WASHINGTON, Dec. 2, 2021 -- Supply chain disruptions are significantly impacting more than half of America’s small businesses as the holidays approach, according to a meta-data analysis by SCORE, the nation’s largest network of expert, volunteer business mentors. More than 60% of small business owners also say the supply chain disruption has only gotten worse over the past three months.
As a result, 35% of small business owners have increased product prices by 10% or more. Many businesses say they foresee this issue continuing for six months or longer.
Despite these struggles, small business owners have risen to meet the challenge:
- 87% have maintained or spent more on transportation, logistics and expediting to overcome shortages.
- 62% are confident they have the information they need to make the right decisions about their logistics and shipping.
- 56% use multiple shipping and logistics vendors.
Flexibility is Key to Overcoming Supply Challenges
SCORE client Kelly Twichel, co-founder and CEO of the Access Trax portable accessibility pathway, began to see the cost of raw materials increase weekly starting this past spring, so she knew she had to act. To prevent a loss in sales, Access Trax began offering incentives for customers to pre-order with a down payment. “By being completely transparent and honest with our customers, we were able to grow our month over month revenue by almost 1000%,” said Twichel. “Customers not only needed the product, but appreciated the chance to order before prices increased, even if it meant waiting a few months before we were back in stock.”
Leny Fralicker, SCORE client and owner of Elderberry Elixir, an herbal supplement that supports immunity health, has sought innovative solutions to adapt her business during the supply disruption. “Right now, we’re seeing pretty significant delays of glass jars, which is what we put our Elderberry in,” said Fralicker. “In the face of the supply chain issues, we’ve been looking to pivot to biodegradable pouches and refillable bottles that our customers can use over and over again instead of wasting so much glass.”
Support Small Businesses This Holiday Season
“The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well despite ongoing challenges,” said SCORE CEO Bridget Weston. “Small businesses drive our nation’s economy through job creation and local economic benefits, enriching the fabric of our society and creating vibrant communities. Supporting small businesses is supporting your neighbor. Let’s all do our part this holiday season.”
Visit SCORE.org to learn how SCORE supports small businesses during challenging times, including 24/7 expert mentoring, resilience training and on-demand educational resources to help small businesses thrive.
Since 1964, SCORE has helped 11 million entrepreneurs to start, grow or troubleshoot a business. SCORE's 10,000 volunteers provide free mentoring, workshops and educational services to 1,500+ communities nationwide, creating 45,027 new businesses and 74,535 non-owner jobs in 2020 alone. Follow @SCOREMentors on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Funded [in part] through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.