3 Small Business Strategies For Dealing With Supply Chain Disruptions

These 3 strategies can help your small business deal with supply chain disruptions.

The past year and a half has been a trying time to be a business owner. From Covid closures, to hiring issues, it can feel like you’re putting out a new fire every single day. As the economy opens back up, demand in many industries is reaching record highs. Even our team at Personal Mini Storage has seen an increase in requests for self storage at many of our locations across Central Florida. For many businesses though, this growing consumer demand is putting new strains on inventory and supply chains.

It’s important to plan ahead and make sure you are not caught unprepared when inventory dwindles and customers face delays. Here are three strategies you can start implementing immediately to help your business stay resilient in the face of uncertainty.

1. Stockpile Inventory

Indoor storage facility with unit door opened.
A self storage unit can be an affordable option for stockpiling inventory.

When your supply chain faces disruption, it can directly affect your bottom line. For small businesses, this could be the difference between survival and shutting the doors for good. One way to protect against volatility like this is to build up a reserve of inventory that will keep your operations running smoothly during short disruptions. The recommended amount of product you should consider stockpiling will depend on your specific industry and business.

Build up a reserve of inventory that will keep your operations running smoothly during short disruptions.

If you don’t have the space to keep additional inventory stocked at your business, renting a self storage unit can be an affordable alternative. Some facilities like Personal Mini Storage offer both drive-up storage as well as air conditioned units in case your inventory is sensitive to extreme temperatures. Be sure to choose a location that is convenient and easily accessible for your business.

2. Focus on Customer Satisfaction

A customer service review document with pen.
In the event of a disruption that affects your customers, being open and honest is key.

Stockpiling inventory can help you navigate a temporary disruption, but what if those issues last for an extended period? How should you handle an issue that could affect your clients? According to Forbes, it’s important to have an effective problem resolution process. Transparency can go a long way to earning your customer’s trust (and repeat business). During times of volatility, it’s important to be open and honest with customers about the situation you’re facing. No one enjoys feeling like information is not being shared with them. When appropriate, let them know you’re dealing with a supply chain disruption and the steps you are taking to alleviate those problems.

Transparency can go a long way to earning your customer’s trust (and repeat business).

In addition to being transparent with your customers, consider offering a discount or compensation for the delay in receiving your product. A small gesture can make a big difference in the long run and show your clients you care about their overall experience.

3. Create an Emergency Plan

A folder with a title page "EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN" opened on a desk.
Focus on planning for the most likely scenarios your business could face.

In the real world, emergencies are going to happen. How you react and prepare for these problems though, will ultimately decide how successful your business will be. Take time to think about how you would handle different issues and problems to your supply chain and create an emergency plan for these scenarios. This may include alternate shipping options, routes and backup suppliers.

Having a plan and knowing the steps you will take in those situations will ultimately save you time and money.

While you shouldn’t expect to have a contingency plan for every issue your business could potentially face, it’s important to think about the most likely scenarios that would have an affect on your supply chain. Examples of this could include a power outage affecting you or your supplier, weather related natural disasters, and economic downturns. Having a plan and knowing the steps you will take in those situations will ultimately save you time and money.

Are you looking for a solution to help your business avoid expensive supply chain disruptions? Personal Mini Storage offers businesses of all sizes flexibility with month-to-month storage rentals giving you the ability to stock up inventory and be prepared for whatever life throws your way.

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Chris Romero