Running a small business is hard enough as it is, but when you have to factor in shipping logistics on top of everything else, it can seem downright impossible. How do you stay organized and on schedule when you’re dealing with transportation management solutions? Here are some ideas meant to outline some tips and tricks to help make the shipping process a little less daunting.
One of the first steps is to find a shipping carrier that offers transportation management solutions that will fit your business needs. Do you need something fast? Reliable? Something that can ship internationally? Narrow down your options by doing some research and reading reviews from other small businesses and the shipping carriers they use. Once you’ve found a few potential transportation management solutions, get quotes and compare prices.
You might even look into carrier services that offer transportation management solutions as part of their package. This could save you both time and money in the long run, since these services already have a list of reliable carriers to choose from.
The next step is to get your ducks in a row, so to speak. When you’re dealing with shipping logistics, organization is key. Keep track of your inventory and create a system that works for you and your team when preparing products to be shipped out, including things like getting your loading dock management sorted to manage the flow of vehicles coming onto your site. This will help to ensure that nothing gets lost in the shuffle and that your products are always accounted for and arrive with everything in order.
If you have products that need to be shipped regularly, consider setting up a subscription service for those items. This way, your customers can receive their products on a schedule that works for them and you can plan your shipments months in advance. This can help to take some of the pressure off of having to ship a ton of items on demand every month or every couple of months along with giving you more time to focus on other aspects of your business.
Last but not least, don’t forget about your customers! When you’re creating a shipping schedule and trying to figure out the best way to get your products where they need to go, always keep them in mind. What are their needs? What would make their lives easier? If you can provide a solution that makes it easy for your customers to receive their products on time and as expected, you’re sure to create lifelong fans of your small business. This can include figuring out what orders need to go where and when to ensure they reach your customers promptly, as well as figuring out how to package your products so they arrive in one piece. For example, if you sell fragile items, investing in packaging that will keep them safe during transit might be a good idea, along with shipping insurance in case something does happen to them.
Use these tips as a starting point when trying to figure out the best shipping solutions for your small business. With a little planning and forethought, you can create a system that works for you and helps to keep your business running like a well-oiled machine. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it and always be willing to try new things until you find what works best for you.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.