Strategies for Small Businesses to Navigate Inflationary Pressures
With the inflation rate hovering around 6%, many small business owners feel the squeeze. When costs rise, profit margins shrink, and owners must act to keep their businesses profitable. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, high inflation rates are driven by significant increases in food, shelter, and gas prices.
“Increased energy prices, supply chain disruptions, and labor shortages have a significant impact on the cost of doing business, “Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Central East Texas said. “Business owners are struggling with how to respond”
BBB recommends the following to minimize the impact of inflation on your business.
Reduce your expenses. Be intentional about where your business is spending its money. This means reviewing your current spending and determining if it aligns with your strategy. If employees waste office supplies or delivery drivers take the scenic route, address the issue. If your online advertising budget isn’t bringing revenue, make adjustments. Cancel unused products and services.
Stock up on necessary supplies. If there are items you are certain will be used in the year ahead, buy as much as you can now. Doing so may make you eligible for bulk discounts, reduce the impact of future price increases, thereby allowing you to remain competitive in your industry.
Have multiple suppliers. Having one supplier for every item your company needs makes sourcing simple. However, having multiple suppliers provides you with options.
Evaluate your products and services. Identify what products and services are the most profitable. Remember that consumers might be open to lower-priced options to ease their budget. They also may be interested in paying more for items and services that make a stressful time more manageable. Consider temporarily cutting services or expenses to better focus on what generates the best results.
Raise prices wisely. If you must raise your prices to compensate for inflation, do so wisely. Don’t increase your prices so much that it causes many customers to purchase from your competitors. Instead, raise your prices just enough to offset the impact of inflation and ensure you can keep your small business profitable. Also, don’t be sneaky about pricing. Don’t resort to drip pricing or hidden fees. Instead, be transparent. Let customers know ahead of time about the increase and help them understand why.
Prioritize customer service. When consumers know you care about their satisfaction, they’re more likely to do business with you, even if you raise prices. Don’t skimp on service by being understaffed. If you don’t have the budget for a full-time employee, look into freelancers and part-time staff.
Use technology. Artificial intelligence, automation, and self-serve customer options can reduce costs and take pressure off existing staff in an already tight labor market.
For more information
Learn more about keeping costs down when inflation hits.
For more information to help your small business, check out the BBB business news feed and the BizHQ.
Check out this infographic for five tips for dealing with inflation.
About BBB: BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more information. BBB offices can be found across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central East Texas, which was founded in 1985 and serves 19 counties.