What is inflation?
Inflation is the widespread and persistent exponential increase in the prices of goods and services in an economy. It affects consumers’ purchasing capacity, companies’ production costs and the balance of public accounts.
What should companies do in the face of high inflation?
Faced with these challenges, companies must devise strategies to adapt to high inflation and minimize its negative impacts. Some possible strategies are:
1. Diversify suppliers: Companies can seek alternatives for supplying inputs that are cheaper or more stable in terms of price. This can reduce production costs and increase the company’s flexibility in the face of market variations.
2. Build customer loyalty: Companies must invest in marketing and relationship actions that aim to retain existing customers and attract new customers. This may include offering discounts, promotions, gifts, guarantees, after-sales, etc. that add value to the product or service and create a bond with the consumer.
3. Innovate in products or services: Companies must differentiate themselves from competitors through innovation in the products or services they offer. This may include improving the quality, functionality, design, sustainability, etc. of products or services, or creating new solutions that meet consumers’ needs and wants.
4. Adjust prices frequently: Companies must adjust the prices of their products or services frequently, according to market variations and inflation. In this way, the company prevents prices from falling out of step with costs or demand, and the company from losing profitability or competitiveness.
How high inflation affects business
High inflation affects businesses in the following ways:
1. Reduction in demand: When prices increase exponentially, people tend to reduce their spending, especially on non-essential goods, such as leisure, travel and clothing. This negatively impacts the revenue and profits of companies offering these products or services.
2. Increased costs: Inflation also causes companies to have to deal with higher production costs, as they need to pay more for labor, inputs, transportation, taxes, etc. This reduces companies’ profit margin and many companies choose to reduce the quality or quantity of products or services offered.
3. Loss of competitiveness: High inflation can impact the competitiveness of companies in the domestic and foreign markets. In the domestic market, companies may run the risk of losing customers to competitors who are able to maintain lower prices or offer better payment terms. In the foreign market, companies may face difficulties in remaining competitive in relation to countries that have lower inflation or a more favorable exchange rate.
4. Difficulty in planning: High inflation brings challenges to companies’ financial and strategic planning. This makes it more difficult for companies to forecast revenue, costs, profits, investments, among others, and also makes it difficult to make decisions about expansion, hiring, innovation, etc.
You just learned how inflation affects a business. Remember that in the face of high inflation, it is important that the business seeks strategies to minimize the impacts. Some suggestions include: analyzing and adjusting prices appropriately, seeking suppliers with more competitive prices, optimizing internal processes to reduce costs and exploring market opportunities in sectors less affected by inflation.