Just because you’re operating a small business doesn’t mean that you can’t end up with big problems. Understanding logistics is important for every business, regardless of payroll size or annual revenue. While there are some challenges that can be especially pronounced for small businesses, there are also ways around them. These tips will help your small business better handle logistics challenges.
Understanding logistics means thinking several steps ahead. While it’s great to stay in the moment, you also need to figure out how you’re going to deal with the months ahead. Busy shopping seasons, such as around the holidays, need to have a strategy developed well before the decorations start going up. If you’ve just opened your business, you may need to analyze trends in your inventory and make educated guesses for how to prepare for each season. Should there be any indications of a busier or slower shopping season than normal, you can use the extra time for adjusting your plan.
Improve Communication With Shipping Vendors
If you’re not communicating properly with your shipping vendors, you’re not communicating properly with your customers. Poor communication is one of the many causes of shipping delays that plague small businesses. You need to keep in touch with your shipping vendors and always make sure that your message is clear. Ask them questions about anything that isn’t clear and encourage them to follow suit.
Have Back-Up Plans
There’s no such thing as a truly failsafe option. If you assume that nothing will go wrong, you’ll be left scrambling if/when things don’t go according to plan. While you can have a primary option, there also needs to be a fallback plan to consider. Should your plan A start to falter, you’ll be able to effortlessly pick up with a strong plan B.
Imagine you’ve received a large order for a certain product, but you haven’t shipped it in a while, so you have no idea where it is. The time that could’ve been spent sending out products is now spent figuring out where said products are. This is just one of many nightmare scenarios you can encounter if your inventory isn’t well organized. You need to know how to locate everything when you need to. Keep similar items in the same section and use an organization system, such as an alphanumeric one, to keep track of everything.
Small business owners need to think big, but they also need to think clearly. Proper logistics is a matter of figuring out a system that works under a variety of conditions. If you need to modify things, you need to do so right away. Your small business needs to operate smoothly and keep everything flowing, and good logistics can make that possible.