Well, congratulations to you! You’re an entrepreneur, running your own website; pulling in those sales and raking in the cash. You’re succeeding – thriving . . . so where does the issue lie?
How much time is packing and shipping taking you?
For many small online shop owners, an issue arises when they start to become more popular – they start to run out of time in the day. Packaging their products and running them to the post office isn’t a quick process and as the orders start increasing so does the time spent on these tasks. Once-every-couple-of-days runs could turn into three-times-a-day. As a solo entrepreneur especially, this time could be used to grow the business. You’re losing valuable productivity having to run up and down getting your orders out.
Not to mention the fact that once you start this manic juggling act things are almost certain to start falling through the cracks – and that customer satisfaction you pride yourself on starts to be a distant memory.
Oh, and now your living room is floor-to-ceiling full of stock because your goods are so in demand.
In many ways, it’s a wonderful problem to have – but the bottom line is that it’s still a problem.
The simple solution to all your packing and shipping problems?
Get someone else to do your packing and shipping for you!
Now, you may have immediately had fearful visions of having to hire people. Job applications, interviews, all the increased paperwork and, great, I’m sure it means you’re going to have to do even more taxes that you don’t quite understand . . .
Maybe taking on new people isn’t quite what you want. Maybe having “employees” reporting to a business that’s run in your dressing gown on your sofa isn’t your cup of tea.
Which actually works out pretty great – because we’re not talking about hiring new people and forking out on new employees to package and ship goods for you. We’re talking about fulfilment services.
What are fulfilment services?
Glad you asked. Fulfilment services are exactly what they say on the tin; they’re third party services that take care of the fulfilment part of your orders for you. You can send your stock off to a warehouse and, when someone buys an item, the warehouse can package and ship out your goods for you. Sounds easy, right? That’s because it is!
What are the great ways in which fulfilment services can make your lives easier?
- Scaleable. Remember the last time you wanted to order stock in and, although you could’ve got a great deal on an extra 300 units and you know they would’ve sold, you also knew that you didn’t have the space for them, or the capacity to deal with that influx of new customers? Well, that’s a problem of the past! With a fulfilment service, your business becomes much more scaleable.
- Easy. Having a fulfilment service means that you can literally run your business from your sofa. You don’t need to touch your goods – and those daily walks of shame to the post office, where you could feel people silently judging you for seemingly having no life other than the post office? No more!
- Efficient. The great thing about fulfilment services is that they take care of your customer satisfaction for you – and it’s their job to make that it’s done well. All those day-late shipments you sent out? Or that rushed packing? Maybe there were even a few times when you forgot? These aren’t problems you’ll face when using a fulfilment service.
- Time to grow. So . . . imagine a fantasy world in which you don’t have to spend hours out your day wrapping up goods and hauling them to the post office. What could you do with all this free time? Plot? Plan? Start expanding your business? Well, the great thing about fulfilment services is that they give you time to find out!
- You don’t have to hold stock. Won’t your other half be pleased – they get their living room back! When you use a fulfilment service, you send your goods out to a warehouse and they’re stored there. This means that you don’t have to hold stock. As chic as we’re sure those piles of boxes were, maybe a decor change wouldn’t be completely remiss . . .
So . . . How does Amazon FBA tie in?
If you sell on Amazon you’ve probably heard of Amazon FBA – and if you don’t currently sell using Amazon FBA you probably aren’t quite sure what it is. All of which means that it’s entirely possible that you have no idea what, if anything, Amazon FBA has to do with this post. Well, let’s get you informed!
Amazon FBA is a fulfilment service provided by Amazon. So not only do you have all the perks of a fulfilment service – you also have all the perks of using Amazon’s. We’ve already written a post detailing all the pros of using Amazon FBA for your business, but a few of the key points are that it means that you’re more likely to win the Buy Box and you gain access to the elusive Amazon Prime members.
Hopefully this post was informative and helped you to consider a new possible way you could expand your business!