Curious about shipping options for small business owners? We reveal 5 solutions you should know about as you venture into e-commerce.
Running your own small business can both be rewarding and challenging. There are many benefits to being your own boss and crafting your work life as you see fit. But there’s also a reason that small business owners are more stressed than other Americans.
One of the big stressors in a small business owners’ life is shipping. It can be a challenge in and of itself to ship out goods and products in a way that doesn’t feel like highway robbery. Finding sustainable and affordable shipping options for small business is essential to a company’s success.
So what can you do? Don’t stress, we’ll help you out. Read on and we’ll walk you through five shipping solutions for small businesses.
Don’t Be Afraid To Negotiate
Finding the right shipping solution is all about keeping costs low. Shipping prices depend on a variety of factors, including location, size, weight, and delivery time. In this sense, the needs of each company will be different from another’s. Finding the perfect solution for you will require some analysis of the needs of your business.
With that said, there is a catch-all solution that most small business owners seem to forget about: negotiate. Too many small business owners take the number a shipping company quotes them as something set in stone. It’s not.
If you’re a frequent shipper, you have a certain sense of leverage with shipping companies. They want to work with people who have constant shipping needs, and they might be willing to slash a few fees to get your business.
Many shippers even offer special deals or discounts to shippers who can guarantee a certain number of packages per month. Don’t be afraid to call and open accounts with different shipping services. Speak to representatives about your business and see if they can offer you a lower rate than what they have listed on their website.
You can also use estimates from other companies to help barter and negotiate your way down to a lower price.
Save On Pick-Up and Delivery
Time is money, as the saying goes. This is especially true in the case of pick up and deliveries. It’s not only inconvenient to make runs to a carrier’s storefront, but it can cost you money. This is especially true if you are short-staffed or run much of your business on your own.
That’s why it’s key to pick a carrier that will do pick-ups and deliveries free of charge. Many carriers offer such a service as a way to keep a competitive edge over other companies. Having an employee from your shipping company come into your storefront and take your packages away for you can feel like a huge help.
Even if your chosen carrier doesn’t offer these services for free, see if you can negotiate it into your deal with the company.
What if you’re trying to ship heavy items or products that take up a large amount of space? The costs can start to feel overwhelming. Truckload shipping can cost a pretty penny.
A great way around this problem is to consider LTL freight shipping. Freight shipments use open space trucks to help transfer goods from place to place. It’s typically more affordable and secure than truckload shipping.
You might have LTL freight shipping questions if you haven’t used such a service before. But with a little research, you should be able to see how such a system can benefit your business.
Print Your Own Postage At Home
In addition to the main cost of your shipping, there are also other costs that you might have to factor into your budget.
For example, postage and packing costs. The carrier you choose to use might have various rules and guidelines regarding how they package and label their shipments. They might charge you extra to properly fit your shipments into their guidelines.
You can save time and money by taking the time to understand these rules and following them yourself. You can also save a good deal of money by printing postage on your own at home.
Some shipping services even offer downloads or programs that you can integrate into the business software you use at home. If your shipper provides such a service, it can make the postage printing process almost seamless.
There is a world of business overseas that your own business might want to tap into. A worldwide consumer base can be a lot more fruitful than a strictly American one, after all.
But there are many challenges when it comes to overseas shipping. There are many new taxes and tariffs to take into account, and shipping prices can end up becoming quite high.
The cost of shipping to a particular country can vary from place to place depending on the rules and tariffs employed in that country. Small business owners will have to decide how to face this challenge.
Many make the decision to not ship worldwide, keeping only to the US market and possibly Canada. Depending on your business model and product, this may be the smartest move.
Some sellers instead add all these costs into the price of the product, giving the customer the option to cover these costs if they want your product.
What move will be right for your company will depend on your particular situation.
Shipping Options For Small Business
Being your own boss can be a treat, but it can be challenging as well. The above shipping options for small business can help ease some of the stresses you face when it comes to running your business.
Need more advice to help make your business run smoothly? Check out our blog for more.