There’s nothing like realizing that your business is finally taking off…until you start getting that sinking sensation because you know you’re not prepared.
Business owners typically have a sixth sense about when it’s time to bring in some extra help, but if you’re new to the fulfillment game or are simply clinging hard to the belief that you can still handle it all on your own, you might not realize the time has come.
Watch for these three signs that it’s a good time to outsource your order fulfillment services:
You’re dreaming about an endless sea of boxes. Whether you’re a one-man operation or you’ve got a small army working in your warehouse, there’s only so much you’re capable of doing at once. If you’re having nightmares about orders that are getting behind because your guys can’t pack them fast enough, or have merchandise returns stacking up, chances are that you need some professional help. Customers will not have anything nice to say if their deliveries take too long.
You’re putting off other important business functions. It’s great that you’ve got so much business lately that you’re forced to get involved with the packing and shipping aspects of your business, but you can’t maintain this new norm forever. If once-important business functions like answering customer inquiries, ordering more merchandise or negotiating better deals from your wholesalers start to take a backseat to packing and shipping duties, your business will be sunk. Don’t let your shipping and other fulfillment services detract from the service that got you to this point in the first place.
You can’t afford a bigger building. High rents should not be a reason to cool the throttle on your business’s growth. Obviously, you’ve got a product that customers want and the skills to connect them with it — if you can see the pile of orders coming before they overwhelm you, you can avoid the kind of problems many businesses experience during rapid growth by hiring extra warehouse space and hands from a full time logistics firm. Many companies will allow you to contract just the services you need, so you don’t have to worry about a lot of extra overhead during slow months.
Hiring a fulfillment service partner to help you get your products to your customers isn’t a sign of failure in your business. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. By hiring a fulfillment service, you’ve got access to a flexible workforce and warehouse space, whether you need 10 extra boxes sent this month or ten thousand. Many logistics firms will also accept your deliveries, freeing you up to do what you do best: Making your customers happy.