Amazon is laying off 10,000 workers. Interest rates are skyrocketing (credit card rates are on par with loan shark rates), and economists are promising a recession is around the corner. We’re at the cusp of Black Friday shopping sprees, destined to foreshadow holiday shopping behavior for the rest of the season.
There are few areas where business owners can hold on to profits, given their goods and overhead have risen in price. When free shipping is a must, profits can quickly get eaten up by a wide variety of overcharges from carriers like UPS and FedEx. Getting control over your shipping fees is one way to rein in your costs. But, if you don’t know where to look for overcharges, you’re likely to miss and repeat them.
There’s a good chance you could save thousands of dollars in shipping just by renegotiating your rates. It is not necessary for your current carrier contract to expire prior to negotiating new terms. If you’ve never done it before, you may find that working with a specialist who is familiar with carrier contracts will be highly beneficial. What’s more, they typically only charge a percentage of the money they save you, so it’s a win, win situation.
What About Supply Chains
If the pandemic taught us nothing else, it taught us to expect the unexpected. Most of us have witnessed empty store shelves at some point, frantically seeking out necessities like toilet paper. When diesel fuel shortages are imminent, we should not be surprised when truck drivers stop delivering supplies.
If expiration dates are not your concern, you have the liberty of stocking up on best sellers as long as storage is available. You can refer to historical sales data for seasonal items to determine what to order ahead of time. This option is not feasible for everyone; there are storage and additional costs to consider. The question is whether those costs are balanced by the ability to meet an increase in demand.
There’s just so much you can do to prepare for things you’ve experienced before, i.e., delays caused by inclement weather, distancing employees and customers as per local health laws, etc. The pandemic demonstrated some extremes – and you’d think there would be nothing else that could surprise you. But what if there were a war and businesses are commandeered to manufacture products to supply the military? It’s entirely possible given the current tensions between the United States and many other countries. Just look back at the pandemic and how some companies turned to manufacturing sanitizer and respirators.
Ask yourself whether your business could step up to a need, not only to meet new demand but to evolve with the changes. This is the key to surviving and thriving when faced with unprecedented challenges. For the time being, let’s hope the anticipation of an upcoming recession doesn’t hinder shoppers from spending this season or you may find yourself with a lot of outdated inventory in January to sell at deeply discounted prices.