Tips & Talk 34 – Your Role in the Global Supply Chain Crisis

Ribbon Bobbins - one of the many products used by handmade creatorsUnless something drastically changes, we’re headed for toilet paper hoarding again and worse yet – the holiday gifting season is in jeopardy due to the global supply chain crisis.

I saw a post going around recently that reads, “The work of local artists is not sitting on cargo ships.” That’s exactly right! This is in sharp contrast with other product sellers who have their product produced through factories … particularly if it’s done overseas.

Compounding the issue are labor shortages, the increase in shipping prices AND the slowdown of USPS, FedEx and UPS deliveries. It’s a perfect storm setting up roadblocks right in the path of Santa’s sleigh.

Here’s where you come in. As a handmade product maker, you have a unique opportunity to help save the holidays. If you’re sitting on a decent supply of production inventory. By that I mean the elements you use to make your products, like yarn for your shawls, clay for your pottery or beads, wire and closures for your jewelry. Your product production is not affected by the supply chain crisis.

All signs point to the fact that we’ll need your help to provide gifts that we can actually get to give for the holidays.

Here’s what you should be doing right now to be of service to your customers while collecting your share (and in this environment even more than that) of holiday sales.

  1. Determine your product scope.
  2. Focus on producing your proven best sellers.
  3. Get out to in person shows.
  4. Promote the advantages of holiday handmade.
  5. Contact your local media.
  6. Bring the message to social media and through email.
  7. Be fluid as the situation evolves.

Listen to the show for details under each of these steps.

Join my FREE Gift Biz Breeze FB Community where you’ll have the chance to learn and hang out with other inspirational makers just like you.

If you found value in this podcast, make sure to subscribe so you automatically get the next episode downloaded for your convenience. Click on your preferred platform below to get started.

Also, if you’d like to do me a huge favor – please leave a review. It helps other creators like you find the show and build their businesses too. You can do so right here: Rate This Podcast

Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify

Thank you so much! Sue

Know someone who needs to hear this episode? Feel free to share!

Transcript
Speaker:

Hi there.

Speaker:

It's Sue.

Speaker:

And thanks for joining me for tips and talk day.

Speaker:

These are bite-sized topics that I pull from community questions and

Speaker:

things that I'm observing in the world of handmade small business.

Speaker:

If you'd like to submit a topic,

Speaker:

DME, over on Instagram at gift biz unwrapped,

Speaker:

of course you've seen or read about this.

Speaker:

The seemingly endless stacks of cargo containers held up in our

Speaker:

ports going nowhere or possibly moving slowly.

Speaker:

Albeit this is debatable inside.

Speaker:

Those containers are either finished products produced by factories,

Speaker:

overseas or parts for products that are to be made here

Speaker:

stateside. And they're stuck in transit they're stalled in American ports

Speaker:

waiting to be processed from there.

Speaker:

Of course they can be stocked on shelves in our local

Speaker:

stores or made into products we all use,

Speaker:

but only if we can get our hands on the goods,

Speaker:

I'm experiencing this right now at the ribbon print company,

Speaker:

our latest inventory replenishment of our branded pretty print ribbon ordered

Speaker:

back in January,

Speaker:

I might add still has not arrived.

Speaker:

What normally would take three months to produce and get shipped

Speaker:

to the U S is caught up in this mess yet

Speaker:

I'm much better than most.

Speaker:

So I can't complain.

Speaker:

We still have ribbon in stock to sell.

Speaker:

So for all the ribbon print customers out there listening no

Speaker:

need to panic,

Speaker:

at least not yet.

Speaker:

And our order isn't sitting in the water in LA either.

Speaker:

It's actually right here about an hour outside of Chicago,

Speaker:

but we can't touch it until it's cleared the system.

Speaker:

We're completely at their mercy.

Speaker:

I'm not getting into politics and the house and the why's

Speaker:

behind this today.

Speaker:

Instead, I want to talk about your opportunity to help during

Speaker:

this supply chain crisis,

Speaker:

unless something drastically changes,

Speaker:

we're headed for toilet paper hoarding again and worse yet the

Speaker:

holiday gifting season is in jeopardy.

Speaker:

What if there are any presence to be purchased the Grinch

Speaker:t work for stealing Christmas:Speaker:

I saw a post going around recently that reads the work

Speaker:

of local artists is not sitting on cargo ships.

Speaker:

That's exactly right.

Speaker:

This is in sharp contrast with other product sellers who have

Speaker:

their items produced through factories.

Speaker:

Particularly if it's done overseas,

Speaker:

compounding the issue are labor shortages,

Speaker:

the increase in shipping prices and the slowdown of the postal

Speaker:

service FedEx and ups deliveries.

Speaker:

It's a perfect storm setting up roadblocks right in the path

Speaker:

of Santa's sleigh.

Speaker:

Here's where you come in as a handmade product maker,

Speaker:

you have a unique opportunity to help save the holidays.

Speaker:

If you're sitting on a decent supply of production inventory,

Speaker:

meaning the elements that you use to make your products like

Speaker:

yarn for your shawls clay,

Speaker:

for pottery or beads wire and closures for your jewelry,

Speaker:

your product production is not effected by the supply chain crisis,

Speaker:

all signs point to the fact that we'll need your help

Speaker:

to provide gifts that we can actually get to give for

Speaker:

the holidays.

