If you’ve been watching the news lately, you know Coronavirus is affecting people worldwide. Not just people, but businesses as well, perhaps yours.
Some small businesses depend on suppliers from China to send products. Shipments of goods are being held up at ports because manufacturers want to keep their workforce healthy.
If your business is affected by Coronavirus with delayed or stopped shipments I want to offer a few tips on how to get through this.
Look for New Suppliers
Luckily China, is not the only supplier of goods. There are Indian vendors and vendors in other countries that may have what your business needs, at the same price or cheaper.
Alibaba is a China based company, however, you can select which countries to search for goods. After entering the product in the search tab, a list of suppliers appears. In the category tab, at the far left there’s an option to select country. Check to see if there are suppliers outside of China.
A simple Google search can yield surprising results. As a small business, you know exactly what supplies you need.
If you sell jade face rollers, for example, search Google for jade face roller suppliers. A list will appear. Scroll through the list to see what suppliers come up. Send an email or call to get business specifics.
Is there something else you can sell? A different product perhaps, or can you package your knowledge about small business and sell that.
The specialized skills you’ve acquired to run your business are valuable. If you’ve thought about packaging your knowledge and selling it, now’s the time.
If there are other business ideas brewing, try those out. Look around your warehouse and workshop. There could be surplus of supplies that someone else needs. Sell it.
Do you stay in contact with customers through newsletter email, blog posts or social media? If so, keep them in the loop about what’s going on with business.
Let them know how you’re working to get shipments out on time, or what the status of an order is. Thank them for their business, and patience as your company works through this challenge. Reach out to your network of customers if you need help with something. There’s strength in community.
It’s easy to panic when the bread and butter of your business, supply, is affected. It’s the way you put food on the table and feed your family, that’s no joke. Let’s get through this together.
First things first, take a deep breath. Trust God that your business will survive this. This isn’t the first time a pandemic has threatened business. Somebody else has experienced a similar challenge, and made it through. So will you, and your business.
Believe that there’s a solution or work around for this challenge, you WILL find it, and make it out on the other side. You’ll survive, with a story to share with the next business owner about braving challenging times.