Small business owners are incredible multitaskers. In most cases, they are extremely involved in every small process that runs within a company. Learning every intricacy at every stage is complicated. One of the largest parts of the small business working process is shipping. Whether it’s shipping materials from suppliers, getting products for retail, or shipping directly to your customers, shipping is an integral part of the small business processes.
Many companies underestimate the role of small business shipping, and by extension, the costs it consumes. An undeveloped shipping strategy can result in extra spending, stress, and frustrated customers. Obviously, it is impossible to become a logistics expert with other business needs weighing on your shoulders. But, there are common shipping mistakes small businesses make, and you can learn to avoid them by making your shipping efficient.
3 small business shipping mistakes to watch out for:
1. Estimating costs by ‘eye-balling it’
Shipping rates are tricky. To determine the accurate final cost, you need a ton of variable factors starting with precise shipment dimensions, weight to commodity type, and additional services. It’s very easy to miss something. Rates also depend on the season, lane, weather, and even a date. So, the major mistake of small businesses is guessing shipping costs. Compare rates from different services and include all the possible information to make your estimate even more accurate.
Shipping information is a whole other concern. When it comes to numbers in freight shipping, you can’t assume – you must know. Do the homework and prepare the correct measures for your shipment, learn delivery requirements, etc. Research and preparation will help you significantly save on your shipping costs.
2. Planning last minute
Another common mistake small businesses make is not planning their shipment in advance. The thing is, advanced preparation typically means lower costs. It’s in everyone’s best interest to know what the plans are. For you, it means clarity with inventory needs and budgets. For carriers, it means secured shipment for their capacity. Although it is impossible to plan every single shipment ahead, practice makes for more accurate rates.
3. Using fewer shipping options
There are plenty of shipping options out there, all offering different services at different prices. It is always better to have a bigger pool of shipping partners to back you up in unpredictable situations. After some time of researching and trying different options, you will find a few reliable shipping services you like utilizing. But, before getting stuck with one carrier and not knowing about other prices, try to explore all the possibilities.