Smaller business owners, especially in the early birth years, should always be looking for ways to shave costs and minimize outgoings. It’s one of the least fun parts of owning your own business, but one of the most important. Keeping costs down will not only help increase your cash flow, but keep your businesses healthy in tough trading times, and help it bloom in the good times. If your small business uses courier services, then here are some 10 tips on how to use them, and how they can help you, especially in same day deliveries.
1. Find the Right Carrier: Does the carrier offer services outside the out of your immediate sphere, and if so how much do they charge? What routes do they use? Price points will always vary carrier to carrier, reflecting their services and specialties. FedEx is known for its Air Express Fleet, while DHL operates an extensive European trucking logistics network. Some couriers provide a service for large & heavy shipments, some specialize in pallets. Plan ahead. Are you likely to need large & heavy services in the future as your business expands? Try to work out the best deals based on your current and future needs. That way when you do expand, it happens almost seamlessly.
2. Always Invest in Packaging & Labels: Packaging is one area of your business you cannot afford to overlook. Something as simple as window jackets for customs documents can make a huge difference for international shipments. A parcel with the correct customs documents neatly protected in a window jacket not only looks more professional but stands a much better chance of arriving at its final destination. Avoid rookie mistakes when it comes to packaging. If you are an e-retailer, packaging is one of the few opportunities you have to make a great impression. Invest in branded packaging or other marketing material.
3. Don’t Assume Booking Direct is Cheaper: Often international parcel delivery providers are willing to offer further discounts to loyal customers. If you can quantify how much your business is worth to a provider, put a figure on that business and leverage the best deal. If you’re a startup you may not be able to put a value on how much your business is worth to a provider. In this case, highlight your clients, sales forecasts, credit rating or any other information that might help you leverage a better deal. Trouble is, certainly early on, your business probably doesn’t have the clout. So find a courier with bulk buying power which has already done the negotiating for you.
4. Negotiate: You’d be surprised how many business owners fail to negotiate effectively. In your first year of business, it’s crucial you shop around for the very best deals. Booking direct isn’t always cheaper than booking through a third party site. Third party sites often use bulk-buying power to negotiate competitive deals with courier companies like UPS or TNT. In some cases, 3rd party aggregated sites can offer services that are up to 60% cheaper than booking direct.
5. Same Day delivery saves Time: It saves customers from traveling to stores, standing in line, etc. However, it isn’t always successful; since some customers choose to wait longer while choosing free delivery rather than paying extra for same-day delivery. So you will have to look for that fine line between paying less for a courier service, asking less from your customers for your product, and still skimming off some profits.
6. It’s convenient: Same-day delivery can’t be free for customers, since it is quite costly for most companies, especially smaller companies with lower order volumes. Amazon’s same-day service charges $8.99 for non-Prime members and $5.99 for Prime members. This fast delivery service is ideal for delivering groceries or fast food. The key is making grocery shopping quick and convenient, especially for customers coming home late from work, SGV Tribune reports.
7. It increases a company’s productivity: LuissEnLabs reports that same-day delivery services increase merchants’ productivity by speeding up the delivery of items purchased online. Even small startups are joining this battle, including Instacart, Zipments, WeDeliver, Deliv and Postmates. For example, Instacart is a same-day grocery delivery startup, which offers one-hour delivery of groceries and home essentials.
8. Sends a Strong Marketing Message: Of course, customers see it now online and they want it now with them. Being able to deliver on the same day will send a very strong marketing message to customers. You will thus maintain a good customer bank, and gain new customers from the competition.