Seek alternatives to materials supply and income streams

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Terry Sage of Trades Coaching New Zealand says supply chain problems should be prompting business owners to seek alternatives for materials supply and/or income streams.

There are many stories, articles and debates going on out there about how the world is different after Covid.

In fact, there are probably too many as they all say pretty much the same thing. And if they’re anything like the predictions we were getting in April 2020, they’re all wrong.

However, we cannot dismiss the fact that life is different, and it’s the way we adapt to the “new world order” that will separate the doers from the same olds.

There is a massive issue looming, and its full impact has not hit us yet. That issue is supply, from raw materials to imported goods, from specialists to labourers and everything in between.

I spoke to a top manager in a big telco company recently, and he asked me if I would like to order a new iPhone 12? “Well don’t bother, because there aren’t any coming for months,” he said.

And that’s going to be the same for many industries across the land. Good job I’m a Samsung chap all the way.

So I’ve been exploring this issue with all my clients, and my coaching tells them to seek alternatives, either with their supply chain or income streams.

The following are two discussions I’ve had so far.

The first is a young lady who’s been in business two years, and who buys all her stock from a local Kiwi agent (the only one in New Zealand).

That agent has run out of the main colours of the stock she needs. She approached an Aussie supplier who had similar issues.

So we searched the globe for manufacturers, and found one in Italy who has (apparently) full stock and wants an outlet in Australasia. All well and good, but my client is set up as a user of the product, not a supplier.

Here is the doer mentality — becoming a supplier won’t fix tomorrow’s problem, but will fix the ongoing problems in three months’ time.

It also reduces her liabilities of relying on other people and puts her destiny in her own hands — well, a part of it anyway.

The big plus is the current supplier ships six containers a year into New Zealand, so we are talking quite large dollars.

If there is suddenly a new kid on the block who just happens to have a full range of colours then bring on the new clients!

The second discussion is about a couple who have a dream of owning a property portfolio — the kiwi dream.

As we all know, the cost of houses has gone nuts, and the return on rentals, along with new legislation, has made owning rentals questionable, to say the least.

Question. How can they get rental income without having a place to rent? Answer? They bought a 38ft boat with kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and fittings for only $2500.

Don’t get excited, because it’s current state means it wouldn’t float on water anymore, but it certainly looks the part.

It is buried into the lower part of a paddock under some trees, plumbed and wired, and is now an AirB&B rental — and it cost them under $6000 to set up.

At $290 a night you have to love that return on investment, and it’s under 30sq m so has code compliance — sort of.

The point here is even though we feel like life is the same, the world beyond our beaches is wildly different. So think about alternatives for your business.

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