When you start your own small business, there are loads of things to discover and learn. You’ll want to know how to create the perfect website and boost your online presence. Shipping can be a tricky process for small business owners. You’ll want your products to arrive at your customers’ doorsteps in perfect condition and on time. Having said that, you won’t want to break the bank in the process! In this article, we’ll discuss some expert shipping tips that will help you become more effective.
Have The Right Equipment
This includes everything from packaging materials to labels and tape. You also need a good printer so that you can print your labels and invoices. Get yourself a few different sizes of boxes so that you can package your items securely.
It’s also wise to invest in a good quality scale so that you can accurately weigh your packages. Central is a city in South Carolina with a 2022 population of 5,466 people. As seen at Central Carolina Scale, there are large versions, postal mail shipping scales, bench scales, and versions with remote display. It’s possible to view photos, descriptions, and dimensions, and also to buy used scales.
Use Sturdy Packaging And Protect Your Fragile Items
When you’re shipping products, it’s a false economy to use cheap, flimsy packaging. This could result in your items becoming damaged in transit. This will generate customer complaints and a host of returned products. You’ll either be asked to resend your items (costing you more money) or provide a full refund. This would reduce your sales revenue and damage your company’s reputation (online and elsewhere).
Using strong packaging (like thick cardboard boxes) will help ensure that your products arrive intact. You should also use materials such as bubble wrap or packing peanuts to protect fragile items, so they don’t shift and break during transportation. You’ll want to use a different type of packaging if you’re shipping items that are perishable or that need to stay cool. These measures will cost you a little more money upfront, but they’ll be worth it in the long run.
Label Each Parcel
You need to be very clear when writing out the contents of your parcels – both for the benefit of your customer and the shipping company. When it comes to content, always include as many details as possible. For example, instead of just writing “clothes”, specify what type of clothes and how many items are in the parcel.
As for the destination, make sure that you write out the full address, including the zip code or postal code. If there are any special instructions for delivery, make sure to include those as well. And finally, don’t forget to put your return address on every parcel.
Insure Valuable Items
The reason you should take out insurance for your valuable items is in case they’re lost, stolen, or damaged. Should one of these scenarios occur, you will be compensated for the loss, in accordance with the terms of the policy. You can purchase shipping insurance from the carrier you’re using or from a third-party provider.
There are two types of shipping insurance: declared value and per-shipment. Declared value is when you list the value of your shipment on the invoice and pay a fee based on that amount. Per-shipment is a flat rate that you pay regardless of the value of your shipment. Which type of insurance you need depends on what you’re shipping and how much it’s worth.
Ship Early and Often And Use A Reputable Shipping Company
The most important thing you can do when dispatching your products is to use a reputable shipping company. There are a lot of businesses out there that will overcharge you, lose your products, or damage them in transit. For this reason, you should do your research before choosing. This can include comparing prices, reading online reviews, and asking other small business owners for recommendations.
Track Your Package
If your product is valuable, track your package to ensure it arrives at its destination. This can be done by requesting a tracking number from your shipping company. Once you have this, you can follow its progress online. If there are any delays or problems, you’ll be able to see this and take action accordingly.
Tracking your package can give you extra control and peace of mind. You’ll know when your customers can expect their products and notify them accordingly. If it’s running late, you can contact the shipping company and ask them what’s causing the delay. In some cases, they may be able to give you a new estimated delivery date.
Some Final Tips
Here are some miscellaneous pieces of advice to help you:
- Before shipping your items, make sure to check the restrictions of the carrier you’ve chosen. They may not be prepared to deliver certain items, and you don’t want your products to be impounded at Customs
- Request a shipping receipt for your records
- Check your packages for damage before dispatch
- Post your policies on your website as regards shipping, returns, refunds, and warranties
- Use your packaging as a marketing tool. This includes using your branding and logo and including things like vouchers or free samples.
No doubt you’ve found these expert shipping tips helpful as you prepare to send products to your customers. Whilst you may be required to spend more time and money on shipping than you originally anticipated, it will be worth it. You’ll be protecting your goods in transit, maintaining greater control, and delighting your customers. In turn, you’ll be ensuring the continued growth and success of your small business.