One of the most profitable industries in the world today is shipping products to buyers. Most large corporate owned businesses have contracts with shipping companies such as UPS, USPS or FedEx and have to do all of the product packaging before dropping off to ship.
This is where you come in. Small businesses that are not set up to ship products, or maybe they are but not on a scale that would increase profit, you offer to pack and ship their customer purchases for an hourly rate to earn some extra cash.
Packing and Shipping Products for Small Companies
While some basic knowledge of packing and securing items into boxes for shipping is helpful it is not really necessary unless there is a specific way that a customer wants it done. Some companies might even have shipping boxes and mailers with their company name on them and other information about their product line that they would want included with each order.
How you pack an item will heavily depend on what it is made out of. Fragile things made out of glass or ceramics will need extra packing material to make sure there is no negative space and have to be secured to the box so as not to move around while being transported. In some cases there may be a foam mold to snugly secure an order.
If the company you will be packing products for is already set up to ship orders that makes your job easier since they should have all of the materials you need to ship already there to utilize.
Working for Existing E-Commerce Operations
Working for a company that is already set up to do e-commerce is going to be the easiest way to get started with little to no effort. Everything you need to ship products is already there and you can hit the ground running. Becoming familiar with the company and products you will be packing and shipping is the first thing you should do and will show your future boss that you care about your job and quality of work you put out.
Making sure that you are packing the correct items according to an invoice and labeling them with the proper shipping label is the most important thing you have to worry about when shipping e-commerce orders. Second most important would be packing the orders to the specifications of your employer. This can simply be using their boxes with business logo and making sure that there is a large sheet of packing paper, also with their logo, placed in the box first and wrapped around the whole order then folded neatly and closed with a logo sticker.
When a business packs an order it is the last chance they have to make sure everything is correct before a customer has it in their hands. You could consider the packing crew the last point of order to Customer Service, which is very important if you want your company to thrive. Over the last decade online orders have increased to a demand that even the shipping companies can’t keep up with so having excellent products, service and customer service are a must to be successful.
Create Your Own Packing Company
If you find that packing items comes easy to you and you could do this on a daily basis maybe you should consider starting your own product packing company. In 2006 Amazon started doing product fulfillment for Amazon sellers and in recent years the number of sellers has increased to staggering numbers. When you take that into consideration and then also the fact that only Amazon drivers deliver Amazon packages it really explains the delays in shipping times and lack of customer service.
Starting a shipping company would take a mountain of money, licensing and insurance, but starting a small packing company is fairly simple. Think of Pack-n-Ship with your main focus being packaging items to ship through the mail. You can always offer to drop off packed orders with paid for shipping labels supplied by your customer just be sure to have business insurance in case items go missing before they are dropped off at the shipping locations.
Shipping supplies are easy enough to find in bulk and wholesale if you have a business license. Charging your customers a small amount over what you pay for each box or packing material item just puts more money in your pocket on top of whatever you end up charging for your services to pack their products. A little side hustle within a side hustle. You may even have customers that just want to buy your shipping supplies and not have products packed for shipping.
Finding E-Commerce Clients
Finding clients for your e-commerce business can seem challenging at first but there are tons of free platforms to advertise and find customers on such as Craigslist, Facebook, Instagram and many others. I have found that the simplest way to find local customers is by joining groups that are location specific.
Once you are in those location specific groups you can search for business looking for services, post the services you offer as advertisements and interact with the other group members to get potential leads on new clients. Facebook groups are always growing and if you give great customer service your customers will write reviews that will get you more business. If you get to the point where your packing business has grown and you need help you can utilize those platforms to find an employee.
If you have the knowledge to do so or have someone who can help you, having your own website with your business information and the services/products you offer is a major plus. Using an existing platform gives you limited control of your advertisements. You never know, Facebook might just boot you one day. If that’s the only place you had advertising, it’s gone in an instant. Having a website home base and building the content on it will not only give you a secure place for your business to advertise. Over time Google will index your pages, and if you are putting out unique content you will get great search rankings.
Running an E-Commerce Business
Running an e-commerce business is the best kind of business because it opens you up to a much larger customer base. You also have the ability to work from anywhere that has a computer and internet access. The more content you put on the internet the better off your online business will be.
Customer service is the most important thing that is going to make your business thrive. Happy customers equal positive reviews and positive reviews will draw more customers. Even one negative review can place doubt in customers minds so be on top of your customer service from the beginning and it will be a valuable tool in the future. As your clientele grows so will your reviews and content meaning more money in your pocket.
Self delegating your work tasks can be daunting but if you make checklists and check things off as you go you will find yourself completing more of your objectives. Keeping a positive attitude and trying to not get hung up on the little details in the beginning can mean greater success. Once your business has grown a bit you can expand your clientele, work help, and even have a brick and mortar location. Dream BIG!