making timely payments

The importance of making timely payments

The first rule of business is to look at all financial matters before committing to anything. In fact, you should also apply this rule in your personal life—it will prove very beneficial.
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Business is not about creating only goodwill. Rather, it’s about creating real brand value in the hearts of customers, suppliers and even the employees. One way of doing this is by making timely payments to all.

Chanakya also gave a lot of importance to paying wages on time. He even suggested penalising those who didn’t: “In the case of non-payment of the wage, the fine is one-tenth or six panas. In case of denial, the fine is twelve panas or one-fifth.” (3.13.33).

This verse highlights the sanctity of an agreement.

Even in today’s world, if a person rescinds on making a promised payment after the required work is done, he can be punished under the law of the land.

But, in addition to adhering to the law, a leader has to also understand the benefits one gets by giving people their dues on time:

A promise is a promise

When a company’s chairman or the head of any department or strategic business unit promises something, he represents his entire team. It becomes his responsibility to fulfill the promise.

While defining leadership qualities in the Arthashastra, Chanakya had said that one should never over-promise something and then ‘under-deliver’ on it. Instead, he said, it’s better to ‘under-promise’ and ‘over-deliver!’ Of course, the best thing would be to never promise anything if you are not sure about its execution.

Be clear in financial dealings

The first rule of business is to look at all financial matters before committing to anything. In fact, you should also apply this rule in your personal life—it will prove very beneficial.

If you need a new television, you should first determine what your budget is. For example, if you have only Rs 10,000, then buy a TV that costs that much.

It’s no use wasting time in showrooms looking at an LCD for Rs 50,000 or breaking your head over consumer loans and EMI schemes. In other words, always work out your financials first, and then go for the deal.

Have a clear conscience

A man of wisdom once said: “The softest pillow is a clear conscience.” If you keep your word even in the smallest of dealings, you will be able to sleep well.

Of course, there’s always a chance for some miscommunication or minor irritation. However, it’s important to discuss and solve it in order to restore a good working relationship.

Remember: The real goodwill is the brand you create, and nothing should be allowed to tarnish it.

Dr Radhakrishnan Pillai is an Indian management thinker, author, and Founder of Atma Darshan and Chanakya Aanvikshiki. Dr Pillai has extensively researched Kautilya’s Arthashastra, the 3rd century BC treatise and incorporated it into modern management.

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