Cutting Expenses: A Complete Guide to Shipping for Small Business

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Would you like to save on hefty shipping costs?

Shipping can take a toll on a company's budget because of how often customers order products online. Not only do you have to ship products to customers, but you'll also have to buy shipping materials of your own.

Fortunately for you, there are a variety of methods that you can use to cut shipping costs. We've put together a list of some things you can do to save money.

Read on to learn the essentials of shipping for small business.

1. Choose the Best Shipping Strategy

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When your company starts shipping out products, you'll need to choose a cheap shipping strategy that will get the job done. Companies like Amazon use free and one-day shipping that changed how customers perceive shipping.

If your business ships products at a slower rate than other big companies, you might miss out on customers that would rather shop somewhere else. While you need quick shipping, you also need to ensure that you can afford it.

If something like free shipping is out of your budget, you can opt for one or two-day shipping that will be cheaper for you while still satisfying customers.

Shipping Discounts

To maximize sales, trying applying a flat rate for all shipping orders. This will encourage customers to buy more because they won't have to pay for various rates.

You can also offer shipping discounts when customers spend a certain amount of money will encourage more sales, too.

2. Compare Shipping Rates

Part of cutting your costs will be comparing shipping rates among several postal services. Depending on where you live, you'll have a variety of services that you can use to ship products.

For those that live in the USA, you can compare the shipping rates of services like USPS, UPS, and FedEx. Each of them has a different rate depending on the size, weight, and delivery address, and you can compare them by using shipping calculators.

3. Process Several Orders at Once

One of the most efficient small business shipping strategies is to ship your products in batches. You'll save not only money but also time. Rather than making several trips to deliver 20 items, you can make a single trip.

Making shipping labels and printing them out at home will let you package many items without having to pay for labels at a post office. With your labels, you can also set up an assembly line to quickly package products. You can even include information about your company on shipping labels. 

4. Cut Down on Packaging Costs

If you're wondering how to ship for less, you should start by spending less money on packaging costs. You should buy things like stamps, envelopes, and boxes in bulk to save money and prevent you from having to visit the store multiple times. 

Aside from buying in bulk, try to reuse packaging whenever you have materials that are in good condition. However, if an item is damaged or dirty, go ahead and recycle it. 

5. Look Into What Competitors Are Doing

Competitors are the perfect people to look to when you're trying to find out what the best way of doing things is. If you have competitors that appear to be successful, you should consult them to see what they're doing.

Many competitors will accept your offer of trading advice because they'd like to gain more knowledge, and you two could benefit off of one another. Try sending an email to your competitors and see what they have to say.

6. Seek Discounts

Since you're running a business, you should try finding as many discounts as you can. Look online for discounts to any stores or services that you use for your business, including shipping services and materials.

You could always try partnering with a shipping service to receive discounts. Partnering with a service will give you things like insurance, discounts, and free pickups.

Depending on what kind of products your shipping, some services will offer better deals for specific things. For example, USPS offers a service called Media Mail that is exclusively for educational materials.

Media Mail lets you ship heavier materials that would otherwise be more expensive with a standard service.

7. LTL Shipping

LTL shipping is a type of service that lets you transport packages via a truck without having to rent an entire trailer. This means your packages will be in the same truck as the packages of other people that have paid for space.

You can check out this easy to use LTL shipping quote to see how much you'd have to spend, but it will always be cheaper than paying for a trailer. You can also take advantage of things like tracking with LTL shipping.

Be Smart About Shipping for Small Business

While many business owners struggle to come up with budgets for their shipping costs, you can let yourself relax by being prepared ahead of time. Doing research and networking with others will let you dramatically cut shipping costs.

Shipping for small business has never been easier, you just have to be smart about it. Start by contacting competitors for their advice and looking around for the best deals.

If you manage to score a deal with a specific shipping service, your company will be set and you could bring in more customers that enjoy that service.

Feel free to browse our other articles to learn more about topics that can help small businesses.