Alternate Shipping Methods

By Michael Bell Wednesday, May 9, 2012

You may have heard by now that the United States Postal Service (USPS) is currently in serious debt and could be closing a number of post offices and cutting hundreds of thousands of jobs. At this point, it is up to Congress to reform some bills in order to keep the USPS in business. If your business depends on the U.S. Postal Service, like my family business does on a daily basis, you might be wondering what your business will do if there are major changes to the USPS. 

So this got me to thinking…what alternatives are there if the USPS does go insolvent? There are UPS, Fedex and DHL, which all makes sense…right? Well, they they cost more, which might mean for some companies a raise in prices or shipping fees. Then again the USPS keeps raising mail costs ever so slightly every year, and here at Harvard Business Services, Inc. we have still been able to provide the lowest Registered Agent fee in the industry since 1981 ($50 per year, guaranteed never to increase for the life of the company so long as the fee is paid on time and the company is in good standing). Why you ask?  Because here at Harvard Business Services, Inc., we’re able to meet the needs of our clients entirely by email.

Email not only speeds up business, it doesn’t cost anything to sendl. To prove my point, I recently came across an article by Carol Tice from entrepreneur.com called Five Ways Small Businesses Can Beat Rising Mail Costs that may help your small business; it reiterates how email is so important in today’s world. Below is an excerpt:

1. Plan better. Having to spring for overnight delivery costs a bundle. Push back your mailing deadlines and send letters and packages by regular mail. As USPS deliveries may slow down, this could be even more important.

2. Prune your list. How current is the mailing list you're using? Maybe it's time to clean out your list. Send a postcard asking interested customers to respond to stay on the list. Cut the deadwood and lower your mail charges.

3. Compare costs. If USPS prices rise, competing offerings from UPS, FedEx and others may look more and more attractive. But even now -- before any changes kick in -- it might be worthwhile to reach out and see if there are cost or service advantages to switching all of your mail business to a competitor.

4. Switch to email. For letters, try an email marketing program such as AWeber or Mailchimp to deliver that great-looking flier to customers' email inboxes instead of their mailboxes. If you're concerned customers won't like it, mail them and ask for email opt-in. (You'll probably be surprised how many will prefer virtual delivery.) An added bonus: if you didn't have them before, now you've captured current customer email addresses.

5. Try private electronic mail. Some big companies and government agencies are already taking advantage of new services such as Zumbox and Earth Class Mail, which allow you to send full-featured, clickable messages to customers' private electronic mailboxes for retrieval from wherever they are -- not just at home. This keeps your message out of clogged email inboxes. 

 

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