We are heading into another year of uncertainty for many business owners, but there are some things we can all watch out for, to limit surprises and keep revenue flowing in 2022.
Staffing shortages, inventory issues, and the pandemic. These are all things that should be top of mind for any dealer right now.
While some of this is improving, we don’t really know how long it will last, so we need to make sure we stay aware of what’s going on, and what we can expect in 2022.
First, make sure you have a plan in place.
The new year is a great time to start a new plan for employees or improve on an old one. Set communication boundaries, limit confusion, and simplify the workload.
1. Communication is the cornerstone of any good business. We know that it can be tough to set boundaries, but the new year is a good time to establish a new set of rules for employees and for customers.
2. It’s important to limit confusion in the workplace. When employees are clear about what you want for the company, and what is expected of them, then they will be more likely to accomplish their goals.
3. With staffing issues, it’s important to simplify the workload. Make sure you are giving your employees the tools they need to meet their goals, while not adding to stress.
Second, expect the unexpected.
In addition to ongoing staffing issues, we have heard a lot about the possibility of inventory shortages lasting well into 2022. We can’t change this, but we can help eliminate the mystery for customers and employees.
1. Be Honest about what’s going on. Make sure your employees know that you are experiencing shortages in supply. They can then pass this information on to the customer so there are no surprises.
2. Deliver bad news. This may not seem like the best solution, but it goes a long way towards being transparent with the customer. If you can’t deliver a part to a customer for a few weeks, let them know. Chances are a competitor is also dealing with the same problem, so if you are honest with the customer about what’s going on, they will likely stick with you.
3. Make a clear schedule when ordering supplies. We don’t really know what to expect as we head into the first part of 2022, but it’s important to stay on top of what’s going on. Don’t panic, order what you need and let the chips fall where they may. Panic ordering will not help this situation, and will likely add to the backlog of shipments coming in.
Finally, go with the flow.
This may be a tough one to take in, but its important to stay calm during these troubling times. The uncertainty of what’s going on may cause some businesses to take drastic measures. This is not necessary.
Every business is seeing staffing shortages and supply issues in some form. This is not a unique situation.
If you can’t control the supply chain, then improve on what you can control.
1. Establish an automated system like texting to cut down on employee stress. Make sure you are giving your employees all the tools they need to succeed and meet your goals.
2. Add simple payment methods. Text-to-pay is gaining popularity and is being used by thousands of dealers. It allows the customer to limit face-to-face interactions, and it cuts down on the time employees need to spend on any sale.
3. Meet the customer where they want to be. Texting is not going away; in fact, it’s increasing into 2022. Make sure you establish a system that allows customers to buy from you simply and conveniently.
As you head into the new year, make sure you stay aware of what’s going on around you. Keep an eye on the supply lines, but don’t panic. Set up a plan for you and your employees to keep revenue flowing and improve the customer experience in 2022.