Did you know small businesses populate the United States, making up well over 90 percent of the businesses in the country?
Most of these businesses appeal to their local audiences. They provide good enough products and services to keep their customers coming back for more.
If you’re still starting up, though, you may need to provide delivery options for your customers. This is because customers value convenience when trying out an unfamiliar business. This is a good reason to seek cheap shipping options to help your business expand.
Shipping is now a necessity to ensure your business’s success. Being reckless in picking a shipping operator to sign may end up costing you more than you bargained for, though. Here are some ways you can keep your shipping costs to a minimum.
1. Focus on Local Shipping
Shipping to as many customers as possible is an important part of expanding your business. However, if you want to save as much as you can on shipping, then you’ll want to keep things local. International shipping can cost you a lot more, which you may not handle as a small business.
Local shipping can help you avoid bigger expenses for now. There are a lot of local carriers that can offer cheap rates. USPS is a great example of one such carrier.
2. Hire Multiple Shipping Partners
Hiring as many partners to ship for you may seem to cost you more at first. Doing this can help you save in the long run, though. Having many partners means you can choose from any of them for the package they need to deliver.
You can choose the better partner for the job and you can compare rates and shipping times. Choosing the right and cheapest partner for the job helps keep your shipping costs within the budget.
Doing this also makes you realize the weaknesses and strengths of each company. USPS is great for shipping to local customers, but they lack international means to ship. Having different partners available means you also need not worry about one of them being out of service.
3. Apply for Insurance
Giving the customer delivery options means they can also cancel an item that’s on the way. If a client cancels, you’ll end up losing a return on your investment with the carrier. This is a great reason to get insurance for your packages.
Doing this ensures that when someone returns the package, you can get the cost of shipping back. This is great if you find that most of your packages end up going back to you. Don’t let that discourage you, though.
This is a great opportunity to learn how you can improve your services for your customers. You can even learn if the shipping company you’ve hired is at fault by doing this. Insurance is also great to make sure the carriers take care of handling your package.
They will pay for any damages your package receives before it reaches the customer.
4. Use Zone Skipping
Zone skipping is among the cheap shipping options you can do without trouble. This is a way for you to spend less on your deliveries by reducing the number of zones your package needs to go through before reaching its final destination.
Carriers will aggregate individual donations until an entire truckload or crate is full. Then, the entire shipment is sent directly to their final destination. Instead of shipping a single package in multiple journeys across the country, zone skipping sends multiple packages in a single route.
This cuts on the total distance it needs to travel, making the total trip shorter. You’ll then end up paying for less than what you would have paid for at first.
5. Recycle Old Packaging Materials
A great way to reduce shipping costs is by recycling your old packaging materials. Packing peanuts and other fillers can often cost you hundreds of dollars per year. Recycling them will allow you to reduce the total costs of delivering a package.
You can ask your carriers to recycle packaging if they have any available. These work like they did, even in their recycled condition.
Doing this will also help your image in being a green business. Since being pro-environment is a trend these days, it may help you get more customers.
6. Consider Alternative Packaging Methods
What you put your package in often makes it more expensive. Boxes often have a set price based on how big they are. Small boxes can still be expensive even if what you put inside is smaller than the box.
This is a great reason to consider other packaging methods instead. Use mailer boxes for small items that don’t take up much space.
You can also go for padded mailers to ensure your product won’t sustain any damage. This is also a great way to reduce your bubble wrap costs.
You can also consider delivering through envelopes instead. This is a great option if your products aren’t big and are flexible.
7. Master All Factors of Delivery
Another reason to consider other packages is to reduce the weight of your package. This, along with other things, factor into the total cost of shipping your products. Knowing and mastering these factors will help you cut on costs for shipping.
Other than the weight of your package, also consider the distance. Will you make a profit by delivering to this specific area? If not, then you should restrict the areas or charge more for shipping until you can cover the costs to deliver there.
The way you package your items can also be a factor. Poor packaging can mean you need to use another box for the rest of the products in an order.
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