Operating a product-based small business can cost you quite a bit. And aside from creating the items themselves, you also have shipping to deal with, especially when you’re into e-commerce as well. Since your establishment is still on the small side, you may perceive it to be difficult to bring down your costs. But there are ways for you to do it, and you have to set your smallness aside to commit to them.
Be Creative With Packaging
Aside from the shipping itself, you also have to think about the packaging your items are going to be in. While it’s the courier’s responsibility to keep it from being knocked around during transit, how it will resist damage will be up to you. As you’ll always need it, it can get costly if you don’t have a good supplier.
Buy the right type of packaging items, such as boxes and poly bubble mailers in bulk, and consider reusing some material that you get from shipments to you, such as filler peanuts. Don’t forget to make sure that you have standard sizes for your packaging.
Talk to Couriers
You may have people within your workforce who are handling the shipping now, but that may not be feasible in the long run. As customer demand grows, it will soon become better to outsource it so you can handle production. Shop around for possible couriers and take note of their rates and terms. If you ship regularly, you can also consider signing a contract with one to get lower rates for a certain amount of time. Take note that if your business is mostly in just one area, you can get a local one to handle it. They have a generally lower price than the ones who deliver everywhere.
Consider Third-Party Insurance
Carriers are often ready with their own insurance for whatever you decide to ship. While it may be convenient, it usually means a higher cost for you. Look for a third-party shipping insurance provider instead, as they generally have lower rates. It can take a while of shopping around, but the savings that you’ll get will be worth the effort. This is especially true if you’re sending a large volume of packages on a regular basis.
Decide on Shipping Fees
With the popularity of free shipping deals nowadays, it can be easy for customers to expect the same from you. What they don’t usually consider is that you don’t have the funds yet to shoulder that expense in full and in a sustainable way. Small businesses usually put the shipping fee as a separate amount from the item. Doing this will relieve you of the cost, but may make your customers less satisfied with you. If you want, you can provide an alternative where you put the base shipping cost in your prices, and your customers can pay extra if they want their items rushed.
This may all seem a little out of your league at first, but you will soon have to adjust your mindset to address your shipping concerns. You need to be able to talk with other companies and negotiate the best fees. And you also need to set your prices on your decision and not solely on your customers’ wants. Even when it comes to your packaging, you should be willing to buy in bulk and contact suppliers.