Tips to help small business owners save money on shipping
(NC)— Small and medium business owners face a variety of challenges: growing their business, innovating to stay competitive, balancing the books, resource constraints and shipping. Shipping goods can be a complex process for many small businesses. Poor planning can result in businesses overpaying, or losing customers and goodwill as a result of inconsistent delivery to their customers. In short, shipping costs can affect a small business's bottom line.
“Customers may not be aware of the flexibility they have in terms of shipping solutions that can help them save time and money,” said Alison Spehar, Purolator Inc.'s Small Business Marketing Manager. “Our job is to streamline shipping processes so our customers can have more time to focus on other business needs.”
Here are some shipping tips to help small and medium businesses save on costs and operate more efficiently:
Connect with a shipping partner to analyze your needs: Every business is unique. Identify and map out your business's needs and priorities. Shortlist shipping providers who match your needs and meet with them to see what value they can provide your small business.
Do your research: Draw up a comparison table of the packages offered by the shipping providers you have met. Ultimately, partnering with a reliable shipping provider that has an extensive network and one that puts your needs first can go a long way in enabling your company's growth and success.
Type of service: The speed and time of delivery you choose for your shipments is going to help you decide what type of shipping service best fits your business model. Your chosen speed and time of delivery, and your pick-up times can make a difference to your operating costs.
Create an account: There are several advantages to creating an account with your shipping provider, including exclusive savings, offers and rewards. Some shipping companies may offer new account customers an initial start-up discount if your shipment volumes meet a certain threshold.
Ship online: Online shipping is easy, efficient, convenient, fast and secure. Shipments, domestic or international, can be created in a few easy steps and shipped right away using a credit card or through your business account. Online processing also minimizes errors, through automatic address validation, and allows you to track your shipment at any time – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Automate your system: Leverage technology to free yourself up for more important tasks. Speak to your shipping provider about how they can develop and customize e-solutions to meet your specific needs. Some companies, like Purolator Inc., provide free hardware, training and dedicated client services support to encourage and help customers ship online.
Take advantage of a loyalty program: To build customer loyalty, some shipping companies have rewards programs that offer small and medium businesses more than just savings. Benefits to customers include savings programs that allow you to save at a faster rate (e.g., the more you ship, the more you save); savings on specialized services and select surcharges; dedicated sales support for your business; and exclusive member rewards.
Save time with one provider: Consider using one shipping provider that can help you move your goods via air, ground, or a combination of these according to your business needs. There is also the convenience of being billed for all courier services once, in one bill, saving you time on administrative work.
More information about shipping for small business can be found on purolator.com.
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