Speaker:

It's a holiday win for everyone,

Speaker:

you by gaining new customers and advancing your business and your

Speaker:

customers with having holiday gifts in hand to distribute.

Speaker:

But to do this,

Speaker:

you must act and act now because we're already in the

Speaker:

midst of the season and there's no time to waste.

Speaker:

You may have also seen the warnings in print or on

Speaker:

the news about buying for the holidays early,

Speaker:

nothing like mass media,

Speaker:

helping with your marketing.

Speaker:

Here's what you should do right now to be of service

Speaker:

to your customers while collecting your share.

Speaker:

And in this environment,

Speaker:

even more than your share of holiday sales,

Speaker:

first off,

Speaker:

determining your production scope by this.

Speaker:

I mean,

Speaker:

how much product can you make based on what you have

Speaker:

already accessible?

Speaker:

How many candles do you have completed already?

Speaker:

And how many more can you make for the holiday season

Speaker:

based on inventory that you already have.

Speaker:

This is a combination of your inventory and your production time,

Speaker:

but we'll give you a top line number of what you

Speaker:

have to sell.

Speaker:

Secondly, based on last year's sales,

Speaker:

focus on your proven sellers and make those first.

Speaker:

If you're a low unfinished product,

Speaker:

these are tested and known to sell in your market.

Speaker:

If this is your first season,

Speaker:

you'll have to project where the interest of your customers will

Speaker:

fall. Typically,

Speaker:

anything theme to holiday by sense,

Speaker:

and flavors will be popular,

Speaker:

but balance that out with other non holiday themed products too,

Speaker:

because you don't want holiday product left after the season is

Speaker:

over. If at all possible or make sense in flavors that

Speaker:

can hold over for Valentine's day too,

Speaker:

just in case third,

Speaker:

go out to in-person shows.

Speaker:

Yes, selling online is great and yes,

Speaker:

you should be doing this too,

Speaker:

but putting your product directly in front of your customer,

Speaker:

where they can purchase immediately is a necessity.

Speaker:

This year it's convenient and cost effective for them and a

Speaker:

time saver for you without the shipping that would be involved

Speaker:

with online purchases for promote the advantages of holiday handmade at

Speaker:

shows, make signs reminding your booth visitors that buying today from

Speaker:

you is the solution effortless holiday gifting.

Speaker:

This year suggest gift solutions for various family members or other

Speaker:

uses for your product that a booth visitor may not have

Speaker:

considered. This will help increase the value of many of your

Speaker:

orders through ad-on sales.

Speaker:

Number five,

Speaker:

contact your local media as mentioned already.

Speaker:

The supply chain shortage is big news.

Speaker:

Think of what it can do for your business.

Speaker:

If you're highlighted as a local small business solution this year,

Speaker:

when pitching remember it,

Speaker:

shouldn't be about selling your product as much as the story

Speaker:

about how your managing through the season and that you can

Speaker:

help by providing gifts locally.

Speaker:

Past posts on this topic for more information can be found

Speaker:

in episodes 2 0 1,

Speaker:

2 89 and three 10,

Speaker:

moving on number six,

Speaker:

bring the message to social media.

Speaker:

And through emails we have holiday items are ready and waiting

Speaker:

can be one of your subject lines address the issue and

Speaker:

your ability to solve your customer's problem with acquiring gifts,

Speaker:

promote the shows you'll be attending and do online sales shows

Speaker:

too. Along with the normal product posts that you would run

Speaker:

finally be fluid as the situation progresses.

Speaker:

Nobody knows exactly how this will play out.

Speaker:

Be ready to adjust your messaging accordingly,

Speaker:

to stay up to date with this and ask questions about

Speaker:

how to manage through your supply chain strategy.

Speaker:

Join the discussion in the Facebook group,

Speaker:

gift biz breeze.

Speaker:

Remember we do live Q and A's every Thursday morning.

Speaker:

I think it'll be helpful if I summarize these seven action

Speaker:

items again,

Speaker:

number one,

Speaker:

determine your production scope,

Speaker:

how much product you can actually create based on what you

Speaker:

already have in stock the season.

Speaker:

Secondly, focus on your proven best sellers.

Speaker:

Third, get out to in-person shows for promote the advantages of

Speaker:

holiday handmade five,

Speaker:

contact your local media and get highlighted as a solution provider

Speaker:

for the holiday gifting season,

Speaker:

number six,

Speaker:

bring the message to social media and also through your email

Speaker:

communications and seven,

Speaker:

be fluid as the situation changes and progresses.

Speaker:

You have a unique opportunity this year to help offset the

Speaker:

supply challenge that we're all facing this holiday season.

Speaker:

We need your help and you want more sales.

Speaker:

It's a beautiful pairing,

Speaker:

happy holiday selling.

Speaker:

That's a wrap.

Speaker:

I'm a get to the point kind of girl.

Speaker:

And this is what you can expect from these quick midweek

Speaker:

sessions. Now it's your turn go out and fulfill that dream

Speaker:

of yours.

Speaker:

Share your handmade products with us.

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.