What started a year and a half ago as a complete panic to keep the doors open and the lights on has turned into an overwhelming amount of work as communities begin to come back to life, and we’re seeing small businesses get hit from both sides of the pandemic.
It may seem like a good problem to have, but for many of these businesses, the dramatic increase in post-COVID demand feels like an oncoming avalanche.
There are some good signs. For instance: 60% of small businesses told Bank of America that they expect increased revenue this year.
And 25% of businesses told the National Federation of Independent Business that they’re planning on adding more jobs.
Good News, Bad News
More revenue and more jobs sound like good signs for the economy, right? However, just as they’re finding some solid footing again, those same businesses are short on supplies.
And you know what happens when supplies are low, but demand is high.
Yep — higher prices. Longer shipping times. Missed deadlines. Unhappy customers.
The NFIB reports that small business owners have seen a 48% increase in their raw materials costs; 30% increase in labor costs and 18% increase in capital costs.
And the consumer doesn’t come out unscathed. The NFIB also reported that 40% of business owners plan on raising their prices to offset costs.
48% of small businesses have unfilled job openings in May — a record high.
And let’s talk hiring. We’ve heard about job fairs in big cities that had just 20 people show up. And minimum wage jobs offering $500 hiring bonuses to get warm bodies in the door.
This may be the biggest challenge of all.
Solutions to Help Small Businesses
There are plenty of reasons why people aren’t taking jobs these days. They’re waiting for unemployment to run out. They got laid off during COVID and started their own business. They still can’t find daycare. Just to name a few.
So how can small businesses cope with minimal help and too much work to juggle? Offering higher wages is one solution.
Working with an insured logistics partner to help alleviate supply-shipping woes is another. Amplifying communication with customers is absolutely critical.
While it may take some valuable time to adopt, moving to software that streamlines day-to-day operations will help small businesses manage the influx of work. Here are the key ways end-to-end customer experience software will help:
- Communicating with customers when delays are imminent
- Speeding up invoicing and payments
- DIY appointment scheduling to save time used to book appointments over the phone
- Managing your employees’ schedule on one calendar
- Improving organization with digital document sharing
- Scheduling social media posts that provide timely information for your customers
- Requesting reviews automatically to maintain your good reputation
These tools are designed to help you manage your workflow whether you’re dealing with an onslaught of work or simply evolving your business into a more efficient version.
Either way, you’ll be a well-oiled machine that can handle whatever your customers throw at you. Discover how we can help here.