Managing a small business can be tough, especially on a budget. There’s a lot that you need to achieve with limited cash flow, so you have to make each decision very carefully – after all, problems with cash flow has been stated as the number one reason for business failure.
While it’s important to regularly review expenditure and look for ways to save, there are some areas where this can seem impossible, including delivery. But not to worry. We’ve put together a small business cheat sheet, to help you deliver on a budget.
Don’t Go Direct
You may think that going directly to a courier will save you money, but most of the time, that’s not the case. Instead, to find a good delivery service within your budget, use a third-party provider courier service. They’ve already done the hard work for you and negotiated big discounts with leading couriers. Simply compare prices and services and choose the best option for you.
Reuse Where Possible
Of course, you don’t want your items to become damaged in transit, but where used packaging is in good condition, try to recycle. You could do this by keeping packaging from your own deliveries or asking for used boxes from local businesses.
As well as saving money, this could also make your brand more appealing to customers by being ethical. Just make sure customers know to expect used packaging.
Size and Weight
Many couriers use the dimension and weight of a parcel when determining price, so when on a budget, it makes sense to reduce these where possible. Again, you don’t want parcels or products to be damaged, so don’t skimp on protective materials where they’re needed.
Work within budget by assessing price brackets – for example, some couriers offer the same price for parcels weighing 3-5kg. If your shipment is just above 5kg, see if you can save weight, as this could save a couple of pounds on every shipment, boosting cashflow.
Hire Temporary Staff
Many businesses experience seasonal fluctuations, such as more sales across the Christmas period. However, as a small business on a budget, you can’t afford to hire permanent staff. Instead, bring in temps.
You can do this by hiring friends or family or offering products in exchange for help – this is a great option for university students. This cuts the wage bill while allowing your business to fulfil orders on time.
If you’ve already been working with a single courier, then you may have settled for their advertised prices, but this is a big mistake that could cost you a lot in the long run. Instead, always negotiate with your delivery provider.
Call them and show them how much your business is worth by providing revenue figures and forecasts, demonstrate your loyalty to the courier, and detail how much you’ve already spend with them. Essentially, you want to use your company’s worth to leverage a better deal.
What techniques have you used to save your small business money on delivery? Do you have any other ideas? Let us know below.