As a small business owner, it’s important to make the most of your time and money. You don’t have the resources of larger companies. While you may not have much trouble getting your products or services out to your customers, there are still ways you can optimize the process along the way and save some of your valuable time and money for other things.
A delivery service may seem like an expense to cut if you’re looking to trim the fat from your small business budget. Still, it could end up saving you time and money in the long run by allowing you to scale your business more effectively than you could without one.
Use Your Driver’s Insights
Everyone in your office should have at least a basic understanding of what’s going on outside, whether it’s from your driver or someone else with eyes on the street. Having an informed employee or manager on staff can be key to keeping your business up and running smoothly. When communication breaks down, delays can occur. It can result in deliveries being missed. Keep a conversation with whoever is doing deliveries so you’re always informed about what’s happening during business hours.
Don’t Lose Customers by Being on Time
If you’re in a rush and have an essential package to deliver, it can be easy to focus on speed instead of timeliness. Delivering a package minutes earlier might save you an hour, but what if that package is then delayed by hours or days? In those cases, it’s better not to risk your customer’s business—and their loyalty—by rushing them. On-time delivery may be more valuable than fast delivery in certain situations.
Optimize With Logistics Software
That old chestnut, “Time is money,” isn’t just a clever saying. Time truly is valuable, especially when it comes to logistics management. With so many moving parts, successful delivery services demand top-notch supply chain management software that integrates with your organization’s internal and external components. Thankfully, there are some great options out there; you just need to know where to look.
Include Your Own Delivery Service
You’re going to be spending a lot of time on delivery, so you might as well make it an efficient and cost-effective service. Most online stores work with third-party delivery services. However, if you want your store to stand out from all others, why not include your own small business delivery service? You save money on fees by handling all deliveries in-house, which gives you more control over scheduling and staffing. You can start by sourcing vehicles and enlisting helpers for on-the-ground pickups and drop-offs—and soon enough, you have a small fleet! Just don’t forget to have your car properly maintained by hiring an auto glass repair service to avoid accidents on deliveries. Also, your battery and engine health is important; ensure that these are in top shape for long hours on the road.
Lessen Chances of Error
To lessen chances of error, make a list of all potential details in your delivery process and schedule time for each. For example, if you need printed marketing materials but don’t have access to a printer at home, schedule time in advance at a local print shop so you can hand-deliver materials when they’re ready. If you work from home and only have one means of transportation, schedule lunch breaks at a nearby park so that after taking care of business, lunches can be eaten outside.
Keep Customers Updated at All Times
You might be tempted to follow up with your customers about once a month. But it’s better if you keep them in the loop as and when you can, especially during times of delay. For instance, instead of following up with all your customers on a big batch delivery at one go, reach out individually whenever there’s an update. It gives customers an idea that their concerns are being addressed at every step of the process and may even incentivize them to make repeat purchases. You can also make an app for updates via text messages or email for added convenience. It helps customers stay updated about delays or other issues in real-time, makes you more reliable and trustworthy, and will probably leave clients wanting more from you!
How do you optimize your delivery services? One customer at a time. When developing your logistics strategy, it’s important to note that every small business customer is different—and that every one of their demands is specific. That’s why you need a solution that can be customized on the fly, a software platform designed to maximize your efficiency while giving you access to all of your data in real-time.