There’s no denying that these are tough times for businesses and customers alike. Inflation, product shortages, and other supply chain problems are forcing small businesses to be more nimble and flexible than ever. Fortunately, there are several ways to tackle what you can control. Here are 6 ways small businesses can prepare and adjust for supply chain disruptions.
- Keep close track of your inventory. Consider your top-selling products or services and monitor your stock of related items closely. This is essential both for ensuring you don’t run out of anything and for defining your purchasing priorities.
- Stock up on inventory the smart way. Assess your storage space and consider stocking up on non-perishable items earlier than you normally would, especially on popular and discounted products.
- Communicate with your suppliers. Touch base with your suppliers regularly to ask if any shortages are on the horizon so you can plan accordingly. Consider checking in with them about once per week.
- Research alternative suppliers and inventory. Proactively find out which suppliers will work best for you as backup options if a shortage affects your primary supplier, particularly for items your business can’t operate without. Wherever possible, consider swapping out products with alternatives that won’t negatively impact your customers or sales.
- Manage customer expectations. No one likes an unpleasant surprise. Just as you rely on your suppliers, your customers are counting on you. Notify them about current and upcoming shortages and any recommended alternatives so they can plan ahead, too.
- Get creative. Consider using new products and services that are less affected or unaffected by supply chain disruptions. You may also want to temporarily or permanently reduce the number of products or services you sell to avoid spending in areas that don’t generate as much revenue. You can also encourage customers to use store pickup to reduce shipping costs, stop shipping items that are in low demand, or offer a discount for in-person purchases and pickups.
Make Your Business More Resilient With Next Level Northwest
Enrolling in a business accelerator program and working one-on-one with a business coach is an excellent way to get guidance on coping with supply-chain disruption and helping your business thrive in difficult times. If you’re a growth-minded small business in the Northwest Chicagoland area, consider applying for admission to an accelerator program with Next Level Northwest.
Next Level Northwest is a business acceleration public-private partnership serving the Northwest Chicagoland region. We support regional and local businesses through collaborative and innovative initiatives to help grow the economy. Download our Program Overview PDF here.
Ready to take your business success to the next level and become a Next Level Northwest graduate? Download and prepare your application following this process today!