5 Entrepreneur Traits You Can Draw from to Overcome Supply Chain Issues
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The supply chain issues dominating today's headlines show minimal signs of letting up. But it doesn't mean your resolution to achieve more as a business owner in the new year has to change.
In fact, according to Gilroy Gannon Chartered Accountants, the qualities that make small business owners successful may help you overcome supply chain struggles now.
Unafraid to Take Risks
You took a risk starting a business, and that's what Jeremy Plemons, food truck owner, did when faced with a shortage of serving utensils from his main supplier. According to an ABC News report , he looked to fellow restaurant owners in his community as potential partners and suppliers.
"We have been supporting each other a lot. If anyone needs anything, they know to call me, and I can always call them," said Plemons, mentioning he might buy a shipping container with a fellow small business owner to stock up on essential items.
While it takes a leap of trust to view competitors as collaborators uniting to solve a common problem, it's the kind of mindset that sets the groundwork for greater things.
Focus is essential when running a small business. The ability to focus on issues such as customer communication is critical during this supply chain crunch.
In the same ABC News report, Karen Keating, president and CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, says that small businesses "communicate with customers and clients about the situation." She also adds that they "stay in contact with their customers about possible disruptions and delays in their products and services" to keep up with current issues.
It's the kind of one-to-one dialog that small business owners understand and can help put supply chain issues in perspective for customers.
You didn't make it this far in your business without feeling confident you could navigate challenging times.
But feeling confident in your supply chain is a different issue you can begin to address through segmentation, according to a LinkedIn article by Deborah Jones, Partner Manager at Proactis.
"Best practice is to segment your supply base, so you identify your critical suppliers and forge a close working relationship with them," Jones says. "Additionally, you should ensure you have contingency suppliers in place within your supply base that can enable you to continue business as usual in the event of a failure of a critical supplier."
When evaluating supply chain partners, Jones suggests keeping disruption top of mind. Ask yourself how quickly it could impact your business, whether the supplier is critical to operations and where you might go to fill any gaps.
The more questions you have answered to your satisfaction, the more confident you can be that your supply chain can withstand stress.
Committed to Lifelong Learning
Learning comes in many forms to business owners, whether it's by the book, by experience, by talking to others, or simply by reading a piece like this.
What you learn during this 'great disruption' may be painful and costly but will be valuable lessons when you emerge on the other side.
Think of this as a moment to become better educated about what you may have taken for granted. Ask suppliers who are struggling how you might work together to minimize disruptions once this crisis passes. Or get your customers' opinions on how to modify expectations.
Here's a chance to create your own syllabus in a learn-as-you-go fashion. Make the most of your ongoing quest for knowledge.
Driven to Succeed
You had no intention of failing when you started your business, and you certainly don't have any intentions of letting the current supply disruption chain get the best of you.
But sometimes, success needs some outside help, especially in the face of pandemic-induced supply stoppages. Thankfully, the U.S. Small Business Administration still offers a variety of Covid-19 relief options.
While you may not need reminders that you possess the traits to overcome today's supply chain disruptions, it pays to take stock of them. They're what got you here in the first place, and when this crisis subsides, you may find yourself giving them credit.