The Forum of Private Business has been the watchdog for bad business practices for over two decades, following complaints from many of our members, the “Hall of Shame” has become a trusted mechanism for member and non-member companies to highlight bad business practice, where we investigate, confirm and if required add the offending company to the Hall of Shame. In that time, we have shared some of the UK’s biggest names for poor payment practices, resulting in government intervention, extensive media coverage and some businesses reconsidering changing the way they do business.
The Forum believes that there needs to be a balance between the need to attract bigger companies to the UK, ensuring we have the best environment for business and protecting the interests of the UK’s hard-working independent small business people. Improving performance.
All small businesses ask is to compete on a level playing field, but in some cases, this is not happening. A change will only occur if we continue to ensure such poor business practices are questioned and do not go unnoticed, Carillion were engaged in poor business practices and when the business failed many of their smaller suppliers suffered as well.
Why is this important?
The Forum feels that the margins being made by many small businesses have reduced in recent years, driven by the living wage, currency fluctuations, pension provision, late payment, large customers driving down margins, less financial support in terms of short-term small loans particularly from the banks and tough competition.
This means that many small businesses no longer have a big enough cash shock absorber to deal with business issues that cause cash flow problems, this, in turn, can lead to business failure.
This is important for the whole UK economy, which should be a level playing field with all business being able to thrive and grow, not an economy where the big players make larger profits by exploiting smaller businesses.
What we can achieve
Change is a key motivator behind the Forum of Private Business, Hall of Shame. We hope that those we do contact will correct the issues before they are entered into the “Hall of Shame”. We will work with those companies that do make the list with a specific aim of reviewing their business processes, discussing and correcting them, before eventually removing them from the list, once improved practices have been shown. This often happens with continued pressure from the Forum, elected representatives, the media and most importantly the small suppliers and customers who report the issues. Companies that are displayed in the Hall of Shame that respond positively, will often be highlighted as positive examples and we will highlight these on the website under “Best Business Practice”.
The Forum is continuously working with a number of government bodies as well as progressive trade associations to highlight good payment practices.
Do not suffer bad business practices in silence, we can only stamp out unethical business behaviour if we don't allow it to go unnoticed. Historically, ethics and profitability have been treated as being mutually exclusive. But we live in an era now that businesses can operate in an ethical manner and still be a thriving profitable business.
Equally, do you know of any companies who deserve to be congratulated on their good business practices, with suppliers and customers, if you have examples of either do let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org