If you’ve decided to start an at-home business, congratulations! You’re on your way to becoming your own boss and enjoying the many benefits that come with it. But before you can start reaping the rewards, you need to get your business up and running – and that means figuring out the logistics of packaging and shipping your products. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Packing Materials

You’ll need some basic packing materials to get started. Things like envelopes, boxes, tape, and bubble wrap can be purchased at any office supply store, but be sure to check out online vendors who may offer better pricing and volume discounts. Quality is also something to consider. The best price is not always the best deal. Tape, for example, is not a supply you want to compromise on. If it’s too weak, your packages are at risk of opening in transit. You will also use more tape trying to reinforce your package, or because of the tape splitting.

Check with your favorite shipping carrier as they often provide boxes and envelopes for free which can save loads of money! If you purchase boxes, make sure the quality of the box matches the need to protect your item. A box is only a good value if it gets your merchandise to its destination safely.

Packing Your Products

How you pack your products will depend on what you’re selling. Smaller items can usually be sent in a bubble mailer, while larger or more fragile items will require a box. Keep in mind that if an item is breakable, it needs to be packed accordingly to prevent damage.

Bubble wrap is a great way to protect your items, but be sure to use it sparingly. Too much bubble wrap can make your package heavier and more expensive to ship. It’s also important to make sure that your items are packed snugly so that the bubble wrap doesn’t have a chance to move around. If something is especially fragile, use a combination of products in layers. Recycle packing materials as often as you can. Neighbors can be a great source of clean packing materials and you’ll both be doing the environment a favor.

Large Shipments

If your business ships larger items you’ll need to enlist the help of a freight company like JB Shipments. These types of companies offer a wide range of services to get your products where they need to go, whether it’s across the country or around the world. Before you book a shipment, make sure you understand the difference between LTL (less than truckload) and TL (truckload). LTL is less expensive but will take longer because your shipment will be consolidated with other shipments going to the same area. TL is more expensive but your shipment will be delivered faster because it won’t have to be consolidated.

It’s important to remember that when you’re shipping large items, you’ll need to factor in the cost of packaging as well as the cost of shipping. You might be able to save money by using your own packaging, but make sure it’s sturdy enough to protect your product. It’s also a good idea to get multiple quotes from different freight companies before you choose one.

Shipping needs are unique to each business, and while this isn’t an all-inclusive list of tips, they are by far the most important when starting out. The best way to get started is by doing your research and then taking the plunge! There’s no better feeling than being your own boss, and we wish you all the best in your new venture.

By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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