Whether you run your own business from home or you're part of a bigger business exporting goods worldwide, you'll be aware of the ups and down of courier services, logistical nightmares, delivery dream teams and transport tantrums.
With more and more of us shopping online, buying as well as selling, the logistics industry within the UK and worldwide now face a growing number of parcels, packages and post of all shapes and sizes toing and froing from gigantic industrial production centers in China to small countryside villages in Derbyshire, and then back again maybe. The challenges are massive.
With Royal Mail this year announcing a rise in profits in the first half of the year due to more people sending parcels as well as receiving them, it is clear that there is money to be made. This is great news for what was long thought as a dying old giant of British industry, but has now been given an economic boost as more people take to the internet to see if they can sell some of their old stuff or open online boutiques and sell their homemade product from garages and kitchens across the nation (Check out the latest Google Chrome ad and you’ll see exactly what I mean).
It’s important to research the market when searching for the best possible freight forwarding services for your small business. Whether you ship a different range of packages, pallets or parcels you need a service that represents your business from start to finish. The connection you make with your customer is all important here. You might have a really swish website, a great product and awesome customer relations, but that all goes out the window when the product you’ve slaved over turns up at their house, late, broken and unusable. This of course isn’t your fault, but your customer is going to come to you with the complaint. Your reputation is on the line here, all it takes is a couple of negative comments and your business is in trouble.
There are a wide range of logistics companies offering outstanding delivery services, personalized to you and your company. Once a relationship is brokered with a logistics company and both sides are happy with the direction your business is going you can begin your journey through the ups and downs of the business world.
Small businesses can take comfort in the fact that there are a number of success stories on the web, that prove you can make a successful business with good design, an effective courier service and above all else, passion. Rob Law has been through the business mill and back again with his invention, the Trunki suitcase. This case that is specifically designed for children allows the child to sit on the case and be pulled around by the parents taking a lot of the stress out of travelling for families with young children. Although this seems like a simple enough idea, the journey Rob has been on with this range of luggage for children has been smattered with problems. In 2005 he placed his idea in the hands of what he thought would be the ideal partner. The toy company that helped him produce the case though saw poor sales of only 19,000 units and soon went bust, leaving Rob and Trunki in a sorry state.
Undeterred, Rob decided to carry on with his idea. After taking out a £10,000 loan in 2006 and being on the cusp of being able to trade internationally under his own name he was hit with further problems. A key production factory in China went into administration and when the product did get to the shelves he was inundated with complaints from customers claiming that the catches on the suitcase didn’t work properly.
Rob sought to change his luck by appearing on the BBC television show Dragons Den, where would be entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a group of potential investors. To say the dragons tore him apart would be putting it lightly. They ripped into his business plan and even stuck their claws into the product itself, with one dragon Theo Paphitis actually tearing off one of the catches from the suitcase. Rob left the den with his pride dented and no investments from any of the five potential investors.
However he was undeterred by his treatment at the hands of the dragons, and it only galvanized his commitments to the project, after ironing out the problems with the strap on the case he had secured a deal with John Lewis just weeks after his fiery exchange with the Dragons and has since then struck deals with other big names such as Next, Toys R Us and Halfords and now has ambitions of hitting a yearly turnover of £10million a year.
It’s important not to underestimate the challenges faced when looking into logistics and freight forwarding services. What originally seems to be a small issue can suddenly snowball and cost you more time and effort than you were prepared to invest. Before you invest in a logistics company, do your research and find out what kind of service you want, and what kind of services are provided by different logistics companies to ensure get the right deal for you.