If you run a small business and it involves mailing and shipping of products, then there is a good chance you are wasting a lot of money. There are a number of things you can do to fix this problem and start making savings.
As you go about the process of running and developing the business, you tend to overlook things like postage expenses and practices. You have a lot of things to worry about, and some will most likely take the back seat. But not giving more attention to your mailing and shipping might be costing the business a lot of money.
Below are the common ways which business owners overspend on their postage and delivery of their products, then there are tips that will help you deal with the problem. The assumption we are going to make is that you are spending more than $50 or more each month on your mail, then these tips will be of great benefit to your business.
#1. Guessing How Much You Need for Postage
Have you ever looked at the envelope and thought to yourself “The envelope looks big, it is better to use two stamps”? When you guess the postage needed, you may end up overspending because of using too many stamps or end up spending less and have the undeliverable mail return (this is not good because you will end up wasting your time and the stamp)
In order to determine the exact weight, use a postage meter. When you take the guesswork out of your mail weight, you can easily end up saving your annual postage costs by 20%.
The most accurate method to use of determining and applying postage is by using a postage meter, which will weight the mail and print the postal marking (this is used in the place of stamps); then there will be no need of stamps. Mail meters are available in a compact desktop size for small businesses.
#2. Buying Stamps in Bulk
It can sometimes seem a good idea to buy in bulk, but the downside is that there are mailing pieces that vary in weight and might need multiple stamps. You will be having bulk stamps of one domination, or buy stamps of varying denominations. It can be a hassle either way. This can become even more complicated when USPS decides to change their rates, just like it happened a couple of months ago. If you want to get stamps near by you can use this handy checker at USA Stamp Guide to find the easiest place to get them near you.
Printing postage when you need it. Small businesses have two options when it comes to printing postage
1) The use of non-software solutions such as a postage meter in order to print the postage markings.
2) Using a software such as an online postage service that will be printing the postage exactly when needed. When there is a rate change by USPS, both the internet postage and postage meter can be easily updated so they can reflect the new pricing.
#3. Send Mail That is Unnecessarily Too Big
The mail you are sending out could include a design and marketing message, but this might be costing you.
Reducing the size of envelopes and mailings. You should consider reducing the size of the mail from a flat-size envelope for it to easily fit in a smaller envelope. Businesses that have used this trick have managed to make savings of up to 50% per years on their postage costs.
#4. Sending Out Mail That is Heavy or Parcel That Needs to be Shipped to a Far Distance
Sending heavy packages that are small in size can easily add up your postage costs.
You should consider using USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate packaging – this is available for both international and domestic mail. This means that you will be paying for a predetermined cost basing it on the package. So, you will be paying the same for any weight below 70 pounds for domestic shipments, and the pricing will still be the same regardless of how far you send it. The packaging can be shipped to you for free, just order at usps.com.
Here are other tips that will help in lowering the costs of postage for your small business…
Do a little shopping around. Depending on what and where you want to send the package, there might be cheaper alternative companies such as UPS, FedEx, and the United States Postal Service. If you are planning to send the shipment to an area close by, consider using a transportation company or a local courier service.
Take advantage of online comparison tools like ParcelsPackages.com which will help you in comparing the rates of the package delivery companies.
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Taking advantage of savings that are offered with bulk mail, parcel post, and third-class mail delivery.
Choose the lightest materials for packing when shipping. Some of them include popcorn, Styrofoam, etc.
Find the ways of totally avoiding the process of mailing, like offering your clients e-billing and sending out letters through email.