A postman always rings twice they say... Wrong. The Postman will come when you're halfway through breastfeeding your baby, will only knock once and then make a hasty retreat to the post van before you can even get to the door.
Part of having a small online business is that I find myself getting a lot of deliveries, and making a lot of trips to the Post Office. Something I didn't really realise when I started this. It's not really a problem, but I've found myself becoming more and more pro (some would say obsessive) about Post and the postal system in general.
I have a spreadsheet of how long on average it takes wholesalers to put the orders in the post, and how long it normally takes to arrive, and which carrier they use. Using this spreadsheet I am able to plan my orders and hope for all deliveries to arrive on one day at some point or another, and subsequently I don't find myself stranded in the house, with no lunch, waiting for parcels everyday of the week (yeah... obsessive is about right).
It's the small things like this that can make a difference to my week. Not only that, now I have had a baby I find myself going on lots of local walks and taking note of where the 'good' postboxes are. By good I mean with a 5.30 pick up, the excellent ones have a 5.45/6pm pick up and are a rarity around here.
A 'Good' Rated Post Box
And there you have it, an insight into the slightly mad, definitely obsessive world of my small business post issues.
The prices I set for my postage costs have changed quite a lot since I started the business, they're something that I have really had to test in terms of finding a balance between being good for my customers and sensible for my business. Often, I get orders where the cost of the item I'm sending is less than the postage and it seems ridiculous, but then at other times I end up spending loads of money on postage that hasn't been covered in the postage costs. The hope is for the pluses and minuses to balances out in the end, but after some consideration I think that the high postage is for some unnecessary and consequently, it's putting people off buying from the site - something I don't really want.
After looking into my postage costs, and seeing the kinds of things that my customers are buying, I have decided to add some standard delivery charges. They will be un-guaranteed and un tracked, but cost effective. I have even bought some new packing boxes that will allow some items to be sent via the Large Letter format.
So hopefully this will be a positive improvement!