With the expansion of the always-growing e-commerce sector, shipping has become an increasingly important factor for small businesses to consider. Whether you sell your products through a third party, such as Amazon or Etsy, or have your own website, using the Internet and shipping allows you to expand your customer base from your local area to the entire country, and even worldwide.
While shipping is more important than ever for small businesses, it is important to remember that it comes with a lot of different variables—meaning there is plenty of opportunity for something to go wrong. From your trucking company in Minnesota, here are five shipping tips for small businesses to consider:
- Do your research: Before you even ship your first product, you should already have a strong idea of what your average shipping costs will be, what the cost-benefit analysis is and whether there are any special considerations your products will need when being shipped. You also ought to take the time to find a shipping partner that is dedicated, experienced and affordable. Putting in this effort at the beginning could save you a lot of money and stress further down the line.
- Figure out your minimum: Some businesses will offer free ground shipping, and only charge for more expedited options. Others will offer free shipping on anything, provided the customer spends a minimum dollar amount. Take the time to do some calculations, and possibly consult with a professional accountant, before determining what your shipping rates and policies will be.
- Use a logistics company: When hiring a trucking company in Minnesota, make sure you hire one that also handles logistics. Logistics covers scheduling, packing, consolidating and other key considerations that will make your job a lot easier, and get your products out to customers more quickly and efficiently. Once you hire a logistics company, you won’t ever want to go without one again.
- Know your requirements: Do some or all of your products need to be refrigerated during shipping? Are any of them oversized, and do they have special packaging requirements? Whatever sets your products apart as far as shipping is concerned, make sure you are aware of it, and that you effectively communicate that to your trucking company in Minnesota.
- Encourage customer feedback: When you send your products out to be shipped, you are essentially relinquishing all control of them before they reach the customer, which is always a risk. To reduce this risk, give your customers an easy and fun way to give feedback on the shipping experience, such as an online survey with the chance to win a prize. This feedback will help you determine whether your logistics company is holding up their end of the deal, and whether you need to make any adjustments to your shipping methods.
When you hire the right trucking company in Minnesota, shipping will stop being a source of stress and start being a great revenue stream for your business. For more information, please get in touch with K-Way Express, Inc.