It has been a rough couple of years for small business owners. Whether you made it through March 2020 or not, you're a rockstar. Now, with the news shouting that people need to stock up on essentials all over again you are asking yourself, "How do I stay ahead of the curve?"
Google Screenshot taken 6:50 pm on October 9th, 2021.
Stay Up To Date
We've seen some of the roughest times for small business. Keep your cool. There are plenty of places to stay up to date about vendor information.
Have you checked Facebook vendor groups? Whether it's for food, clothing, capital, etc, there's a Facebook Group for it.
Change the type of alerts you see in your News Apps to stay up to date on relevant articles to your industry.
Keep tabs on Twitter Trends. If something crazy happens, Twitter is talking about it.
Stay in contact with competitors. It may sound counter-productive, but they will be the most informed on your industry. LinkedIn may be a good choice if you do not want to network locally in your industry,
Update Your Customers
Use social media to your advantage. Have you ever gone out to dinner and found the meal you've been planning on getting for a week is completely sold out? That anger is what turns into negative reviews! Use your social platforms to talk about what is going on:
The price of cotton has gone up 22% in the past two weeks and does not seem to be stopping anytime soon. Unfortunately, you may see prices of some of the cotton apparel go up because of this trend. We appreciate your continued support through the madness that is 2021.
Be real with your customers. People love the 'real' attitude of a business. Remind your following there is someone behind the keyboard!
Do Not Stop Advertising
The number one thing people cut when things get shaky is advertising. You need to continue letting people know:
You're still open.
You're still selling a product/service.
People should see you rather than a competitor.
Stock Up On What You Can
If it seems an integral part of your business is on the list of things 'hard to come by', think about investing in bulk and long term quantities of these items. Reach out to your local Chamber of Commerce to see who they can get you in contact with, locally, who may be more sufficient than Big Box Online Sellers in these times.
Start Making Plans Now
What could your business live without? Could you limit your menu or change up offerings due to what's more locally available? This will be a very hard conversation to have. Grab a cup of coffee (or a bottle of wine), your most trusted staff, and have a true conversation.
It may seem a little silly to be talking about these things now. Whether the warnings online turn out to be true, it is always better to have an umbrella for a rainy day.