One thing you can do is make sure that forecasting is something you do for your business or ask your accountant to help you with this. Look for growth in real wages, which drives consumer spending, and which accounts for more than 2/3 of the US economy. Consumer spending is a huge indicator of what is happening and it also drives corporate profits which in turn affects the stock market. Look for changes in the economy that will affect your business and remember every business is affected differently and at different times during the cycle of a recession, or down turn.
Keeping up to date on foreclosures happening in your area and the areas you may sell services or products to is crucial to your business. You can make sure your business is protected by going over all of your accounts that you extend credit to, make sure they are in good standing and up to date on all invoices. If you have signed credit applications and are authorized to pull credit reports and/or check with banks and vendors on someone’s payment history, now is the time to re-evaluate each customer’s credit and credit limits. Look for things such as late or slower arriving payments, change or loss of a job, changes in incomes, change of address, and divorce. Take immediate action if a customers’ mail is returned and/or if the phone is disconnected. Many times when the economy suffers people lose their jobs, their relationships suffer, and they may move to cheaper housing or lose their vehicles. All of these things are factors that lead to your bill not being paid and can sometimes end in bankruptcy. The three steps you can take to help you in this situation are:
1. Review your accounts receivables weekly or at least monthly
2. Stay motivated by trying to collect as much past due money as possible
3. Stay focused; don’t let customer excuses veer you off track