Supply chain issues, as well as inflation, continue to be a serious disruption in the operation of businesses across the globe. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says inflation is at a 40-year high, making it difficult for small businesses to survive.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife conducted a survey that shows two-thirds of small business owners say they are being forced to raise prices due to inflation. The Chamber says consumer spending habits and excess funds have added to the issue.
Supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 restrictions and the Great Resignation are still leaving businesses of all sizes with a deficit in workers and delays in operations. However, as 2022 presses on, new issues affecting the supply chain have come to light.
What’s causing the supply chain issues today?
LivePlan says any business can overcome today’s supply chain issues with a proper management plan in place. Here are a few areas that are adding to the supply chain snafu:
It’s complex. The supply chain involves several touchpoints to make sure packages get to where they need to go. A business looking to grow its market may find itself wrapped up in more logistics and planning than usual due to supply chain delays and accountability measures.
Costs are high. As soon as one piece of the puzzle goes up in price, so do the others. For example, when gas prices rise, so does the cost of shipping goods. And the cost to get from point A to point B will raise the overall cost of the product as well.
Consumer demands are stretching shippers thin. Free shipping may be known as a special standard now thanks to entities like Amazon, but the United States Postal Service continues to take a hit from the surge in consumerism.
[Read more from LivePlan here.]
How can small businesses bounce back from supply chain issues?
The holiday season is right around the corner, which means demand will be high and supply will, unfortunately, still be an issue. GoDaddy says small businesses need plans in place to have enough inventory on hand during the biggest shopping season of the year if they want to survive the rest of 2022.
Here’s what GoDaddy says are a few ways for business owners to spin the supply chain disruption in their favor:
Find new products. Expand your line of offerings if you run into issues stocking your usual or popular items.
Find alternate suppliers. If you offer products that are not defined strictly by their brand, a business can utilize multiple vendors to have inventory backup options when needed.
Offer BOPIS. That’s the “buy online, pickup in-store” option for customers. GoDaddy says 1 in 5 consumers avoid stores that lack a BOPIS option. Also, it’s a chance for you to upsell your customer.
Give refunds to avoid chargebacks. Customers often want a refund because their item didn’t show up on time. Business owners can lose a lot more money with chargebacks, or a disputed credit card transaction, over providing a refund. GoDaddy says the addition of penalties and fines can increase the amount up to 400% more than the original refund.
[Read more from GoDaddy here.]
Supply chain disruption checklist for business owners
A business owner can set their company up for success during these rocky supply chain times by making sure they are keeping their customers in the loop and possibly working with other businesses experiencing the same issues. Use the checklist below that we created from tips from Small Business Bonfire to support your business through the end of 2022 and beyond:
Communicate with your customers. Use email marketing and social media to connect with your audience and let them know about inventory updates, special deals, and holiday discounts.
Plan ahead. Stock up on what you know will sell fast on big holiday shopping days.
Be flexible. Be ready to adapt and offer optimum customer service regardless of any issues that arise.
Collaborate with others. Find other businesses or organizations to partner with on a special event or deal for your customers.
Set up better inventory tracking. Stay on top of what you have in stock. That way, you won’t be surprised by depletions or by having to let your customers know you are sold out.
[Read more from Small Business Bonfire here.]
Get ahead of the holiday shopping season and start offering specials for your customers now!
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