If you want the best tips on how to start a Shipping business and be successful, this article will really help you.
It explains a lot about shipping transportation as a business and exactly what to do and how to be successful.
Importance of a Shipping Business
The Internet has had and continues to have a booming effect on the way that we as consumers interact with the business world.
Today, when we are in need of clothing, technological devices, and other consumables we generally go online.
In going online, we either look for these items and do some comparative pricing or we actually buy these items and the online company will send us what we have purchased.
Additionally, our eating at restaurants has changed considerably, not only due to the recent pandemic but also because of the convenience now offered to us with delivery services.
Some of those delivery services could be DoorDash, GrubHub, etc. Others are companies like Shipt and Instacart
All the customer needs to do is either order through these various service delivery systems or work with their favorite restaurant to have their delicious meal delivered to their home.
People can deliver foods like pizza, burgers, groceries, and others from restaurants to the homes of customers or clients. Some companies like Amazon and Instacart even pay to have items delivered to their customers.
Of course, the one common denominator in all of this in addition to the website being used is that these items are shipped or delivered.
Therefore, it would appear that our involvement with online shopping, in all consumer categories, is here to stay.
Additionally, and most likely, the interaction with online businesses will only continually grow.
Therefore, because shipping is an important component of the items being delivered to the consumer, it only seems as well that the need for fast, reasonable, and accurate shipping companies will increase exponentially as well.
I enjoy shopping online as well as the next person.
I have put my sights on an individual item that I have been shopping around for and have decided to check out of my shopping cart and make the purchase.
Before I make that final click on authorizing the purchase, I receive a screen that summarizes my order, what the cost is, any taxes, and then the shipping costs.
I’m always amazed that sometimes for a small item I am sometimes paying close to or more in shipping than what the item actually costs.
Often, I inwardly wish that I could shop online and then go to a brick and mortar store and have them pick up the item myself rather than, in my estimation, pay for the exorbitant amount of the shipping.
Perhaps, one day, there will be a universal shipping process that will allow for the shipped item to go to a pre-determined facility and then the customer has the option of picking up that package or having it shipped to them.
Anyway, this is just me thinking out loud.
All that to say is shipping is important especially as our reliance on the Internet and shopping for items increases.
Let us, therefore, look at how to start and succeed with a shipping business and provide 10 tips to help with that process.
10 Tips to Becoming Successful with a Shipping Business
As with any business venture, there needs to be preliminary groundwork accomplished through market analysis.
The market analysis should include important results that reflect a list of competitors in the area of service or product that you are providing, the demographics of the area in which you are going to be opening the business, and other pertinent information.
Another way of analyzing the potential success of your opening a shipping business is to use a SWOT analysis.
This acronym stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threats to the business venture.
There are basically two opportunities or options that an individual can consider with the starting of a shipping business.
They can create their own independent store or consider buying into a franchise.
There are pros and cons associated with each of these two models and it would be important for the entrepreneur to decide what would be most beneficial and what matches their entrepreneurial spirit.
Major factors that would contribute to their choice of operation would include monies available, wishing to be autonomous, etc.
There is one third option and that is to purchase an existing shipping business that is in the process of being sold for a variety of reasons.
As with all new business ventures and even business ventures that have been operational for a while there needs to be a business plan that has been laid out and continues to be followed.
A business plan is an operating schematic of how the owner sees the business successfully operating within the community.
There is a number of components that comprise the business plan.
Some of those components include an executive summary, marketing plan, key leadership roles, and financials, and how the business will be structured, etc.
There are many resources available to an individual to navigate the maze of creating a business plan.
One of those excellent websites is to go to the Small Business Association website, Sba.gov. This site will provide a detailed explanation and elements of a business plan and walk you through a variety of options.
Also, available on the Internet, are various business plan templates that the individual can use as an example.
Simply download a free business plan template and fill in the narrative under the various headings.
4. Business Structure
An important part of your business plan but a separate important consideration is the structure of your business.
There are a number of options to choose from in regards to structuring your business.
The formal structure of your business venture needs to be legally drawn and filed with your state.
It is important for the owner to research these options and more to see how they want to legally operate.
When it comes to real estate and finding a location for your business, it is important to remember that a business needs not only to be visible to the community but preferably near other businesses that may need their shipping services.
