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How to Ship Smarter As A Small Business

How to Ship Smarter As A Small Business

At, we’re devoted to offering the best shipping service on the web for label supplies. We know that our customers value our fast, free shipping. Because of that, we’ve invested time, money and research into maintaining our exceptional shipping service.

Of course, being a small business makes things a little tougher at times. But over the years, we’ve picked up some great tips and tricks.

Since many of you are small business owners that use our shipping and address labels to ship your products, we thought you might benefit from some of the things we’ve learned in the past decade.

Especially with the holidays coming up in just a few weeks, it’s more important than ever that you are shipping smarter – instead of working harder and still delivering service that doesn’t meet  your customers’ expectations.

So over the next few weeks, we will be posting a new article every Wednesday on how to ship smarter as a small business. In all, the series will comprise 8 tips that you will be able to download together in our Small Business 101 Handbook: How to Ship Smarter. We hope you enjoy our work and are able to grow a happy customer base with your smart shipping techniques.

Smart Shipping Tip #1: Contact Your Reps & Learn About Your Options

So you’ve got a small business that’s gaining some traction. You’re fulfilling more and more orders every day, which is great, but you’re still using the standard shipping rates and services from various vendors. That’s just not going to cut it.

It’s time to take charge of your shipping services.

The first step you should take is to research the brochure-type material that each shipping vendor has available. Find out who seems, on the surface, to best fit your business’ needs.

But you can’t stop there – that’s where many small business owners make their mistake. They quickly research what’s available and use what they think is the best service. That’s how you end up working way too hard and spending more than you have to.

But, you say, my business is too small to negotiate rates and services, right?

Not so fast. While it’s true that there are different tiers of discounts based on your volume, there are likely still options available to you, no matter the size of your business. If you are shipping items on a regular basis, it’s important to discover where the tiers are and what you qualify for. Remember, this is something that you’re spending on multiple times a day, so even saving a penny per order will add up very quickly.

So here’s the small business’ smart shipping tip numero uno: Choose the vendor you think will work best for you and set up a meeting with one of their representatives.

Shipping vendors have reps that cover your area and they can give you more detailed information than what’s available on the web. They can also help you find unique solutions based on your shipping needs.

When you meet with the rep, don’t just negotiate cost. Make sure to find out what other special offerings they have. Talk about things like:

  • Offering multiple pickup times
  • Integration with your software
  • Special tracking services
  • Shipment guarantees

So say you find out that UPS and FedEx, for instance, have similar rates and pickup times. You can’t decide between the two. Then, you meet with a FedEx rep and find out that they have the perfect QuickBooks integration for your system, or vice versa. Now you know that you may be able to save yourself time (and money) by using the vendor with the optimal software integration.

Each small business owner’s needs are different, and each shipping vendor has strengths and weaknesses, so make sure you’ve checked out all your options before you settle for time-consuming, inefficient and costly sticker-price shipping services.

Next up in the How to Ship Smarter Series is Tip #2: Size Matters.