Posted by Harry Mottram on 18th Aug 2018

Bad debts: go bust or refinance and ensure business continues

Losing £10,000 is enough to sink many printing firms

Pictured is one of the websites run by the Barry-based duo responsible for the bad debt

Every year printers lose money through bad debts which can cause major problems to cahs flow. Print Monthly has reported this week that a Spanish printer (we understand they are in Barcelona) has lost £10,000 when a customer failed to pay. That customer was none other than the notorious ‘Bonny and Clyde of the print industry’ AKA Neill Malcolm Stuart John and Clair Hunnisett of Barry in South Wales. If you Google their names you will quickly see why they are notorious.

To survive a major loss like that printers will either have enough reserves to cope with the amount or they may have to turn to their bank or lender and ask for a loan or an extension to an overdraft. Banks are not charities and some wags in the industry will refer to them as legalised criminals – as one thing you can be sure of is that if you request a loan when you have hit a crisis – they will charge you over and above the going interest rate. Add to that so called arrangement fees and you will find that bad debt has serious knock on effects.

If you are in that situation it is a good idea to have a rethink about where the business is going. Certainly rethink your credit policy and don’t allow anyone to have extra credit facilities or new clients to abuse any credit terms you give them. It could be a time to look at new kit, new staff and even new premises. One printer in Devon told 4Colour Finance how he moved up the road from an industrial estate warehouse to the High Street in an old shop. From then on cash flow was solved as the mentality of customers became cash on order or on delivery, whereas before 30, 60, 90 days credit was expected due to the premises.

4 Colour Finance helps print firms develop their business in the UK and abroad. For details visit or call +44 (0) 1934 533 133 or email

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