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New Year's Resolutions For the Credit Function
By Michael C. Dennis MBA, CBF, LCM

I believe that credit professionals should consider adopting some or all of the following New Year's resolutions:

  • Resolve to return calls the same day you receive them

  • Don't waste your time with vendors soliciting your business on the telephone

  • Take steps to become more of a generalist, and less a specialist

  • Call delinquent customers sooner rather than later

  • Consider becoming more active in your industry credit group - perhaps by becoming an officer in that group

  • Place accounts for collection as soon as they stop communicating with you

  • Be more proactive managing credit risk

  • Look for more balance between work and home life

  • Do a better job of communicating problems with the sales department

  • Be more customer oriented

  • Make deduction resolution a priority, not an afterthought

  • Become a mentor if appropriate, or seek out a mentor if one would help your career development

  • If you make a bad hiring decision, don't compound the mistake by keeping them simply because you find firing someone stressful

  • Resolve to leave on time [earlier than usual] at least once a week

  • Be creative in looking for ways to make sales more safely

  • Stop trying to eliminate credit risk, and concentrate on controlling it instead

  • Document your business related accomplishments

  • Invest time in your own personal and professional development

  • Don't take the job home with you...what you do is not who you are

  • Work harder at prioritizing your work

  • If you have a weakness in a particular area [as an example in customer financial analysis] resolve to address that problem this year

  • Learn to differentiate between things that appear urgent, and tasks that are actually important

  • Look seriously at acquiring at least one type of credit automation software this year

  • Be more proactive [and less reactive] to work related problems and situations

  • Delegate more work, and do so more often

  • Dress better than the norm in your office

  • Throw away your to-do list, and start with a must-do list

  • Don't forget to thank your subordinates and co-workers for their help

  • Find out what management wants and expects from you, and then figure out how to give it to them

Good Luck, and Happy New Year!

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