Growth isn’t a guaranteed eventuality for small businesses.
In fact, no matter how many hours you put in what will ultimately determine your success is your ability to realize the point at which you cannot keep stretching yourself.
Getting some help to grow your small business is the key to success, but it’s not always budget-friendly to bring in more and more people to do the most time-consuming jobs. This is why 3rd party logistics companies (3PLs) are seeing so much growth, they’re simply the best way to increase your customer reach and improve your order fulfillment for your business dollar.
Even though every small business is different, there are lots of ways you can use a 3PL to help your company grow. Here are a few methods to get the most out of your relationship:
Leave the pick, pack and ship to your fulfillment partner. Picking, packing and shipping is a process that’s extremely time consuming and resource intense, especially if you’re a small business without a lot of proper warehousing space or a real packing floor. Doing this job in makeshift areas can lead to costly errors that not only drain funds, but anger customers. Happy customers will buy again, meaning accuracy and speed are both vital.
Automate everything with shopping cart integration. Manual order entry and processing can save money and spreadsheets can be less expensive than shopping cart software, but eventually you’re going to need to step up your game.
Growth without an exponential cost increase requires that you implement some automation, but your 3PL can make it easy with things like shopping cart integration. Instead of handling orders personally, your software can check your inventory and submit orders directly to your 3PL partner for fulfillment. No muss, no fuss, and extra time to do the things that really bring shoppers back.
Make international shipping and customs clearance easy. Sending and receiving international packages can be a major challenge, especially if you’re hoping to do either in a timely manner. Instead of investing your time in figuring out the intricacies of every different postal system you use, you can leave it to your 3rd party logistics partner. They usually have lots of experience with customs clearance and international shipping and the tools to send electronic industry compliant labels and documents to keep your shipments moving along.
If you’re looking for a way to help your small business grow without dumping a lot of money into infrastructure, training or additional staff, give a 3PL a try. The many jobs they can do for your company, as well as the increase in order accuracy that’s inevitable with so much automation, give you more time to focus on the marketing and customer happiness that are such huge factors in business expansion.