This past week, small businesses throughout the Bay Area united in the city for the 11th Annual San Francisco Small Business Week extravaganza. While mingling with fellow entrepreneurs and business owners is fun in and of itself, many attended this event for two main reasons – to get new ideas for business growth and discover tools to help them along the way.
This year, the event kicked off with Flavors of SF, an evening of networking between over 1,200 small businesses and 70 companies with relevant resources and tools – including Endicia, of course! The evening also included tastings of foods, wines and beers from local businesses such as Belinda Chocolates, Barefoot Wine and Bubbly and Super Duper Burgers.
Endicia at the 2015 Small Business Week Flavors of SF event
To close out Small Business Week, our very own Jessica Foth led a workshop unraveling the complexities of shipping – one of the hardest things to crack for online business owners. She explained how to identify the perfect mix of shipping carriers for every business.
Jessica Foth presenting at Small Business Week 2015
Here are some of the takeaways:
- Online businesses should consider using a combination of shipping carriers in order to balance delivery needs and costs – two factors that influence a consumer purchase.
- Start by identifying how, what and where your business tends to ship, and then match those needs with the right carrier – either FedEx, UPS or USPS. For example – FedEx and UPS offer competitive pricing for heavyweight shipments heading to a business address, whereas USPS is most affordable for light to medium-weight shipments heading to a residential address.
- Don’t forget about surcharges which can add up in cost. Some of the common surcharges you should be aware of are fuel, residential delivery, remote area, and address correction. (NOTE: USPS has no hidden fees – what you see is what you get.)
- Dimensional weight pricing plays a big role in deciding a shipping carrier mix. Currently, FedEx and UPS apply DIM weights to Air services and all Ground shipments. USPS applies DIM weights only for Priority Mail, if the package is larger than one cubic foot in volume, and is shipping to zones 5 through 9 (further distances).
We loved playing “shipping carrier match-maker” at this year’s Small Business Week event and look forward to helping more small businesses navigate shipping costs next year.
Did you attend Small Business Week? What was your favorite part? Let us know in the comments.
For more insight on shipping rates, check out our FedEx vs. UPS vs. USPS page.