As you begin your entrepreneurial journey, one thing you must do to ensure the long-term viability of your business is to understand the ins and outs of successful shipping. Falling short on this foundational principle will cause you to quickly fall behind your competitors while excelling at shipping will allow you to build your business. Understanding what makes good shipping will help you to have a leg up on the competition.
Though you might not be able to ship your products as fast as large businesses, it’s important that you make every effort to ship as fast or faster than you promise your customer. This doesn’t mean you should artificially inflate your shipping times so you always come in under schedule. This just means taking advantage of every opportunity you can to make your shipments as fast and efficient as possible. This means utilizing preprinted shipping labels, having plenty of shipping supplies on hand, and fully understanding local pickup times so you always make the cutoff.
The Right Supplies
Unless you’re careful, shipping can be a cost that can quickly eat away at your margins, even if you charge your customers to cover all or a part of the cost. One way to prevent this is by having the correct size boxes on hand when orders come in. To prevent paying more than you need to in terms of weight or bulk, utilizing custom-made boxes could save you a lot of money in the long run, especially if you sell a lot of items of a similar size.
Ship It Well
You only get one chance to make a good first impression, and if you’re shipping something to a customer, the true first impression is made when they receive the item, not when they interact with your business to order it. Make every effort to appropriately pack your item, accounting for any drops or falls that may occur during shipment. Even if the breakage isn’t ultimately your fault, the customer will fully blame you and be frustrated only at you if they receive a broken item.
Order in Bulk
For as simple as they are, packing supplies can be quite expensive. This can lead to unexpected cost overruns that can quickly put your business underwater. To prevent this excess cost, it’s a good idea to order in bulk as often as you can to ensure you’re paying as little as possible for the shipping supplies. After all, you’re not in business to sell tape, cardboard, or any other packing supplies, you’re in business to sell the products that have made you an entrepreneur.
Make It Personal
Again, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to compete with the speed of e-commerce giants when it comes to shipping. What you can do, though, is make that shipment worthwhile for your customer. Make the process of opening the box a personalized delight that will be an experience in and of itself. By adding the personal touch that larger companies can’t provide, you’ll provide the extra special something that will keep your customers coming back for more.