When running a small business, it can often feel like you invest more money than you make. In fact, the average UK business requires around £5000 in investment for a successful launch. Even once your business is up and running, operational costs can quickly mount up. Everything from printer ink to your business premises rent can amount to eye-watering sums; hence, it’s easy to understand why so many small businesses are perpetually on the lookout for methods of cutting costs.
If your small business ships products worldwide, you’ll be no stranger to ever-increasing shipping expenses. Fortunately, you may be able to cut down on shipping costs and boost profits. Read on to discover how.
Reduce The Weight Of Your Packages
Heavy and bulky packages naturally cost more to ship as they weigh more and take up more room in delivery vehicles. You can reduce the weight of a parcel in several ways; for example, you could opt for extra lightweight package filling materials, such as air cushions or foam inserts. It may also be worth considering the type of packaging you use and swapping traditional cardboard boxes for bubble wrap jiffy bags.
Invest In A Thermal Label Printer
Not only can self-printed labels make your business appear more professional and help you establish a robust brand identity, but they can also save you money. You can purchase a high-quality thermal label printer for under £200, saving you money in the long run, as many courier services offer discounts to companies and individuals who print their own labels. Furthermore, a thermal label printer will save you time by considerably speeding up your packaging process.
Choose The Right Courier Service
One of the most effective ways to cut shipping costs is to reconsider which mailing company courier service you use. It is always worth researching local courier companies and weighing up your options before deciding on a courier company. Choose your company based on pricing, positive reviews, delivery speeds and parcel insurance options. While Evri (Hermes) and Royal Mail both offer competitive rates and transit times, there are many alternatives to consider.
Buy Packaging In Bulk
Buying in bulk is only cost-effective if you use enough packaging to warrant the investment. However, considering the price of each unit is reduced on bulk orders, you could increase profits and output once your small business is established and orders are coming in thick and fast. You may even be able to order bulk bespoke packaging that echoes your branding and boosts customer loyalty. Alternatively, you could use custom stickers to add your brand identity to plain materials.
Opt For Affordable Packaging Materials
The most affordable packaging includes cardboard boxes and polyethene bags. Corrugated cardboard boxes are cheap, robust and readily available in a range of sizes, so it’s easy to see why they’ve long been the go-to packaging solution for both personal and business purposes. However, if your small business is passionate about sustainability, it may be a better option to spend a little bit extra on recycled cardboard packaging and biodegradable/composite jiffy bags.
Calculate P&P Accurately
Calculating your P&P correctly ensures you are charging your customers a fair price. There are multiple factors to consider when calculating postage and packaging. First of all, do some research and find out what your competitors are charging to give yourself a vague starting point. Your P&P will depend on the size and weight of your package, as well as the overall value of the contents, which will determine whether or not you may require insurance. P&P also depends on the country you’re shipping to; for example, it will cost considerably less if you’re mailing an item within the UK, as opposed to shipping internationally. Ecommerce platforms often feature advice pages regarding postage and packaging, including eBay.
Reconsider Your Prices
There often comes a time when every small business owner must reconsider their pricing. Many factors influence price, including time, quality and, of course, the ever-rising cost of living, which directly impacts business expenses. While you shouldn’t undervalue your efforts, it is also crucial to offer competitive prices. As your business grows, it is advisable to review your pricing strategy continuously, factoring in changes in packaging materials and postage options. That said, sharp increases in pricing may alienate your customer base, so be diplomatic and strategic.