As a small business, finding ways to keep costs low whilst still maintaining a high-quality service for your customers is key, but oftentimes, is much easier said than done. If your business ships products to customers regularly, whether it be daily or weekly, the cost of a courier service could take a substantial chunk out of your budget if you haven’t taken the time to do adequate research around the subject. What if we told you that there are indeed ways you can ensure that you can save money on courier and delivery services, without sacrificing the quality of your business? To shed some light on the subject, we’re detailing some of the easiest ways you can start spending less on your deliveries straight away.
When booking with a delivery courier, the size and weight of your parcel largely contribute to the price of the service. One of the biggest blunders you can make when doing this is guesstimating these details. Failing to provide the accurate weight and dimensions of your parcel could result in substantial additional charges if the shipment is found to exceed these. In some cases, if your parcel is much heavier than your guesstimation, your chosen courier could refuse to ship your item altogether. So, with that in mind, don’t take the risk. Invest in the right tools, including measuring tapes and shipping scales, and double-check the details.
Consider packaging carefully.
One of the most important things to consider when it comes to shipping goods is the type of packaging that you use. Packaging your items incorrectly could result in some serious charges that could otherwise be easily avoided. The heavier the item, the more costly the service, so first and foremost, using lighter packaging materials will help to keep the parcel itself as light as possible, therefore bringing the cost of the service down. Cardboard boxes are lightweight, easily attained, affordable, and most importantly, are going to be much more durable during transit than a brittle, plastic box, which could split under pressure. As well, internal packaging such as bubble wrap is lightweight but will add protection to your item.
Purchase packaging in bulk.
On the subject of packaging, it’s always a good idea to purchase this in bulk, especially if you send parcels on any sort of a regular basis. It really goes without saying that you’ll find the cost of purchasing in bulk much lower per unit. Plus, it requires fewer shopping trips!
Shop around for the most competitive pricing.
As with any purchase, don’t just go with the first deal that you see. Chances are, you might find something even better, and this is especially the case with courier services. Take some time to shop around for the courier service that will offer you the best value for your money. It sounds like a tedious, laborious process, but it could save you a surprising amount in the long-run, particularly if you do not currently send quite enough parcels to negotiate your own low-rate deal with the courier directly. The good news is that there are plenty of websites and tools out there to help you. So shop around, you’ll be surprised at the savings you’ll make.
Use a door to door service.
When it comes to shipping out products to your customers, it’s not just the cost of sending the parcel that you have to contend with. If you opt for a drop-off/collection service, it’s the additional expense of bringing the parcels to the post office or courier depot. If you have a base for your small business, such as your home or even an office, you could opt for a door to door service, which will save you not only money but also valuable time. This could also be ideal for the customer, especially if you opt for a service that provides an online tracking tool.
Consider compensation cover.
We don’t always like to consider the worst case scenario, but it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry. Many couriers will offer a free compensation cover on all parcels sent, with the option of increasing the value, should you need to. It’s always a good idea, in the unlikely event that your items are damaged during transit, or even lost. Without cover, an unfortunate event could really leave you out of pocket, not to mention sour your customer’s experience.
Written by Stuart Cooke, blog editor at NI Parcels.