So, you recently made the biggest move of your lifetime and started a business. You must be excited but exhausted at the same time.
5 Helpful Things to Know About Small Business Shipping Services
No one told you that running a business comes with tons of requirements, all from production, marketing to delivery.
You have already found the best vendors and supplies in the market. What’s remaining now is to find a reliable shipping partner to help you maximize profit margins.
In this guide, you will find helpful tips to guide you through small business shipping services.
1. Identify the Right Shipping Strategy
The ideal shipping method for your company depends on convenience and your budget. There is a range of shipping options for small businesses, so you have to evaluate your needs first to identify the service that suits your company best.
While at this, consider if you have storage space. If not, then you should consider dropshipping on reliable channels such as eBay or Amazon.
This plan saves your time as you do not have to handle the goods. It also means that you do not have to stress about storage space or how the products will get to your customers.
You may also choose third-party shipping, whereby a fulfillment center handles your products before they reach buyers. Again, this option saves you time while allowing you to focus on other productive activities around your company.
Join Our Small Business Community
Get the latest news, resources and tips to help you and your small business succeed.
The fulfillment party handles all the tedious tasks such as tracking the package, packing the products, and sending them to buyers. Be sure to choose a strategy that will accommodate your needs even as your business grows.
Also, shipping involves a lot of risks. The goods could get lost or damaged on the way. The least you can do is protect them with comprehensive insurance coverage to save you from spending your business capital if the unexpected happens.
You want to save the most with this, and you cannot go wrong with third-party insurance. Third-party insurance charges nearly half of carriers’ charges hence an excellent opportunity to save.
2. The Cost of Shipping
The shipping solution you choose for your small business can either make or break it.
Your primary goal is to maximize profits, which is only achievable if you minimize expenses and maximize returns.
Shipping costs are a primary determinant of the total profits, not to forget that it dictates whether consumers will continue shopping from you or opt for your competitors.
Before setting up the shipping charges, you ought to understand the various factors that affect rate calculations. These include;
- The weight and dimension of the cargo
- The delivery speeds
- Shipping distance
- Additional services
Evaluate each of the highlighted factors before setting up the most reasonable rates that will suit your company and its customers.
Note; free business shipping services are not a deal-breaker.
As a small business owner, you will be tempted to go out of your way to please customers. While good customer service gives a competitive advantage, that does not mean you should make losses trying to make a good impression.
Before settling for free shipping, ensure that the profits you get can cover those costs. Do not offer free delivery simply because your competitors are doing it without considering how the idea will affect your business.
You can start by experimenting, perhaps on weekends or holidays. You are likely to make more sales on those days. If you realize that the returns exceed what you make on regular business days, you could consider the idea.
3. Packaging Is as Important as the Cost
Quality packaging is crucial for your business’s success. It is an effortless way to market your products and create a long-term impact on individuals who come across the package. But in this case, it is a chance for you to protect the shipped items.
Select the right package depending on the nature of your goods. If you deal with fragile goods such as glasses, you should look for air-fill wraps for extra protection.
The size and weight of the product will also determine the right packaging choice. Large products may require you to invest in boxes, while small ones can be shipped in envelopes.
Most importantly, check the cost of the packaging material before settling on one. Ensure it is not too much to harm your expected returns.
4. Choose Reliable Carriers
When selecting the best carriers for your small business, you should keep in mind that not all are created equally.
Invest your time to compare the best based on the carriers based on the volume of goods allowed and if they offer extra services such as packaging assistance. You can find all this information by doing a thorough check on each carrier’s website.
What works for another business might not work well for you. You, therefore, should make an informed decision based on your precise needs.
If you are a startup with little to no knowledge about shipping, consider FedEx with its unique benefits and reward programs to keep you on the right track.
UPS, on the other hand, allows you to schedule pickups and deal with customer returns.
5. Set Up Accurate Shipping Zones
When shipping products from one location to the other, they will pass through one or several zones. This is regardless of whether you are shipping to a local or international destination.
These zones entail areas that the carrier will indicate as zip codes to establish the recipient’s exact location.
Shipping zones are paramount when setting up shipping charges. The carrier may try to charge you more. But if you understand how zoning works, you will be better positioned to negotiate.
That aside, shipping zones will help you develop targeted marketing campaigns directed towards local customers. You can identify buyers around your company and develop efficient strategies to convince them to do business with you.
Now You Are Ready to Enjoy the Best Small Business Shipping Services
With these small business shipping tips, you are better positioned to establish your company’s best small business shipping services.
Do not be in a rush to choose the first choice that comes your way. Conduct research and read more to understand small business shipping solutions before settling on the best.
Keep checking out blogs for more business tips and ideas.
Some other articles you might find of interest:
Make your business rock with these business plan writing skills:
Would you like to know how investors value a startup?