Shout out to Springsteen fans out there on the backstreets! Bruce and The E Street Band will embark on their first tour in six years next Wednesday in Tampa. To commemorate the occasion, here are my Top Ten Springsteen Songs (Modern Era – 2002 to present):
10. Long Time Comin’ – Devils & Dust (2005)
9. Into The Fire – The Rising (2002)
8. Jack of All Trades – Wrecking Ball (2012)
7. Devils and Dust – Devils & Dust (2005)
6. Letter To You – Letter To You (2020)
5. The Rising – The Rising (2002)
4. We Take Care of Our Own – Wrecking Ball (2012)
3. Long Walk Home – Magic (2007)
2. Devil’s Arcade – Magic (2007)
and at #1 – You’re Missing – The Rising (2002), a terribly sad song about the loss of a loved one but beautifully evocative lyrics.
Perhaps I’ll take on Bruce’s classic era in a future email. I’d love to get feedback on your Springsteen favorites.
On to this week’s post!
Saw this on Twitter recently:
See, solid bookkeeping is the most functional and crucial element of your business (besides making sales). If you don’t know what’s happening with money coming in and going out, you’re not funneling and arranging things in an organized system, you’re not analyzing the data and seeing the story behind the numbers… well, then you’re just pouring money into something with wishfulness that it will all turn out okay.
That’s no way to run your business… especially in this current economic climate.
If you know your books are a mess or you’ve been neglecting to update them or you’re just flat-out avoiding them … I’d like to encourage you today to sit down with the chaos and get things sorted out.
Decide to deal with your books. Because the baseline for business success starts with creating a system for tracking every transaction, every expense, every payment and figuring out how to do it all better. Once you get a read on things (and a system to keep you in the know), you can actually start to make your business work for you. And that means good things for the coming year.
Lack the confidence to handle this on your own? Then I’m here to help you get out of the “expensive hobby” mentality and into a growth mindset this year:
Now, in the interest of saving you money in other ways, I want to take some time today to address a cost we see in a variety of business types – and for some, it’s significant. As the prices bloat, knowing how to get the most bang for your buck in a variety of these “small things” is going to help with your bottom line and product pricing (which makes your customers happy).
And if you DON’T do a lot of shipping, this might be a short little case study in expense reduction, for any category in your Northern Florida business.
Let’s break down some of the ways you can save…
ProActive Tax & Accounting’s 7 Keys to Lowering Shipping Costs
“It takes four months to ship food aid and 40 percent of the cost is in the shipping. People cannot eat shipping costs.” – Andrew Natsios
Ship happens, as they say. Whether you rely on shipping to stock your inventory or you sell and pass the cost on to customers and clients, your shipping costs are through the roof.
This expense has jumped as much as 10% in just the past year. The hikes have slowed recently – but between inflation, supply-chain breakdowns, and other problems still coming down the road, the cost of shipping and its effect on your bottom line aren’t likely to improve soon.
What can you do about itin your Northern Florida business?
Lowering shipping costs with these 7 moves
Lowering Shipping Costs Move #1: Talk to carriers. It may feel like you’ve got no choice in this area of your business, but carriers do vary prices sometimes. Shipping has a ton of variables, so ask if they’ll work with you to find the most bang for your buck.
Figure your average shipping needs – size and weight of most items, for instance, or how fast the package needs to get there or how fast you need to get it – and call around for the best deal on those factors.
Is there a price break for pre-paying or for paying online? Free pickup or delivery? If the carrier charges by dimensional weight (the amount of space the package takes up, as opposed to its weight), will two smaller boxes do the same job for you as one larger box and save money?
Do they reward frequent customers? The USPS loyalty program for business shippers comes with point accumulations and shipping credits – though you do have to spend five-figure annual minimums for the best deals.
Lowering Shipping Costs Move #2: Stand fast regarding guarantees and refunds. Delivery goofs could cost your customers or you completing a job on time. And the way fees are rising, be on guard against unfair early termination clauses in contracts – protect your right to bail if rates get too pricey.
Lowering Shipping Costs Move #3: Scatter shipping among more than one carrier whenever possible. First-class mail from the USPS is about the best bargain out there – if you’re shipping less than 16 ounces. After that, your options increase with the price. Why put all your packages in one basket?
Lowering Shipping Costs Move #4: Tinker with packaging. If you’re the shipper,flat-rate sure saves time: One box or envelope, one price. Seems simple – but is it best for all your needs? Again, a little homework can save you money.
If you don’t have one already, invest in a postage scale. This tool will give you the best idea of which items (especially light ones) will save you the most money in the smallest possible box or envelope. Carriers usually give a break if you use their own containers. And who says cardboard’s always the best answer? Tyvek and padded envelopes tend to ship cheaper.
The web has more than a few tools to help figure shipping costs ahead of time, such as Parcel Monkey, as well as calculators from carriers themselves such as FedEx and the appropriately named Online Shipping Calculator.
Lowering Shipping Costs Move #5: Partner up. If you sell online, check a source such as eFulfillment Service to learn how stuff moves around our country and where fulfillment centers/inventory warehouses fit into that network. (Amazon, for instance, has them coast to coast.) You might be able to find one you can work with to trim your shipping costs.
Check your chamber of commerce or other biz network for local companies you might be able to band together with to get a volume price from carriers.
Lowering Shipping Costs Move #6: Trade time for dollars. If you’ve got a few extra days to spare for a package, slower is generally cheaper. FedEx Ground Economy, to cite one carrier’s no-frills service, will save you a couple of bucks but delivery can take up to seven business days.
Lowering Shipping Costs Move #7: Insure it elsewhere. If you need more coverage beyond the basic freebie offered by most carriers, third-party shipping insurance might do the trick whether you’re sending or receiving. You can save a bundle if the package has enough value.
The customer question
Right now, the high cost of shipping is one of those occasional traps in business where there is no easy answer, especially if costs pass on to customers. Charge too much and you might lose business. Charge too little and you lose money.
Realize that some customers will always complain in hopes of getting a better price overall. Your best bet may be to bake the shipping cost right into the price, but even then some buyers search with a filter that separates shipping and actual cost. Best be upfront about the shipping cost, perhaps with an apology and perhaps an offer of a volume discount.
In these ever-changing times, we’re here to help you tackle all aspects of the cost of doing business to help your Northern Florida company.
On your team,