Advertising
Advertising

6 Ingenious Ways Businesses Can Save Money In Shipping

6 Ingenious Ways Businesses Can Save Money In Shipping

Every organization, established or starting up, is keen on keeping cost as low as possible to make maximum profits. Shipping cost can take up a huge percentage of cost if not properly strategized, which could eat into profits or prevent a start-up from breaking even.

Recent developments in technology have opened new doors for businesses to outsource functions to established shipping organizations. This is especially beneficial to organizations with large shipments. What about small organizations that do not have the volumes to economically employ those services?

Shipping cost can drain your business’ profits and extend your break-even point if you do not keep a keen eye on it. These tips could help keep it checked. Check out these six ingenious ways on how businesses can save money in shipping costs.

1. Package Appropriately

You want enough space for your merchandise without paying too much for unused space. Experts recommend that you leave about two inches of clearance to give your merchandise enough space for safety. If the items to be shipped are fragile, be sure to have enough bubble wrap to keep them from breaking.

Advertising

The essence of having just the right packaging is to avoid paying too much for using larger-than-necessary boxes. Seal it appropriately with heavy-duty tape so that it does not come off during transit and force the transporter to seal it afresh. That, of course, would increase your shipping cost.

In as much as the merchandise in transit determines the type of box used, regular boxes do just fine for most shipments. Avoid using heavy packaging that only attracts high parcel costs for regular merchandise.

2. Establish Relationships

If you are a small start-up, the market is still new to you or you have not gained enough mileage to play in the big league then your best bet are the companies in your league. Look into the start-ups that offer these services and grow with each other. If they provide services as good as the established transport brands, you could score some good rates.

Depending on the number of products you ship, you could negotiate for better rates. Ask them to give you discounts based on targets that both of you set, or generally, agree to a flat rate of the total cost. Check if they provide terminal to terminal shipping and if it can help cut the costs as well. If you stick with them long enough, you could help them become a bigger brand, and they could keep you, their loyal customer at a special rate.

Advertising

You could also agree to market them to your networks, and they could give you discounts for every referral.

3. Use Volume as Leverage

As your business grows and volume increases, make the numbers known to the more established providers. You could drop a number to an executive from the company that you want to work with and let them bait.

Let them know what your current provider is offering and see if they would come down to your level. If the volumes are decent and the future looks bright (your information is on the internet), most of these companies will let you play with the big boys. Convince them that getting your business would be to their best interest.

“A lot of small businesses think they aren’t large enough to negotiate rates with the shipping services, but they can. Open an account, get a rep and talk about options,” advises Rhonda Abrams, a columnist and business owner in Palo Alto, California.

Established shipping companies such as FedEx are quite expensive, but well known in the industry. With them, you are sure that your merchandise would be safe in transit and that time consumed would reduce drastically. That is why they are worth the premium cost. If you find a way of bringing them onboard at a favorable price, take it. Volumes and consistency are your greatest assets.

4. Recycle and Keep Records

If you have lots of incoming goods as well as outgoing merchandise, you could save the boxes from your incomings. The idea here is to ensure that you unpack carefully to prevent extensive tears that would render the boxes useless.

When you unpack, collect all the perfectly undone boxes, and use them for your outgoing merchandise. If the box is still in excellent condition, none will be the wiser. This only applies to regular packaging. Of course, for premium products, you would have to use brand new boxes.

As for your records, monitor what you send out. Measure the package before it leaves the warehouse and compare the data with your service provider’s. This will inform you on how much you are spending per day even before your service provider sends you the invoice.

Advertising

5. Declare War on Expensive Packaging Material

You cannot afford to have one supplier and to stick with them for the rest of your company’s life. You have to shop around to establish whether you would get better rates elsewhere. Companies such as USPS will give you flat rate boxes free for using their services (or rather, they incorporate the cost in their rates) and so you can take advantage of that.

You can also buy packaging material in bulk to benefit from quantity discounts. While doing this, you are paying attention to your storage capacity. You do not want to spend too much on storage for material that you will not use in the short run. Keep an eye on the market for cheaper yet quality supplies.

6. Demand Refunds For Late Deliveries

When you are only getting started, you cannot afford to be late in your deliveries. Mistakes like those could cost you the same customer base that you are working hard to build. Most shipping companies, FedEx and UPS included, have a money back guarantee. If they fail to keep the agreed time, they promise to issue a full refund.

As a start-up, you may find it tedious and costly to track all the untimely deliveries and to seek a refund as stipulated in the contract. That is how Refund Tiger helps. They audit your transactions and follow the refund process on your behalf from service providers for a percentage of the total amount.

Advertising

Conclusion

It is prudent to keep your own records that you countercheck with those of the courier service. Never stop scouting for cheaper means of transport because every penny counts. Establish rapport with shipping companies, possibly the smaller start-ups with a stellar reputation. Endeavor to keep your cost as low as possible, but the services as professional as you can. If you stay with a selected group of service providers long enough, you will reap benefits in the name of discounts.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

More by this author

Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

Benefits of Sauna: 8 Ways It Makes You Healthier and Happier 25 Websites Other Than Social Media To Upgrade Your Life Think That Positive Mantras Help a Lot? Try Value Affirmation Instead 6 Successful Entrepreneurs Who Struggle Through Dyslexia Every Family Has Its Problems, This Is How Some Stick Together No Matter What

Trending in Money

1 How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money 2 The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind 3 How to Answer the Tough Question: What are Your Salary Requirements? 4 The Definitive Guide to Get Out of Debt Fast (And Forever) 5 35 Real Ways to Actually Make Money Online

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 2, 2019

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

Advertising

How It Leads to Financial Improvement

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

Types of Personal Finance Software

When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

Advertising

Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

When to Use Personal Finance Software

So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

1. You Have Multiple Accounts

There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

Advertising

There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

Advertising

How to Get Started

From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

Final Thoughts

Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Read Next