U.S. parcel volume reached a record 21.5 billion in 2021, according to Pitney Bowes.
If you run a small business, you need to be prepared for shipping products all across the country and abroad. When you have a great system for packaging products and sending them out, shipping is going to be your friend. If you don’t, your business is going to struggle.
In this post, we’re going to give you 4 small business shipping tips that you need to know. Running a business can be overwhelming most of the time, but at the heart of it, you’re just making a product and getting it into people’s hands. Get those two things right and you’ll be successful.
1. Understand the Shipping Industry
The shipping industry is dominated by a few huge carriers. Get to know each carrier and the way that they do things and you’ll never have shipping problems or spend too much on shipping.
USPS is a great option for small businesses sending out a large number of shipments every day to all corners of the country. They have various programs for small businesses to optimize their shipping processes.
Both FedEx and UPS have small business programs with unique benefits. These carriers are good for priority and overnight shipping.
2. Know Your Shipping Costs
Understand how shipping costs are calculated and your shipping budget will always be on point. Speed, weight, dimension, and destination are the basic factors that affect the price of shipping.
There are also things that will increase and decrease the costs. For instance, if you need any special services, like tracking or insurance, you may have to pay a bit extra. On the other hand, if you have a high shipping volume with a particular carrier, you may get discounts.
3. Product Packaging Tips
Your shipping only goes as far as your product packaging will take it. When packaging products for shipping, you need to make sure that the materials you use are actually protecting the product.
This involves choosing the right box size, filling the box with protective materials, and putting enough tape on it to secure the shipment. If a customer gets your package and it’s damaged, it’s going to start costing you lots and lots of money.
Your best bet is to find great product packaging services and work with them to create custom boxes for your shipments. Some of these services also offer fulfillment, which completely takes shipping off your plate.
4. Consider Free Shipping
66% of consumers expect free shipping with every purchase, which you can blame Amazon for. Not every small business can afford to foot the shipping bill, but if you can, it’s going to entice more people to buy your products.
Something many businesses do is fold the cost of shipping into the price of their products. Charge a few dollars more per item and give the customer the illusion of free shipping instead.
Taking Small Business Shipping Tips to Heart
Use these small business shipping tips to your advantage and you’ll start to see them contribute to the growth of your company. Good shipping tactics are at the heart of customer service, so use these to bolster your reputation and grow your customer base.
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