If you run a small business that needs to ship goods then you need small business shipping tips. Truth be told some aspects of shipping (know more) can be really frustrating, especially when it comes to safety and pricing.
It is important to learn about the cheapest shipping for small business to help you save costs on shipping. In this post, we have put together a few important tips about small business shipping services you should know.
Shipping tips for a small business
As an entrepreneur that runs a small business, you need to be on top of your game when it comes to shipping. The challenge with shipping and packaging is that there are so many hidden processes along the way. If you aren’t careful, you’ll end up spending excess, losing your goods in transit, or running a risk of damage.
There are several opaque areas which you should know about. Our list of tips should cover a few and educate you about small business shipping services.
Grasp the idea of DIM weight and how it works
Dealing with DIM weight is almost inevitable, except if you’re making use of USPS flat-rate boxes. This is why it comes first on our list of small business shipping tips. DIM weight stands for “dimensional weight” and if you are new to shipping, it can be quite confusing.
The reason why DIM weight had to be introduced is that carriers had to deal with light-weight items. These items are low in density yet they consume a lot of space. As a result, it costs these carriers a lot of profit.
You can calculate DIM weight using this formula:
Dimensional Weight = (Length x Height x Width)/DIM factor
The DIM factor can vary from one carrier to another. If you are seeking the cheapest shipping for small business, then you need to survey different carriers. DIM weight generally makes shipping costlier which is why you need to calculate it rightly.
If you are having challenges calculating, you don’t need to worry too much. Most of the major carriers have dedicated tools to make the calculation easier and less-confusing.
Negotiate with the shipping carrier
Many businesses are oblivious to the fact that they can actually negotiate with shipping carriers. When you contact a carrier to ship your items, they come up with a price. Always remember that this price is likely not fixed and can be negotiated.
The best way to know what prices are obtainable is to run surveys. Make a list of a few carriers and contact them for their prices. This should help you arrive at an estimate before choosing a carrier.
In this regard, you need to remember that the carrier needs you as much as you need them. When discussing with your chosen carrier, let them know that you are aware of the rates other carriers are offering. Give them the impression that you have several options. This gives you some form of leverage and you can get a better deal.
As you will expect, negotiation patterns for different carriers are not the same. However, this method should help across the board to an extent. Another method you may consider is using different carriers for different shipping needs.
Add the shipping cost to your final bill
When a customer visits your website to order an item, they want to see the overall cost of buying that item. A lot of small businesses make the mistake of overlooking the shipping costs when enumerating the final bill. When you do this, you give the customer the impression that you are bearing the cost of shipping.
The consequence of this on your business could be dire if you have to pay for shipping all the time. Sometimes, your clients are required to make payment for shipping when the order is delivered. Many times this doesn’t end well as the customers may have bad experiences with delivery.
If a customer has a bad experience at first asking, returning for another order is not likely. Never forget that first impressions matter. Again, if you have to ship from another country state that international shipping rates apply. This is a very important point on our list of small business shipping tips.
Audit shipping invoices frequently
E-commerce businesses do not do this too often and the repercussions are always grave. If you engage in small business shipping services, it important to audit your invoices. If you don’t, you stand the risk of losing lots of cash in the long run.
While you are seeking for the cheapest shipping for small business, remember that these companies make a lot of errors. It is an established fact that they make lots of blunders with billing very frequently.
If you don’t carry out frequent audits, you most likely wouldn’t have an idea. When you audit your shipping invoices, it helps you know the kind of services your carrier is offering. This way, you know if there is a need for improvement and you can offer your advice.
You don’t have to do the auditing manually. There are several pieces of software to help you these days, thanks to technology.
Track orders in real-time
Let’s face the fact, it can be really cumbersome trying to track your orders but it pays in the end. The first challenge is that you need to enter the exact tracking number for each package on the portal. This is the only way to determine the status of the package in transit.
Before you choose a carrier, find out about their tracking services. For some carriers, you have to pay to track your packages. This fee is usually different from the regular shipping cost. However, there are carriers that have free tracking services, these will help you save cost.
We hope our small business shipping tips have been helpful to help you choose your small business shipping services? With these, you should be able to get the cheapest shipping for small businesses. Share your thoughts with Zigpac in the comments section.