Shipping is an important part of owning a small business. It can be the difference between a successful business and one that fails. Knowing the do’s and don’ts of shipping can be the key to providing your customers with a great experience and keeping them coming back.
- Know your audience
One of the most important do’s of shipping for a small business is to know your audience. Understand who your customers are and what their needs are. Are they looking for fast shipping or a more economical option? Knowing your audience will help you to determine the best shipping options for your customers. Also make sure you have accurate shipping costs for your items, as these can affect customer satisfaction and turnover.
- Check packaging requirements
Another important do when it comes to shipping for a small business is to check packaging requirements. Make sure that your items are properly packaged and secure to prevent damage during shipping. Additionally, it is important to consider any special packaging requirements that may be necessary for certain items. For example, if you are shipping glass items, you may need to use extra padding or bubble wrap to ensure that they arrive in one piece.
- Be creative with branding
Branding is an important aspect of any business, especially when it comes to a small business. It helps create a unique identity and helps customers recognise and remember the business. Creative branding when shipping can help a small business stand out from the competition. For example, custom packaging with the business’s logo, colors, and fonts can help create a strong brand presence. Other creative shipping solutions, such as custom shipping boxes, labels, and packing materials with unique designs, can also make a positive impression on customers.
- Offer fast delivery
One of the most important do’s of shipping for a small business is to provide customers with fast delivery. Customers have come to expect quick delivery, and by meeting or exceeding their expectations, you can create a positive customer experience. By offering fast delivery, you can ensure that customers receive their product within a reasonable time frame and that any problems that arise can be addressed quickly. As well as this, you can help to create a positive reputation for your business this way, as customers will be more likely to recommend your products to friends and family.
- Guess the size of packaging needed
One of the most important don’ts of shipping for a small business is using packaging that is too big or too small for the items you are shipping. Using packaging that is ill-suited to the item can result in the item being damaged during shipping. When selecting the packaging for an item, make sure it is large enough to accommodate the item and any necessary padding or cushioning. For larger items, it is best to use large cardboard boxes that have been reinforced with heavy-duty packing tape and some inner protection such as packing peanuts or bubble wrap. For smaller items, it is best to use a box that is just large enough to fit the item, and fill the empty space with packing peanuts, bubble wrap, or crumpled up newspaper. This will help ensure the item is secure and arrives safely to the customer.
- Create excessive waste
Another don’t when it comes to shipping for a small business is creating excessive waste. While it is important to make sure that the item is packaged securely, using too much packing material can result in wasted resources and money. Excessive packing materials can also damage the environment by adding to landfills. When selecting materials for packaging, use only what is necessary and consider reducing waste by using recyclable materials or reusing materials from shipments you have received, as well as further checking you have the right sized packaging for your product. This will help reduce waste and save money for your small business.
- Skip research & testing
Another mistake that small businesses can make when shipping is to skip research and testing. Before shipping an item, it is important to research the shipping regulations and restrictions for the country the item is being sent to. Additionally, it is important to test the packaging and make sure that it is appropriate for the item and that the item will be secure during shipping. Testing the packaging should also involve testing how quickly the item will arrive and if it arrives in the condition it was sent. This will help ensure that you are providing your customers with the best possible experience.
- Forget about your insurance
An important thing to consider is protecting yourself with insurance. Insurance can help to protect you and your customers if an item is damaged or lost during shipping. Without insurance, you could be liable for the cost of the item and any associated shipping costs. It is important to research and select the right type of insurance for your business and make sure that you are adequately covered in the event of any damage or loss. This can help to ensure that both you and your customers are protected.