A business is a big investment. As you start business, your return on investment will take a good while to take shape. So while your first customer has ordered a product off your website for say £9.99, you probably spent £99 to get it up and ready for delivery.
When every expense counts, it’s certainly not a time for frivolous spending. From finding a cost-effective manufacturing process to shipping your product, you’ll want to make the smartest investments wherever possible.
One area of opportunity when it comes to savings is delivery. Because it’s out of office, first-time business owners might be inclined to overlook their shipping costs, but having delivery smarts can save your budget big time. Here are a number of ways to keep delivery costs down, even when those other expenses are sky high.
The tower of skid
Pallet deliveries are a highly effective way to ground ship your goods. Pallets are designed to be stacked on top of one another. Not doing so would just be silly, and inefficient. Every type of pallet, be it wood or plastic, is stackable into a pallet tower – called a skid. A wooden pallet skid can be stacked up to 17 pallets high on a standard lorry. Plastic pallets have a special advantage here due to their nestable leg design. A whopping 53 pallets can be fitted onto a single skid on a truck. Never just scatter your empty pallets: you can get a lot more value per lorry load if you take the time to make skids.
A piece of the puzzle
Time restrictions can cost you more money if you’re new to the game. A standard pallet can carry a lot of merchandise, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be overloaded if you know how to pack. To get the most out of every pallet make sure you’re not leaving any gaps between boxes. Be sure to put heavy things at the bottom, because while it may sound obvious, a top-heavy pallet is more likely to topple when being switched over to another lorry.
Recycle your pallets
For businesses, there are great ways in which pallets can be recycled. Standard wooden pallets can still be used, even when one of the boards is rotten or has cracked. This is because their simple construction makes it easy to replace individual parts. Plastic pallets are hard to break, but they can get worn down and chipped over time. If you have a number of plastic pallets which are bust, they can be melted down and remoulded into new ones.
Choose one for the weather
Pallets will be exposed to the weather, whether it’s during loading and unloading, or if a facility holds some goods outside. Climate will ultimately claim the life of some of your pallets, but being informed on pallet types and their benefits can save you from buying or recycling new ones quite so often.
Be advised that wooden pallets should not be exposed to wet and/or humid conditions for long periods of time. Rain can cause wood rot and mould, or encourage bacterial growth which can eat away at the inside. Wooden pallets are terrific for heavy loads and stack easily, but in cold, wet climates some will inevitably need replacing from time to time.
Plastic pallets can withstand any type of weather, rain or shine. Wooden pallets can also easily be washed to avoid pests. While these pallets cost more per unit, they will last longer, which can be an important factor when planning your budget.
One problem you will find yourself running into if you choose plastic pallets is at the warehouse. While all facilities are designed to carry standard wooden pallets, the plastic variety simply can’t be used in some warehouses. If your business relies on delivery to several facilities, you’ll need to weigh the benefits of weather resistance against practicality.
Building bonds on wooden blocks
When it comes to knowing the best shipping practices, reading informative blogs (like this very one!) are of great value. If you still have questions, it’s important you find a courier service you can rely on and partner up with. Look for transparency – in the case of National Pallets, we list our prices very clearly, letting you compare our rates against comparable services. We also offer a number of resources to help you get started right away, including our instructive Help Centre.
The very same day
If sending goods to clients is a large component of your business, then you’ll be well off to call upon a courier that can offer same-day pick up. There are many scenarios that will make you grateful for having the option, from an angry customer complaining about a missing delivery to getting those engine spares shipped off ASAP. Just be sure your driveway is accessible by lorry and your items are ready to go.
The effects of the decision to leave the EU remain to be seen, and how this influences UK businesses will depend on the personalities and bargaining positions of those at the negotiating table.
Managing your business on a budget is not so much about implementing strict spending limits as knowing the ins and outs of the industry. Be sure you’ve got your bases covered, from the production floor to the end delivery. A sustainable business can save money without cutting corners. And remember, a happy customer is a repeat customer, so make sure you get their product delivered on time, and in one piece.