I loved all the discussion this week about whether we were in a recession. Any of us in the credit, collections and bankruptcy world know we’ve been in a recession for months. Whether the economists can agree on what the definition of what “is” is or not, things have been tight, tough and shrinking for a year or more. Ask any banker. Whether the government officially uses the “R word” or not is only relevant to those that think they have been in denial (or, perhaps, expecting most of the citizens to just believe what they say). Either way, things are tough, going to get tougher and going to be tough for several months (or years). So, fasten your seat belt, hunker down, make good solid decisions, but always be prepared to take advantage of opportntties.
“What opportuntities,” you ask? Well, if things are slow in your credit department, use this time to review existing accounts to make sure they comply with your policies on documentation, limits, payments, etc. If that’s all done, have your credit workers do some customer service calls. Nothing pressured, just a “How are you doing?” You may learn some things. If that’s all up to date, find some productive work for the best people. When things are slow, do what you can to hang on to the best people, they are the ones you’ll miss most when things pick up again.