Rich D'Amaro, Chairman and CEO of Tatum LLC has offered "Six Tips for Business Leaders to Consider as We Emerge from Recession." I especially like his first suggestion:
Identify and Maintain Your Strengths, and Your Best Customers
Many businesses have limited working capital today, but they need to make the sales calls, stock the inventory, and be ready to gear up production when orders increase. Knowing which segments of your customer base are most important is critical to good utilization of your limited working capital.
Rich's other suggestions are OK, but I think he misses the biggest need: a company survey that I call a Recovery Readiness Audit. As I probe in detail within a business, I find numerous areas in which they are not really prepared for what happens when their customers and prospects start to spend money. In some places the sales people are not calling on prospects, in other locations they are not laying the ground work to ramp up their production workforce, and in many cases the company has not carefully estimated cash drains when they have to buy raw materials and rehire workers. This review should happen IMMEDIATELY. (And I can help, if you want an outside pair of eyes looking at your operations