Budget, ugh, sometimes just saying the word makes people cringe. Even though most of us don’t like talking about or even developing a budget, it’s a necessity. Budgeting and money management are critical for businesses of all sizes and setting a shipping budget shouldn’t be overlooked. But don’t dread the budgeting process because it doesn’t have to be difficult. Check out these small business budgeting tips for a better supply chain to get you started.
Be Flexible with Your Budget
We don’t mean to throw caution to the wind and be so flexible that there’s really no budget at all. What we mean is to look at the budget you had last year and the data about what you spent the most on, unexpected expenses that came up and any other important budgetary items from 2020. Then take that information and build your 2021 budget to be a range, so that you can adjust accordingly should things change positively or negatively.
You’ll know where in your budget range you can afford to spend a little more and where you can make some cuts. This will help you make sure your most valuable resources have the support they need to have the best business outcomes. Also, make sure you include your budget details in your business continuity plan, so everyone is on the same page.
Evaluate Business Processes
If the sales mantra is “always be closing,” then the small business owners’ mantra should be “always be evaluating.” When you can evaluate your business processes, you will be able to see where things are running smoothly and where things need improvement. As you build your budget, you can allocate funds appropriately based on how business processes are working (or not working).
You also want to consider what items are most popular, so you can put resources toward keeping those items stocked and ready to be shipped. Ask yourself questions about your shipping process.
- Do I have the right packaging materials on hand for my most popular items?
- Will it be easier and more affordable to consolidate my freight?
- Will expedited freight help me meet my deadlines?
- Does my shipment require special shipping services?
You will want to factor in all these questions in your budget, too. Poor packaging leads to damage and missed pickups which can wreak havoc on your budget. Capacity could be too hard to find unless you consolidate shipments. Poor weather could lead to delays. Any additional services performed by a carrier outside of curbside pickup and delivery are an additional charge. Planning for these services ahead of time ensures that your freight gets the care it requires, and your budget doesn’t take a hit.
You want to be sure that your business processes are working, and that you’re shipping your products, meeting your customers’ expectations and making money in the process.
Building partnerships is more than just having a good relationship with your customers (which is important, too). It’s also about having and improving relationships you have with all your business partners, such as suppliers, consultants and third-party logistics providers (3PLs).
Everyone and every business were impacted by the pandemic during 2020, and many businesses are still trying to recover and get back to business as usual. This is likely the case for your suppliers, too. Work with your suppliers and be transparent about your business needs. You and your suppliers can figure out when you will need certain items, so everyone is on the same page. You won’t have to wonder if you will get the items you need to run your business, and you won’t wonder how much it will cost.
A successful supply chain depends on everyone succeeding. And when it comes to a successful supply chain, you need more than just a carrier to move your shipment from point A to point B. You need a trusted shipping partner with the resources, industry knowledge and shipping expertise to help you succeed in shipping every step of the way. You need a 3PL like FreightCenter to handle the shipping and logistics ins and outs for you.
Now that you have these small business budgeting tips for a better supply chain, it’s time to get shipping! FreightCenter can help you ship within your budget, making shipping easy and affordable. Get your free online quote or give us a call at 844-212-7447 today to get started!