Utility and supply chain tips for creating a successful business

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Building your own business from the ground up is, no doubt, an exciting endeavor, and it can be well worth it when and if you achieve lasting success. However, getting there will be a test of your skills as a businessperson, not to mention your will and your sanity.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

There are many challenges awaiting would-be small business owners that can prevent them from crossing that finishing line. Having the right information on your side can help you to even the odds. Here’s what you need to know about utilities and supply chain management in order to create a successful business.

Utilities

One of the most essential aspects of any business is its utilities. Electricity and clean running water are essential in modern life, and that becomes even more true in a business setting. Companies keep their lights on throughout whole business days, and that might entail a 24/7 model that can cause your electricity bill to skyrocket. Then, there’s heating and air conditioning to consider. Even where you might skimp on luxury to save money at home, you can spare no expense when it comes to cultivating the ideal environment for your customers. This can leave business owners feeling like they’re hemorrhaging funds with no say in the matter, but the good news is that there are a few alternatives for energy procurement.

First and foremost, solar panels are leading the charge in cost-effective electricity. While the primary incentive to switch to solar power has long been going green, this is because solar panels have historically been too inefficient to be viable as a full replacement for traditional, coal-powered electricity. Today’s solar panels are more efficient while still being affordable. While the initial investment may seem steep out of context, it’s well within the budget of many small businesses. However, the solar battery necessary to make solar energy self-sufficient is much more costly, though it’s still worth it in the end with the immense savings you’ll see month after month on your electricity bills.

The supply chain

Not unlike utilities like water and power, a successful business need a constant influx of supplies to remain in operation. The procurement of these supplies is dependent, in most cases, on the supply chain. While there is plenty of room for variance, the supply chain of the average business is as follows: a manufacturer sells to a distributor, and that distributor sells to a retailer. Retail isn’t the only industry that depends on supplies delivered at regular intervals, however, and every business model under the sun has this need to some extent. Retailers are perhaps the most dependent on this model, however, because they procure all of their stock from other businesses in the vast majority of cases, meaning that selling out of a given product requires a resupply.

Managing your supply chain effectively is an important method of controlling your cash flow. While the supply chain is a fundamental part of any business, there’s still leeway with which to save some money. However, this is a balancing act, because the easiest way to save money is to sacrifice the quality of your products and the reliability of the distributor. Finding the best possible balance of high quality, low prices, and dependable service is key to making the most of your procurement budget, thereby improving your supply of working capital.

In some cases, the right call might even be skipping the distributor entirely in favor of buying directly from the manufacturer, because this can also save you some money. However, distributors are value-added retailers, meaning that they provide additional features and services to the products they buy and sell, meaning that your best bet in the long term will be your distribution system once your budget allows for it.

Navigating the early years of running a business is anything but easy. While it may seem impossibly complicated, there are plenty of ways to ensure success in the short term and in the long run, and these tips are a great place to start. 

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Last Updated on July 3, 2021.

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