As a small business owner, you rely on having access to the materials you need in order to serve your customers. Normally, you have access to everything you need. Years ago, machine tools allowed the first capitalists to make inexpensive, but good-quality things. This resulted in smooth access to what you need for your business. But if the supply chain is damaged, this security goes away. If you’re a small business struggling with supplier issues, here are some ways to minimize the damage.
Be Honest with Your Customers
If you are having supply issues, tell your customers about it upfront. Be honest about what is happening and don’t try to change the story to make it seem like no big deal. If your customers are reasonable people, they will understand that this is out of your control. Don’t lie about your inventory or the timeline for getting goods, especially if you don’t know what it will be. If you’re honest and do your best to still help, it can be a good opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your customers.
Keep Careful Track of Your Inventory
If you’re having trouble getting supplies, you need to know exactly how much you have on hand at all times. With this information, you can make plans for how to handle your business in both the immediate future and the months ahead. Track everything that goes in and out and make sure that you’re recounting regularly. This way, you can take advantage of what you do have while also avoiding making plans that require unavailable supplies.
Increase Your Inventory As You Can
If you get an opportunity to buy something that is otherwise scarce, take it. Especially if you deal with non-perishable items. These things won’t go bad, so try to buy in bulk whenever you get the opportunity. This will help you get through the months where it is more difficult to find what you need.
Buying in bulk when you’re used to ordering regularly can result in a lot of items that need storage space. If you have the budget and the room, you can set up a space devoted to long-term storage. Invest in a new HVAC system to keep things lasting longer. A new system can survive 12 to 20 years, so it will be sure to keep your supply safe. Keep the extra supplies that you buy in this room so that they’re out of the way, but available when you need them.
During supply chain situations, you need to rely on your creativity. Most likely, you won’t be able to fight the supply shortages in the courts. It is not a breach of contract for a business to be out of something you need. In fact, to prove breach of contract, you’d need to be able to prove the existence of a contract, proof that they didn’t fulfill the contract and more proof that this failure resulted in damages to you. Since none of these things are possible, you’ll need to rely on yourself to keep your business afloat. Figure out how to use the products that are available to you. This might mean different ingredients in your foods or selling different kinds of products in your shop.
No matter what kind of business you own, you will be impacted by supplier issues. However, if you are calculating, careful, and creative, you can still make your business successful. Take some time to figure out where you stand now, then do your best to provide excellent service with what you’ve got. This kind of thinking can keep you afloat during harder times.