"Ideals are an imaginative understanding of that which is desirable in that which is possible. "
- Walter Lippmann
For a small business to thrive, everything should be effective and efficient as well as cost-effective. Right from production and marketing to packaging and delivery. One of the biggest challenges small businesses face is competition from larger and cheaper brands.
Shipping is a very important aspect for any small business that operates from digital or home platform as their only means of getting their product to their customers is through a delivery or shipping system. With shipping rates and related taxes increasing day by day it can be difficult for small home-run businesses to meet the competitive services and prices bigger companies offer.
There are a lot of aspects that come into play that primarily determine the shipping price of your products. Here is a small checklist of factors that carriers take into consideration while quoting the price of a shipment.
- The time it takes to get the product delivered
- The locations or ‘zones’ ( both origin and destination) of delivery
- The weight and size of the package
- Insurance (if any)
- Special handling for fragile items
To tackle this and help small businesses save money on shipping here are a few small business shipping tips.
Pack and weigh your products yourself.
This ensures that you accurately weigh the products you have to send across. You can be in control of the size and the amount of packaging required. You can personally make sure that you save money by reducing the size of the package and the materials you use for packaging. You can opt for lightweight packing material and avoid overstuffing your package with unnecessary amounts of fillers. This reduces the weight of the package which in turn helps you save the cost of shipping.
Negotiate shipping rates with your carrier.
It’s always a good idea to negotiate rates with your carrier. You can always get a better price once you inquire and set a common shipping rate with your regular carrier. This is more effective once you’ve regularly placed a few orders with a certain carrier by ensuring loyalty.
Seek offers and discounts from the e-commerce website or marketplace you operate from.
Always inquire and seek out whether or not your selling platform offers a shipping discount for bulk orders. This way you can plan your deliveries accordingly and save shipping expenses.
Insure your products with third parties instead of using extra carrier services.
This is one way of saving money while shipping as it eliminates the extra service of insurance you will have to subscribe to if you go with standard insurance provided by a carrier, which is most expensive. Try contacting companies that purely deal with product insurance, they tend to be much cheaper and effective.
Replace boxes with poly bags or mailers.
Try cutting costs wherever possible. With products that are small and not fragile, it is economic to use polybags or poly mailers while shipping. This will significantly reduce the size of your shipment and also result in a lighter package that will, in turn, save you shipping costs.
Use a Shipping Calculator
A shipping calculator is a tool that takes into consideration a number of factors that determine the cost of shipping right from the product weight, date, time to the location of delivery. It then estimates the cost of shipping of the product, this tool helps you organize orders and saves time as well as revenue.
Here were some small business tips and tricks that show us how to reduce shipping costs for small businesses.