What is your organization’s attitude toward paying its suppliers?

SmartPulse -- our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership -- tracks feedback from over 240,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

What is your organization’s attitude toward paying its suppliers?

  • We see prompt payment as an important sign of partnership and professionalism: 75%
  • We try to pay promptly but it’s not that big of a deal if we don’t: 9%
  • We’ll pay when we pay. We have more important things to worry about: 6%
  • We deliberately pay slowly. That extra interest adds up!: 9%

Money over partnership. While the vast majority of you see paying vendor invoices promptly as a sign of professionalism (which it is), a discouraging portion of respondents think it’s fine to pay late or, even worse, deliberately do so. Now, if you’re still paying within contractual timelines, no big deal. But if you’re stretching beyond the timeframe you agreed to, consider the implications of your actions. You’re deliberately violating an agreement to advance your self-interests and doing so at someone else’s expense. Are a relationship and a reputation worth a few extra dollars in interest? There are people (especially small businesses) on the other end of those transactions counting on you to live up to what you agreed to. Perhaps its time to review your priorities if you’re deliberately paying late.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He's the author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."