The new year is upon us, and it can be a time of uncertainty for many business owners, but there are some things we can do to limit surprises and keep revenue flowing in 2022.
Many owners and managers are dealing with staffing shortages and the pandemic unknowns, but one of the biggest problems is with inventory.
Supply chain issues have been going on for months, and the holidays didn’t help the situation. We are still seeing a backlog of supplies at ports, and many experts believe this will continue through most of 2022.
This problem cannot be fixed, but there are some things managers and owners can do to make sure service and sales are still running smoothly in the middle of uncertainty.
Time for a New Plan
First, make sure you have a plan in place.
The new year is a great time to start a new plan for employees or improve on an old one. Set communication boundaries, limit confusion, and simplify the workload.
Communication is the cornerstone of any good business. We know that it can be tough to set boundaries, but it’s important to establish a new set of rules for employees and for customers.
Also, make sure employees are clear about what you want for the company and what is expected of them.
Simplify the workload so there is less stress for you and your employees. Make sure you are giving your employees the tools they need to meet their goals.
Second, expect the unexpected.
Once you have a plan in place, make sure you are keeping an eye on then supply chain and what you are seeing as far as cost and time to ship. This will help eliminate the mystery for customers and employees.
Be honest about what’s going on. Make sure your employees know that you are experiencing shortages in supply. They can then pass this information on to the customer so there are no surprises.
Don’t be afraid to deliver bad news. This may not seem like the best solution, but it goes a long way towards being transparent with the customer.
If you can’t deliver a part to a customer for a few weeks, let them know. Chances are a competitor is also dealing with the same problem, so if you are honest with customers about what’s going on, they will likely stick with you.
Make a clear schedule when ordering supplies. We don’t really know what to expect as we head into the first part of 2022, but it’s important to stay on top of what’s going on.
Don’t panic, order what you need, and let the chips fall where they may. Panic ordering will not help this situation, and will likely add to the backlog of shipments coming in.
Don’t Fight It
Finally, go with the flow.
This may be a tough one to take in, but it’s important to stay calm during these troubling times. The uncertainty of what’s going on may cause some businesses to take drastic measures. This is not always necessary.
Every business is seeing staffing shortages and supply issues in some form. This is not a unique situation.
If you can’t control the supply chain, then improve on what you can control.
Establish an automated system like texting to cut down on employee stress. Make sure you are giving your employees all the tools they need to succeed and meet your goals.
Add simple payment methods. Text-to-pay is gaining popularity and is being used by thousands of dealers. It allows the customer to limit face-to-face interactions, and it cuts down on the time employees need to spend on any sale.
Meet the customers where they want to be. Make sure you establish an automated system that allows customers to buy from you simply and conveniently.
As you head into the new year, stay aware of what’s going on around you. Keep an eye on the supply lines, but don’t panic. Set up a plan for you and your employees to keep revenue flowing and improve the customer experience in 2022.
Ben Leighton is a content marketing specialist with Kenect. He previously worked in the journalism industry for over a decade, creating multimedia content on various platforms. You can find Ben on Linkedin and Twitter.
Kenect helps businesses connect with their customers. We build simple texting tools that are elegant and easy-to-use. Thousands of companies across North America use our platform to text their customers, generate online reviews, gather leads from their websites, video chat and collect payments. Based in the Silicon Slopes of Utah, our team is committed helping businesses improve their customer experience and customer communication. To learn more about Kenect, visit kenect.com or text us at (888) 972-7422.