On today’s Build Your Brand post, we’re going to talk about shipping. For most people who sell online, this is the part that they like the least. The wrapping, packing, thank you cards, freebies, and the drive to the post office…and in some unfortunate cases the saga of the “missing package.” Today, I have a few tips & ideas that will help you to become a proficient shipper, not leave things out of your packages, make your shipping fun as well as looking like your brand and last but not least make your holiday sales less stressful!
It’s Wednesday. That means it’s time to Build Your Brand! ow.ly/eTO4F Today’s article features tips to help you SHIP your items!
— Kater’s Acres (@katersacres) October 31, 2012
GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES:
The most overlooked part of shipping is what I call the “gathering.” This is simple & basic, yet many people don’t do it. Help yourself and make shipping quick, easy, and simple by gathering all your shipping materials into one place. What should be in this place? Everything. I. Mean. Everything! From your tissue paper, freebies, bubble wrap, business cards, tape, boxes, & mailers. Everything needs to have a place. In other words, you need a shipping area! If you don’t have one, make one. I doesn’t have to be fancy, it can simply be a card table in the corner…but have a single place…please.
“A place for everything and everything in its place.”
ORGANIZE YOUR SPACE:
Some of us are messy and others of us are clean…but the messier your shipping space is, the more likely you are not to include something you need. Make sure your space is organized. Decorate a can to put your pencils, scissors, & markers in. Organize your mailers, boxes, & envelopes. Look at this lady’s awesome shipping area…I wish mine was that organized! And lastly, put all your gifts, freebies, & business cards in one place so you know where to find them and are sure to include them in every order.
DO YOUR FREEBIES AHEAD OF TIME:
I included this tip in a previous post of getting ready for the holiday sales season and sprucing up your store (check this out, you need to read these tips…but finish reading this article first). But here’s a quick recap. Only you know how many sales in an average holiday season you get. But be prepared for them. Freebies are generally small, quick, easy, & thoughtful “gifts” that you give all of your customers. Last year I gave out holiday themed erasers with the usual tags, notes, & cut-outs that I include with my orders. But here’s the thing…you can do these freebies ahead of time. So many people I know make their freebies while they are packing their order. This takes so much time! Here’s how to do it efficiently: Take an hour, just one hour (perhaps even today…but finish reading this article of course) and gather your supplies to make & assemble your freebies. If you set aside this one hour, you can make freebies to last you a very long time. I place one business card, cut outs, tags, notes, & polymer clay buttons in a small plastic baggie the size of a business card. In one hour, I can assemble approximately 60 of these little packets. I have now saved time, effort, and energy for when I ship my items. How many freebie packs to do you think you can do in an hour? Challenge yourself and save time!
You and your brand need to have a “look” and feel to it. When I rebranded, this was something I struggled with. What would my packaging look like? What would it “feel” like to my customer? And what would it say about Kater’s Acres, Parker, & the “smile” that we want to give to each of our customers?
After some trials & errors, I settled on this simple idea (seen at right). It’s yellow wrapping, like my signature character, Parker. Because Kater’s Acres is “Where Smiles Begin” it was important to me that my package included that as soon as you see it. I think the Parker cutout helps with this. And the best part, the Parker cutout is white on the back so I can personalize it for every order…from saying “thank you” to “enjoy” or even giving a bonus coupon code!
The bottom line is to save yourself time & make shipping enjoyable. Whatever you need to do: do it! No more excuses.
Stay tuned next week for more important information on building your brand.