Heard a good presentation on the topic this morning, from Ham Thorne, a mortgage originator. His first key points reiterate what I say in my forthcoming book: the time to prepare for the downturn is before it hits. "Squirrel away savings, reduce debt, watch over-exuberant expansion." Also diversify your customer base.
During the downturn, use your spare time to stay in touch with people, sending notes, making calls and visits. Ham actually said to do all of this all the time, but reality sets in when you’re really busy with paying customers, and it’s hard to do the plain old stay-in-touch activities. But certainly use the downturn to build relationships.