Supply Chain 101: The Do’s and Don’ts of Shipping for Small Business

Woman hand accepting a delivery of boxes from deliveryman

Did you know the eCommerce market was worth USD 10.36 trillion in 2020 and is expected to reach a value of USD 27.15 trillion by 2027? With so much potential to make substantial sums of money, it’s no surprise businesses are looking to improve their services to capture a larger share of the market.

One vital area that can help a company achieve this goal is shipping for small business techniques.

But, this can be a complex topic, so where do you start when looking to streamline your shipping processes? After all, customers are becoming increasingly demanding, so you want to know how to get your shipping practices right to make the best impression. The good news is that you can focus on several critical factors to make shipping goods a straightforward and profitable experience.

Let’s start with the best small business shipping practices before looking at some issues you’ll want to avoid.

Do Establish a Reliable Carrier Base

Having a dependable delivery network takes a considerable amount of pressure off your shoulders because you can be sure your drivers will deliver your packages on time. To create a solid carrier base, remember to pay your partners on time, always be polite, and give them plenty of notice when you need their services.

Do Plan Ahead for Disruptions

There will inevitably be times when things don’t quite go to plan. A driver could be off sick, the weather could affect the travel routes, or a package may break while en route to the customer. But, you can mitigate the effect of these disruptions by having some helpful strategies to fall back on.

For example, you could map out three or four different routes to various locations. You might also keep some extra stock nearby so you can replace any items that are not in an acceptable condition. While there may still be some small delays, planning ahead can minimize any hassle.

Do Invest In a Tracking System

One of the best shipping ideas for small business enterprises is to purchase a tracking system. A location device can tell you precisely where your packages are at all times. You can then provide customers with real-time updates.

You could even use a system your clients can log on to using their digital devices and view their parcels in transit. This can be an excellent way to improve your customer satisfaction levels and get your business ahead of the competition.

Do Invest In Automation

You may have several repetitive or time-consuming tasks, and it can be helpful to use software that can perform these duties on your behalf. For example, you might be spending hours each week typing out address labels. But, an automated system could do this in seconds while you get on with other jobs.

An alternative to automation is to hire a company that can handle this side of your business at a reasonable cost.

Don’t Overpay for Your Deliveries

It’s crucial to calculate your business shipping rates correctly, or you could end up trading at a loss. Consider the weight and dimensions of your products, and think about both the fastest and cheapest ways to get a parcel to its destination. You may find booking a slightly slower delivery method is considerably cheaper than using a quicker service.

If your customer would prefer to benefit from lower costs, they may be happy to wait an extra day for their package. If you need help calculating your delivery costs, you can view this guide.

Don’t Always Blame Someone for a Late Delivery

On the occasional business shipping days when something goes wrong, it’s important not to always look for someone to blame. If you criticize others when they have not been at fault, you could disrupt the harmony within your delivery network. While you’ll want to find out if you could make improvements, you also need to accept that sometimes there is nothing you could have done better.

Don’t Forget to Organize Your Warehouse Efficiently

Business shipping can be fast-paced, and it’s easy to let your warehouse organizational standards drop. But, this can cause delays further down the line as you struggle to locate items you need to send to customers.

It’s a good idea to have a warehouse checklist for keeping your stock in order. You can then use this inventory sheet at the end of each day to ensure your products are in the correct locations.

Don’t Forget to Look Out for New Shipping Innovations

The small business shipping industry is exciting, and you never know what innovations will come out in the near future. For example, it seems likely that drones will play a vital role in the coming years. There could also be self-driving vehicles containing robots that can leave your parcels at your door.

By keeping an eye out for the latest delivery technology, you can continue to develop your shipping services.

Improve Your Shipping for Small Business Practices

Streamlining your small business shipping practices doesn’t have to be complicated. But you do need to work with the right partners and plan ahead for any unexpected disruptions. Always try to keep your customers informed, and look for any new shipping methods that could help you reduce costs.

When you perfect your shipping processes, your customers will be delighted with the improvement in your services.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, be sure to check out more informative posts in our Business section before you go.