Once your business reaches a certain point of success, you’re going to have to think about its next stage of development. In fact, putting off this kind of planning can only cause problems further down the road. Not anticipating the demands of warehousing, fulfillment, and shipping can bring your business to a screeching halt, and even erode the level of success you already built for yourself and for your ecommerce or home-based business.
Probably the best way to avoid problems in your mail order fulfillment’s growth is to switch now towards a third party fulfillment company. These independent, highly specialized fulfillment companies can manage your warehousing, shipping, processing, and shipment tracking needs on your behalf, leaving you free to run other areas of your business – including marketing, development, SEO, and design.
Research The Fulfillment Company That’s Right For You
There are many different fulfillment service companies from which to choose, with varying contract agreements and available services. Many companies offer mail order fulfillment and promotional mail servicing, which includes sending brochures, catalogues, and promotional mail-outs to your customer base. Others offer customer service staff to handle and negotiate customer questions and complaints.
Finding the right fulfillment service company entails choosing not just the right company for your present needs but also finding the fulfillment service company that can accommodate your business’ needs in the future. You have every intention of making your business bigger and more efficient, and your fulfillment service company can and should be one of your most powerful means to that end.
You may also want to choose, as a convenience, a fulfillment service company that’s geographically close to your business. It’s not entirely necessary, but it may make you feel more comfortable about storing your inventory in an off-site location.
Negotiate, Look For References, Research
Part of your selection process will likely include looking for testimonials, or first-hand accounts of the performance your potential fulfillment service company can provide. Ask the company for references and referrals, but also research them in message boards and forums devoted to small and ecommerce business. That way, you’re more likely to get a diverse array of opinions to help you make an informed choice.
Obviously, you should also carefully consider the fulfillment service agreement, making sure you agree with all the terms and conditions. Forewarned is forearmed, and you want the agreement that offers you the most flexibility.