It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic, labour shortages, and numerous other goings-on in the world have created a pretty difficult situation for small businesses relying on a solid supply chain to get the job done. It can be tough being at the bottom of the pecking order when it comes to getting the supplies you need, so here are some helpful tips for navigating supply chain issues as best you can.
1. Review your supply chain situation
Take some time to sit down and think about your supply chain and the potential risk of each item you need. For example, you might have one item you order often, but if that item only has one supplier, that might be a higher risk than others. Think about the equipment and supplies your business can’t be without, and try to anticipate any maintenance that might be required for that in advance.
2. Cultivate relationships with suppliers
When it comes to owning a small business, relationship-building is absolutely key – especially when it comes to your suppliers. Foster relationships where you can, and keep the lines of communication open and honest. That way, you’ll end up with a solid foundation and a sense of trust between yourself and your suppliers. If they know you’ll pay them on time and be upfront about any issues, they’ll be more likely to help you out when you need it.
3. Look at going in-house
If you have a certain supply chain that’s constantly unreliable, it might pay to think about vertical integration, or bringing something in-house. Some processes may need to be outsourced due to the type of skill required, but if there is a process that might be able to be absorbed into your business to speed things up, consider doing that. Yes, there’ll likely be a higher cost involved, but it might just save you money in the long run.
4. Embrace uncertainty
With no guarantee of when the global supply chain issues will be sorted out, unfortunately you just have to embrace the unknown and do what you can do to make it through. Luckily for us Kiwis, we’re pretty flexible and known for figuring out creative ways to do things. Let that creativity and adaptability shine through in your business and keep your head up, no matter what.
5. Protect what you can
Things don’t always go as planned in the small business world, and it can be easy to feel helpless when everything spirals out of control. One thing you do have control over is how you protect your business. If you want to take a look at your commercial insurance options, get in touch! We’re here to help ease the load for small business owners as much as we can.