It’s highly likely that we all have been owed money while working in construction at some point in time. It’s almost like being owed cash is an industry right of passage. This happens regardless of whether we own a business, subcontract, or work as an employee.
When we find ourselves in tough times with money outstanding, it can be hard to keep from thinking of ways to collect our money, or at the very least of how we get our own back.
Just like the UK builder who recently drove an excavator through a newly completed Travelodge hotel foyer, we all have thought about doing something similar. After watching the video, out of curiosity, I posted a poll on Instagram asking people who work in construction if they have ever been owed money.
The reality of being owed money in construction
The results didn’t really surprise; more than anything, I think they confirmed more of what we all think of our industry. The sobering results showed that 69% of people have been/are owed money.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the older generation of construction workers and business owners have given words of caution, such as take your tools home each day, and the seasoned business owner will tell new players not to put all their eggs in one basket.
At the end of the day, we see it time and time again; companies come and go at what can only be described as an alarming rate. With this, it is the small contractors who pay their staff weekly and have 30-plus day payment terms that are the ones who pay the ultimate price.
When we look at the sub 10% margins that have become the norm in large-scale construction while companies wrestle for the next round of construction work. It’s highly likely that we are going to start seeing more stories similar to that of the unfortunate builder in the UK; where the workers that simply have run out of options take matters into their own hands.
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