When you start a small business, there are hundreds of things vying for your attention. But one area you should not overlook is the delivery of your products. You may think delivery is one of the simplest operations of your business, but unless you handle it in the right way, you can run into all sorts of problems.
1. Unaffordable Third-party Couriers
While there is always the option of using third-party courier companies, they are usually too expensive for small businesses to afford. That used to be a significant problem. But small businesses can now easily overcome the issue by using delivery software. With it, you can ensure your deliveries are accurately delivered and arrive on time. With delivery software, your field service team will have read-only access in order to check drivers’ locations, their completed stops, and proof of delivery. You can also set exceptions with the software for down days when you need to do vehicle maintenance or for when it is the holiday season.
2. Finding the Right Delivery Method for Your Business
Your team of couriers could deliver your small business’s products via bicycle, motorbike, car, van, or truck. So, it is important that you consider which is the best option for the products you sell. If you choose the wrong one, it could result in major problems. For instance, if you only sell small items, it could be detrimental to spend money on large trucks when bicycle couriers could deliver your goods for a much lower cost. To determine the best delivery method, consider the types, sizes, and weights of products you are delivering. Some goods could be fragile while others could be robust, too. So, ensure you think about every element of the product and how it is best delivered.
3. Choosing the Right Packaging
When considering your delivery method, you also need to think about the packaging you use for your range of products. If items are fragile, it is obviously vital you use protective packaging. It is also crucial that your couriers know how to handle packages with care. Furthermore, your packaging should be environmentally friendly. Ensure you determine the best types of packaging for individual products and calculate the costs rather than just going for a one-size-fits-all approach.
4. Tracking Deliveries
In this modern-day and age, customers expect their goods to be trackable. It will also help your business massively to implement automated tracking of your deliveries, as it will mean you experience very few lost packages and therefore do not have to spend money on replacing goods and handling customer concerns. Making sure your deliveries always arrive will also allow your company to gain a good reputation. In turn, that means you will attract more repeat customers as well as new customers. Use an automated tracking system for your deliveries to overcome the problem of missing and late deliveries and increase your efficiency.
5. Not Leveraging Your Couriers’ Input
When you use delivery software and implement tracking, you may become complacent about your small business’s deliveries. But if you want to ensure your delivery service is error-free on a daily basis, it is a good idea to regularly check in with your couriers to gain their ground-level insights. For instance, by communicating with couriers regularly, you can identify bottlenecks in traffic that could potentially delay deliveries and become aware of customers who often need more time added to their chosen delivery times because they are not at home when they said they would be. It is also a good idea to assign couriers to geographic areas that they are familiar with.