For many of us, the month of December means parties, both at home and at work, shopping for family and friends and generally happy memories. For others it means the last chance to sell product, satisfy vendors, attempt to make payroll and decide whether or not to continue the business.
For many Industry Trade Groups, it’s time to ignore the reports and pick up a glass of wine or simply cancel the meeting altogether. We have spent the previous 11 months sharing information, submitting alerts, RFI’s and reports that have made the granting and administration of credit easier and hopefully has saved your company money.
However, the past few years of economic decline has dictated that we put down the wine and make December a real working month. Many of your customers, especially those in retail, may not be back in January of 2012. A common alert posted every January is “phone disconnected” or “mail being returned.” Not the greatest way to start out a new year, with large balances on your aging and a customer who has disappeared.
One way to reduce the risk of this happening is for all members to increase their group participation for the next 30-60 days. Enter an alert at the first sign of trouble; submit an RFI if a customers orders or payments dramatically change. If geographically possible, drive by the business and confirm any suspicions for yourself. If your group is meeting this month, attend and share. December may be just 1 month out of 12 on the calendar but to many businesses, it will determine survival or not.
A great gift we could all receive this year is to be gainfully employed in 2012. Staying active in your group will go along way to putting that present under your tree.
On behalf of the entire ICG Department, we thank you for your support this year and wish you the happiest of Holiday Seasons and a Healthy New Year.
Larry Convoy, ICG Supervisor