Additionally, other businesses may interact commercially with those neighboring businesses and that would broaden your potential customer base.
The old mantra of location, location, location still holds true today.
The other important consideration when considering where to locate your business is accessibility.
Accessibility, in the starting of a shipping business, equates to being close to main thoroughfares and not off the beaten track.
Talking about businesses, below are some businesses that can bring in good money if done right:
- Soap Making Business
- Lip Gloss Business
- Knitting Business
- Pet Sitting Business
- Lawn Care Business
- Transportation Business
- Painting Business
- Lash Business
- Commercial Cleaning
- ATM Business
6. Operational Permits
Most communities welcomed the establishment of new businesses.
The reason being is that new businesses will most likely generate additional revenue which means that the tax base for a community will increase.
Therefore, it is important for the new business to remember to apply for various licenses and permits.
Some of those documents that may be required include the possibility of filing for an employee identification number, a business permit, a sales tax permit, etc.
Laws vary from state to state as well as requirements for the federal government.
Therefore, it is best to make sure that you check on your particular requirements for your state and local community.
7. What’s in a Name?
Like providing a name for a newborn baby, so does a business owner need to provide a name for his or her new business venture.
This is accomplished by selecting a name and then checking with government entities to make sure that the name is not patented or registered to another business.
As a business owner, you want to make sure that your business name and the service that you provide are unique.
Also, in selecting a name you will be setting up a website for your company.
Therefore the selection of a unique name is important for not only the physical business but the online presence of the business.
In order to be an efficient shipping operation, you will need to invest in a number of pieces of shipping equipment.
Of course, you will need to have a supply of shipping boxes and a variety of packing materials in order to protect the items that are being shipped.
Some of that packing material can include bubble wrap as well as little Styrofoam pellets.
Additionally, you will need a supply of strong strapping tape in order to seal the boxes.
Adding to the list of equipment that should be considered include a quality general purpose printer (preferably color) barcode and label printer.
Of course, the basic equipment should include a computer and a device connected to the computer or a standalone device to scan credit cards.
As with any new enterprise, cash flow may be an issue.
Therefore, the beginning business shipping owner can utilize his or her business plan and approach various financial institutions to see if a loan can be negotiated.
In addition, some banks or lending institutions will help the business to get started by setting up a line of credit.
As collateral, some of the assets that have been purchased for the operation of the enterprise can be used as collateral.
The final consideration in starting and succeeding with the shipping business is to determine whether employees will be part of the new business venture.
This should be part of your business plan and the costs associated with hiring an employee should be reflected in the income and expense sheet of the anticipated revenue of the business.
Perhaps as a good strategy stating off the hiring of any employees in part-time positions.
Therefore, the owner the business owner will not have to worry about specific benefits at this point in time.
Having an employee will certainly help you to run the business as they manage some of the service hours associated with the day-to-day operation.
Nothing Can Stop Your Completion
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
This unofficial motto and commitment of the U.S. Postal Service is inscribed above the New York City post office after it was renamed the James A Farley building after the 53rd third postmaster general in 1982.
This same motto can be fully embraced by those individuals wishing to start and succeed with a shipping business.
Nothing can deter an individual who has a vision and the motivation to see something succeed in their lives.
The same can be said and held true for an individual wishing to start down that entrepreneurial road to success and by providing a valuable service.
As consumer’s reliance upon the purchase of items through online websites increases and expands, the shipping business is going to be impacted.
Identified trends in the shipping business for 2021 include a lessening reliance on major shipping companies like FedEx, UPS, and USPS.
This is due to the fact that it is anticipated that these shipping companies will increase their cost to do business in order to maintain or increase their profitability.
Secondly, the shipping business is anticipated to grow proportionately as the dependency of customers purchasing items that need to be shipped to their addresses.
Also, as purchased items are shipped, there will be a percentage returned to the company for a variety of reasons. This will also increase the reliance on the shipping business.
Finally, FedEx and United Parcel Service are expanding their retail partnerships deeper and deeper into the business community.
Consequently, with this shipping volume increase will be the growing need for shipping business or shipping annexes where consumers can pick up or drop off their packages.
The shipping business may have to increase their order for bubble wrap.