a warehouse big enough for his requirements.