Starting my first year of college, I began to seek out people that wanted a personalized of any kind of their clothes and possessions. This custom work provided an extra stream of income as I worked through college. I used my hobby was a side gig to my part-time job at the family daycare. After I graduated with my associate’s, I moved out of my parent’s home and across the state to the capital city of Lincoln. This move helped me grow my customer base. I am now making customizations for people back in my hometown and in Lincoln. I have added sewing to my repertoire and business; I make a variety of handmade projects to sell. I’ve also very recently opened an Etsy shop to sell digital products that relate to Cricut crafting.
As my business has grown, so has my need for shipping. I have been able to send my work nationwide. Shipping has felt like a whole new realm to learn and master. Not only do I need to make sure that what I’m making arrives safely and in excellent condition for my customer, but I also have to do that economically. It requires much thought and research to found the best and most economical way to ship. If shipping raises the price too much, it can stop the customer from supporting my small business. If I’m not careful with the shipping cost, people are tempted to turn to big retailers such as Amazon, who can offer cheap or free shipping.
In calculating the cost of shipping, I must also add in the added cost and time it takes me to ship items. Running a business out of my home means that when I have a product to ship, I have to take it the post office to weighed and paid for. The gas and time need for these errands need to be calculated into the overall shipping if I want to remain profitable. There are so many factors that go into shipping that I did not anticipate when I started my business.
I have found that reusing shipping materials is one way to help reduce costs and my carbon footprint. Whenever possible, I work to reuse the shipping materials I receive from the materials I buy for my business. I have also used in the past boxes and packaging that I have received from personal purchases. While this is not a method that is possible to use for every product that I ship out, it is possible for me to do it for some. It is beneficial for saving on shipping, and it is good for the planet. It is a small way that my business can contribute to a greener earth.
I found shipping to be a make it or break it piece for my business. The quality and value of my products need not be compromised by the fact that they are traveling across the country. Quality shipping and packaging are the keys to this.