Handling a business is no small feat. It takes more than posting products on a page and waiting for orders to come flowing in. It also requires mindfulness, a bit of foresight, and hard work. Sometimes, some businesses need a whole team of hundreds, while sometimes, it can be handled by just a few people. Decisions are often a team effort, and victories are celebrated as a unit as well. So. what happens when an unexpected curveball takes place that puts you and your business at risk?
The pandemic has caused people to lose many things, and small-to-medium business owners are no exception. Unlike bigger corporations, independent entrepreneurs have had to cut back on expenses that were needed to keep their processes running, such as employing delivery services. Thankfully, businesses can apply certain strategies to cut back on costs as well as save themselves. Here are some ways to ensure that your products reach their destinations in the best state possible.
Don’t panic! This isn’t the end for you.
Upon having to let go of so many things and rethink plans that have been set months ago, it’s important not to lose your cool. The initial burst of panic is normal because there is so much at risk. However, it is crucial not to let the unease get to you, and remember that you are the captain of this ship. Stick with it, and find ways to keep your business afloat. Take deep breaths, and think: how do we cope?
Look at the previous business strategies that have worked. Which aspects can the business continue working with that don’t require too much of a budget? What about manpower? Should the packaging change? What about the flow of production? What can you flip on its head to work with the world’s current situation? Brainstorming can greatly help your business cope. Have a sit-down session with your team, and get those minds working.
Set up a cut-off schedule for deliveries
Instead of doing deliveries daily, offer an order cut-off and go on a one-day delivery run per week. This works best for handmade goods, such as crafts, baked goods, beverages, and food, that are made in big batches. That way, you (or your courier) won’t have to keep going out daily and put yourselves at a higher risk of getting infected. You get to keep your products fresh, and your customers have a set time to wait for their orders to come.
Setting up deliveries around a cut-off also helps track deliveries better. Delivering products by batches ensures that nothing gets left behind since cut-offs provide a more solid schedule. Updating clients of delivery schedules can be done in one go through group messaging or even through a social media post. The last thing you want as a business owner is for clients to stop supporting you because of a missed delivery. You get to save more on gas, too.
Update your storage systems
If your goods are perishable, your storage systems do the bulk of the heavy lifting for your business. Giving them a tune-up would be a good investment, and it would help you out in the long run, too. Remember: a machine is a sum of its parts, so have those parts checked by professionals to know which parts need upgrading. An update would not have to be a complete overhaul of your current units. Getting better parts would be a vast improvement — think of it as an act of foresight.
Most businesses have made the switch to more eco-friendly storage and packing systems, and for a good reason. Things like an oil-free compressor would change the quality of product storage because there wouldn’t be a risk of contamination due to oil. Update the way you pack, too! Using more sustainable packaging can generate better feedback from clients, so don’t be afraid to make the switch to more sustainable solutions.
Independent businesses have more to lose in this pandemic, and as a business owner, it’s good to fight to keep yours for as long as sensibly possible. It is important to make smart decisions and choose strategies that could help more in the long run because an owner’s decision will affect the team one way or another. Updating delivery and storage systems are great choices that could act as a buffer until things are safer again, but you also need to take care of yourself physically and mentally. Stay hopeful, stay healthy, and before you know it, things will be back to normal.