A home business may be your maiden voyage into the sea of commerce. Entrepreneurs, inventors, and skilled crafters can do a lot from their kitchen tables. Certain challenges are specific to running an active home business. Organization, promotion, security, and workflow are all common considerations. You might be a one-person show or the leader of a small team. Either way, you must understand how to ship products out to customers quickly and efficiently. Consider the following ideas for shipping products from your home business.
1. Think Outside the Box
Unique home businesses may deal with hyper-specific packaging concerns or a global customer base. Thinking outside of the box can help you to find shipping solutions for your most atypical packages. Consider using recycled packaging materials and start sustainably with free delivery of flat-rate boxes from the U.S. Postal Service. Using padded envelopes can help you to reduce the weight of your packages, and therefore the cost of delivery.
2. Organize a Packing Station
Select your packing materials and organize them in a handy station. A packing station needs supplies like tape, bubble wrap, paper, labels, pens, and scissors. Use personalized stickers on all of your home-packed shipments, to show how much care you put into each order. You may also keep a running list of packing material that needs to be replenished soon.
3. Use a Scale
Package weight is an important factor for calculating the cost of delivery. Try to eliminate any unnecessary package items and place each item on an at-home luggage scale before you put them in the post. Knowing the general mail weight of each item in your online shop enables you to charge accordingly and operate in a financially sustainable manner.
4. Buy Supplies in Bulk
Go to wholesale retailers for bulk quantities of shipment packing essentials, such as tape and sturdy boxes. Obtaining discounted bulk supplies can save you money over a longer period of time. Test out any new supplies in smaller quantities before committing to bulk quantities and consider your access to storage space.
5. Use a Label Printer
A mailing label printer can be a small and mighty addition to your packaging station. Printing out your labels at home can cut down the time that you need to stand in line at the post office or other carrier’s location. Verify that you are printing the correct customer address each time and comply with the proper formatting standards.
6. Test Packing Material Durability
Great-looking packaging is lovely and durable packaging is vital for customer satisfaction. Test your packaging in conditions where it is exposed to heat, dropped, dragged, stepped on, and any other adverse event that could impact your package in transit. There is no test that is too silly, and you can highlight that you tested packaging methods on your website.
7. Follow a Mailing Schedule
Ship packages out on a set schedule so that customers can estimate when their orders will be on the way. You may stick to a routine of preparing orders every other day and getting them in the mail on the next one. Building realistic and positive expectations comes from clear communication about your business practices.
8. Track Shipment Status Online
Register your packages with tracking numbers so that you can follow their progress in transit. Share the tracking number with the expectant customer in their email receipt.
9. Include Handwritten Notes on Receipts
Write personal notes of gratitude to customers on the paper copies of their receipts in their order packages. A handwritten note can humanize a businessperson and encourage a customer to feel appreciated.
10. Register a P.O. Box Return Address
Use a registered post office box as your business address and direct any returns to that location. If it is public knowledge that you work from home, you may wish to protect your privacy by obscuring your physical home address.
Mindful packaging choices and excellent customer service can lead to many happy patrons.