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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on June 1, 2020

How to Pay off Debt Fast Using the Stack Method (A Step-By-Step Guide)

How to Pay off Debt Fast Using the Stack Method (A Step-By-Step Guide)

Whether it’s consumer debt on credit cards, student loans[1], or a mortgage, most people find themselves weighed down by debt at some point in their lives. This can keep us working jobs we hate just to pay the bills and keep our heads above water. By learning how to pay off debt fast, you can release this burden and remove some of the stress from your life.

The Stack Method is one way to do this. Once you understand it, you too can learn how to pay off debt fast.

What Is the Stack Method?

The Stack Method, often referred to as “debt stacking,” requires making a list of all your sources of debt, starting with the debts that incur the highest interest. Then, you make the minimum payments for each source of debt, but when any extra money comes your way, you throw it at the debt at the top of the list. This way, you eliminate the debts with the most interest first, dropping extra costs to a manageable level in a fairly short amount of time.

To get started with the Stack Method, go through these steps and overcome those mountains of debt today.

1. Stop Creating New Debt

Most people do not receive training in handling money and how to live within their means. If you’re in debt, then you’re probably one of these people, and it’s time to bite the reality bullet.

It’s going to be impossible to get out of debt unless you retrain your financial habits right now.

You must make a stand against all the marketers trying to take your hard earned money or offering easy finance. You don’t need more stuff to make you happy. What you need is financial peace of mind.

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So cut up your credit cards or freeze them. I mean this literally. Put them in a container of water and stash them in your freezer. Then, when there’s an opportunity to spend, you have time to thaw out (you and the credit cards) and really decide if you need that purchase.

2. Rank Your Debt by Interest Rate

Make a list of all your debt with amounts and the interest rate. The highest interest rate should be at the top as this is what you’ll pay off first.

Paying off your high interest debt is the key to the Stack Method.

Interest is a powerful weapon, and right now the bank or other financial institutions are using it against you. Interest significantly increases the amount you need to pay back, and often we’re completely unaware of how much that is.

For example, if you have a $10,000 credit card debt at 20% interest where you pay a minimum payment of $200 a month, you will end up taking 9 years and 8 months to pay off the actual amount of $21,680 including $11,680 in interest!

3. Lower Your Interest Rates

You can often lower your credit card interest rates by doing a balance transfer. This means moving your credit card to another bank, where they will lower the interest rate to get your business[2].

Shop around and try to get the lowest interest rate for the longest duration (preferably until it’s paid off completely). Just make sure you’re reading the terms and conditions carefully so you don’t get stung by the new bank in other ways.

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Once you’ve done this, you can order your list of debt again if interest rates have shifted.

4. Create a Strategic Spending Plan

This is where we improve your financial control from Step 1. Take a piece of paper and write down your income after tax and all the expenses that you have. This will include the minimum payments on all your debt.

Look at your expenses, and then rank them in order of importance to you. Look at the items on the bottom of your list and decide whether you’d rather have them or be financially stable. The objective is to create a spending  plan where your expenses are lower than your income.

You also decide how much you are willing to spend on each area of your life. You can allocate amounts for rent, groceries, eating out, buying clothes, and other activities. However, realize that once you’ve spent your allocated money, there’s no dipping into other areas[3].

It also helps to have a “Fun Account” that you can spend on what you like, and an “Emergencies Account” in case your car breaks down or other unfortunate incidents come up.

You also want to include the extra amount you’re going to use to pay off debt in your spending plan.

Can you afford $20 a week? $50? $100? $200 or more? It’s important that you get a realistic number that you can commit to each week without fail, and this is your Stack Repayment.

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5. Create a Payment Schedule

The first part of the Stack Method is to cover the minimum payment on every single debt you have. Any time you miss a payment, you incur fees, and these add up quickly. This also includes making the minimum payment on the debt with the highest interest rate.

Then for the debt with the highest interest rate (your Target Debt), you’re going to add the Stack Repayment from your strategic spending plan. You apply this Stack Repayment and the minimum payment until that debt is paid off in full.

As your official minimum payment decreases, you add that extra amount to your Stack Repayment. So, as your minimum repayment drops, your Stack Repayment increases equally. This will compound how fast you pay off the Target Debt by adding even more to the payments you’re making.

6. Reward Your Progress

You want to track your Target Debt so you can see your progress along the way. You can also decide on milestones that you’re going to celebrate and reward yourself for.

A reward doesn’t have to cost money, but if it does then it comes from your previously allocated spending plan.

This is an important step as it will keep your motivation going when you feel your willpower fading.

Just like you’ve trained yourself to brush your teeth and shower, you can train yourself to manage your money. Feel great that you’re now entering the 10-20% of people who are actually responsible with money.

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7. Compound Your Results

Once you pay off your Target Debt, have a huge celebration and congratulate yourself. Then, you move the Stack Repayment (which includes the previous minimum payment now) to the next debt with the highest interest rate.

This becomes the new Target Debt, and you are using your Stack Repayment amount plus the minimum payment for the new debt.

This is why the Stack Method is so powerful. As you decrease a debt, you actually increase your Stack Repayment amount. This means the second debt will get paid off even faster, the third even faster than that, and so on and so on until you are completely debt free.

8. Be Kind to Yourself

During this process, your resolve is going to be tested multiple times. Maybe you’ll have an emergency like your car breaking down or the need to travel for a sick relative. The important thing is to not throw up your hands in despair and slipping back into your old habits.

Life will test your commitment to your new responsible money attitude, and it’s up to you how you respond. When things go wrong (and I guarantee they will), you need to shrug it off and get back on track.

Show compassion when you accidentally go over your target spending amount and decide to do better next week.

The Bottom Line

The Stack Method is a powerful tool, but it’s up to you whether you use it effectively. If you really want results, then bookmark this article immediately and start working through the steps.

It’s only by the decision you make right now that you will enjoy a debt-free future and live a financially responsible life.

More Tips on How to Pay off Debt Fast

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

Reference

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