Work at Home? Ship from Home!
Home business owners are often highly skilled at multitasking and wear multiple hats, including that of Mailroom Operator.
Despite dealing with mailing and shipping regularly, many small businesses owners overspend on postage. With January's proposed postal rate increase looming, it's time to learn the tricks of the trade.
The biggest tip we'll stress today is the easiest way to save on postage: accurately weighing your mail and parcels.
If you don't weigh your mail, you may be guessing how much postage is required, which can result in overstamping and therefore overspending. When you weigh your mail, you can determine the exact amount of postage needed. Studies show that eliminating the guesswork and weighing mail can save small business owners up to 20% a year in postage.
Worse than overstamping your mail though is the result of mail that has insufficient postage - another risk when you don't weigh and accurately rate your packages. Mailpieces and packages with insufficient postage are either returned or delivered with postage due. You.ll either need to re-mail the package (risking timely delivery), or your recipient will be required to pay the postage due - not good for customers with which you wish to maintain a good relationship!
You can weigh mail with a digital postage meter, or you can use a mail scale and a PC postage tool. Both will also allow you to print postage - from home! You can further reduce trips to the Post Office by signing up for USPS Schedule a Pickup. Your postal carrier will pick up your qualifying shipments for free when he/she delivers your mail, regardless of the number of packages you send.
As a bonus, most postage meters and PC postage tools will update automatically to reflect new USPS postage rates (if approved) on January 22, 2012.
- Leading postage meters brands: Pitney Bowes, Neopost and Hasler
- Leading PC postage brands: pbSmartPostage, Endicia and Stamps.com
- Use Flat-Rate packaging - cost is static regardless of distance or weight (up to 70lbs), and packaging is free!
- Print double-sided to reduce the overall size of mail to reduce costs
- Put an extra address label with delivery and return addresses inside your package in case the label is damaged or falls off (this reduces re-mailing expenses)
- Shred newsletter to make your own package cushioning
- Sort your own bulk mail by ZIP Code and take it to a bulk mailing center to save an average of 10%
- Verify addresses are deliverable before mailing
We hope this has armed you with some of the easiest ways to better manage shipments and mailings for time and cost. For more information on the upcoming rate change, see USPS.com for 2012 postal rate change frequently asked questions.
Written by Shayna Burns for Pitney Bowes, offering 2012 rate change support and digital postage meters for small business owners.