The trade war has been all over the news for months now, and the uncertainty these tariffs are creating a wreaking havoc on small businesses all around the country. Trying to keep up with the constantly changing tariff rates is nearly impossible, but even more impossible is creating a business plan around the tariffs because all it takes is a single tweet and the tariffs change once again. Sometimes tariffs change so fast that you might have an order in production or already on a boat that you are going to now have to pay more for when it arrives at the port. But of course, there is one thing that is perfectly clear about who is going to pay for the tariffs. It won't be China paying for the tariffs but the entire levy is falling directly on American small businesses.
There is no doubt that times are tough for American small business owners. When that ship arrives at the port, you are the one who has to pay the tariffs, and you are the one who has to decide if they come out of your margins or if they need to be passed along to your customers and ultimately American consumers. Your options to choose from are bad and worse, and most likely there is no one clear cut choice but rather you will need to make compromises everywhere. In the end you will have smaller margins, a higher priced product, and will be doing less volume. To make matters worse, if the tariffs get lowered or removed on product you already have in inventory, all of a sudden you have to discount all of your merchandise and that may completely wipe out your margins.
Perhaps you can find a new factory in Vietnam to avoid the tariffs, and maybe you will even save some money by moving in the long run. It's a great idea, but don't think that you are the only one who has it, everyone else is also looking at Vietnam, as well as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and India. What does this mean for you? Well if you are used to getting 30 day lead times from your factory in China, your in for a big shock when you learn that Vietnam's lead times were 60 days at the start of the year, and have now increased to over 120 days. Combine that with the fact that you need to find a new factory that is able to produce product to your quality standards and, even more difficult, is willing to take on new business. Those of course are just the initial hurdles you need to overcome in finding a new factory, nevermind that many of your raw materials may still be coming from China and subject to tariffs. Of course the worst part is that you have probably spent years developing a good working relationship with your factory, and if you leave now, you will be back to square one.
There is no doubt that these are tough times for small businesses, and you are probably being faced with difficult decisions everyday. Regardless of which route you decide to take, there is no debate that you will be the one paying for these tariffs, and you will have to do so with lower volumes and thinner margins. So the question is how will you be able to pay for them. At DSA Factors we are proud to offer our clients purchase order financing, so that you have the funds necesary to pay both your suppliers and the tariffs.
With purchase order financing we will provide you with the funds you need when you need them. That means you choose how much money you need and when you need it. You can borrow some money for the deposit to start production, more money to pay for the completed product before it ships, and even more when it arrives at the port and you need to pay the tariffs. Or maybe you have the funds necesary to pay the factory for the product, you just need a little cash for the tariffs. Whatever your situation, our goal is to make sure that you have all the necessary funds you need to keep your business running, but charge you the lowest fees possible so that you can maintain healthy margins.
Want to learn more about how purchase order financing can help get your business through tough times, give us a call today at 773-248-9000.