Do you run a small business from home? Learn how to save time and money shipping yourself with these 5 small business shipping tips.
You can put all the work you want into advertising your business and your product. But if you can’t figure out a sustainable way to ship this product out to customers, you can’t have any hope of succeeding in the long run.
Good shipping practices are key to a small business. Most sellers usually figure out their shipping strategy through trial and error, working through different shipments and making big mistakes. While this is admirable, it’s also quite costly.
Instead, why not read our list of small business shipping tips? They can provide the information you need to save money and time for your company, and relieve stress off your own shoulders. Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
1. Consider Your Shipper Your Teammate
You’ve probably put a lot of work into deciding which shipping company you’ll be sending out your product with. You’ve toiled through info from USPS, FedEx, UPS, and more: comparing prices, looking for deals, and seeing which model fits your business the most.
But why let the relationship end there? It’s frustrating to watch so many business owners not take full advantage of their shipping company, even after putting all that hard work in.
These shipping companies often have small business specialists on hand to help you tackle your shipping needs. You can walk them through the common shipping requirements of your business, and in turn, they can match their carrier fees and services to these needs.
They can advise when its best to send shipments by ground or air, and can also recommend a schedule of sending that will keep your costs low.
Failure to do this could cause your business to overspend on shipping. This is money that can be easily saved with just a little bit of collaboration. There’s really no reason not to reach out to your shipping company and approach the issue of your shipping as a team.
2. Consolidate When You Can
One issue that many small businesses run into is that their shipments aren’t large enough to get enviable deals from shipping companies. Even a large order at a small company might fit squarely in the free corner of a larger companies’ shipment.
But that kind of thinking is exactly how you can save a lot of money while shipping: through consolidation.
If you have shipments going out that are not large in size or weight, many LTL shipping companies will allow you to piggyback on their existing bigger shipments. These freight consolidation services will find available truck space and fit your shipment in at a much more affordable price.
Consolidating might not always be the right option. It depends on what and how much you are shipping. But it can a great tool to help cut costs in sending goods out.
3. Ensure Your Carrier Is Doing Well
Time is money, and if your carrier isn’t delivering packages up to your standard, it might be costing you money. Late or delayed packages can trigger refunds from customers, and worse: turn off customers from returning to your business in the future.
It’s essential then that you keep a close eye on if the carrier you’re paying is doing a more than adequate job at delivering your product. Keep an eye on things like pick up and delivery time and ensure everything is running smoothly.
If you notice any sort of problems, you should immediately reach out to your carrier and work to resolve them. You might even be able to get some sort of discount. If a carrier is consistently making mistakes and delaying your shipments from reaching your customers, it might be time to look elsewhere for new help.
That kind of impact on the people buying your product is just not worth the risk, no matter how good of a deal they might be offering you.
4. Invest In A Postage Meter
If you really want to streamline your process, you could invest in a postage meter for your business. These machines weigh packages and are able to estimate the shipping cost you might face.
This can help to take the surprise out of the equation when it comes to shipping your packages. You can give a much more solid estimate of your costs to your carrier by using a postage meter, ensuring that they don’t overcharge you or buy extra postage by mistake.
It can also save you a lot of time. Not only does it allow you to skip the line at your carrier’s office, but many postage meters also let you print labels as well. Printing your own labels for certified mail can save you a lot of time, as well as benefit you for these top reasons.
5. Reuse Packaging
If you’re buying fresh new boxes every time you ship something out, your shipping costs are going to skyrocket. Instead, consider reusing boxes shipped to you to send out your products.
Make sure that the boxes are in good condition and aren’t imprinted with other brand’s logos before using. But if there is a sturdy and available box in your possession, there’s no reason not to save money and use it. You are helping your business, your wallet, and the environment all at the same time by doing this.
Small Business Shipping Tips
When it comes to running a small business, there’s a lot to keep track of. The above small business shipping tips should ensure you save money and stay organized when shipping out your stellar product.
Need more advice about running your company? Check out our business page for more.