Published on July 17th, 2013 | by EditorOne0
4 Reasons Small Businesses Need a Postage Meter and Shipping Software
There’s practically no business that doesn’t list shipping expenses in the budget. Small businesses that ship products directly to customers see packages leave the business day after day, and most businesses ships customer correspondence and promotional material. To ensure you spend less money on shipping, invest in a postage meter and shipping software. Being able to weigh and track packages and letters benefit businesses in a number of ways.
Never Pay Too Much for Postage
Using the correct amount of postage seems like a no-brainer. But you’d be surprised how many businesses figure “better safe than sorry” and put too much postage on a package or letter if they don’t know the exact weight. Weighing the package and paying too much for shipping becomes a thing of the past with your own meter and shipping software. Did you know that businesses save up to 20 percent on shipping costs once they’ve started using a postage meter?
The postage meter doesn’t just save you from paying too much postage — if you’ve tended to underestimate the weight and put too little postage on your package, it may be sent back to you for more postage, or even worse for customer relations, your clients may have to pay the difference. Get it right the first time by weighing it in-house.
Get a Shipping Service to Pick It Up
Sending someone from the business to a shipping service to send all of those packages and letters is simply a waste of time. And it’s a waste of money too, if you consider the cost of gas. Print your own postage and shipping services will come to you to pick shipments up.
Most shipping services, including the USPS, UPS and FedEx, have pick-up services for businesses, especially if you ship in bulk. Call ahead and set up your daily pick-ups or request pick-ups on demand as necessary. Being able to easily send in bulk with software may also help your business qualify for postage discounts, such as pre-sorting discounts.
Track Shipments More Efficiently
When you ship in bulk, it’s tempting to get everything out of the office or warehouse and to the clients as quickly as possible. However, you’re not going to get a clear idea of how quickly your clients are getting their orders and just how much volume you’re shipping if you don’t track your day-to-day mailings. Records are especially important if there’s a problem and you have to prove the date and time of shipment.
Shipment software puts all of this information at your fingertips. You’ll also be able to look up postage rates to different zones and countries, get tips for packing more efficiently and look up competing rates at the click of a button.
Be Flexible When It Comes to Payment
Sometimes a business needs to stretch every dollar; this is especially true for new and small businesses. When you use software and a postage meter, you’re allowed to be flexible when it comes to payment.
If you prefer to pay for every bit of postage as you print it, you’re free to do so. But if it looks like a tough month is coming up, arrange to pay it all in one monthly lump sum. Monthly payments mean a single payment and nothing else to worry about.
You probably take bookkeeping seriously. You take HR seriously. You invest in software and do whatever you can to keep your records organized and easy to access. Do the same for your shipments, especially if you sell products through the mail. Software to help you organize your shipments and a postage meter that will print your postage from your office are simple investments that will help you run your business more efficiently and for less cost.
About the Author: Jan Ellison is a contributing writer and owner of a small bookstore in Hawaii. The bulk of her business is shipped, and she’s more organized than ever thanks to her postage meter and shipment software.