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5 Tips to help businesses weather the storm during a recession

Has the weak holiday retail season, rising unemployment, the credit crunch, the cost of gas, the increasing cost of health care, (fill in the blank) challenging some of your business borrowers? Here are 5 tips from BDO Consulting to help them weather the storm:

  1. Take fast and decisive action: Determine core administrative and operational needs and reduce excess costs.
  2. Develop a comprehensive approach: Include a cost-reduction program, plans to improve inventory controls, enhanced purchasing procedures.
  3. Manage costs with targeted and timely reporting: React to falling gross margins and unexpected market changes by automating daily data collection and reporting.
  4. Conduct an internal assessment for possible restructuring: If needed, build a work plan, establish accountabilities and set an implementation timeline.
  5. Manage operating results proactively: Closely monitor operating costs and renegotiate contracts.

When times get tough, business owners who are in the trenches of their business may tend to hunker down and focus on working harder to make it through. Touching base and having a higher-level discussion about their strategies can help position you as a trusted adviser and help your business borrower weather the storm.

What would you add to the list of five?

About the Author
Linda Keith CPA is an expert in credit risk readiness and credit analysis. She trains banks and credit unions throughout the United States, both in-house and in open-enrollment sessions, on Tax Return and Financial Statement Analysis. She is in the trenches with lenders, analysts and underwriters helping them say "yes" to good loans. Creator of the Tax Return Analysis Virtual Classroom at, she speaks at banking associations on risk management, lending and director finance topics.