Almost everyone in business I speak to has started to see their businesses head into year-end crazy season. Actually, truth be told, it really starts to get silly in about October and for those of you bringing product in from overseas, it can start well before that.
Long hours, messy offices, stuff everywhere whilst you’re dealing with the onslaught. Orders, product, packaging translates into stuff everywhere.
But what happens when your workspace and your home space are one and the same? That can be really crazy making. There’s no escape from the work, the mess and the stuff that’s on every other surface. And it’s even worse if you’re trying to raise a family in the midst of all of that.
The propensity for things going awry is high, especially if the kids, dog or well meaning grandparent mess things up, or accidently knock one pile of stuff into another pile of stuff. Or someone spills milk on your orders or worse, the device with your entire life on it that’s underneath some other stuff.
Are you over it yet?
There’s been such an explosion of online businesses, started from the kitchen table or somewhere else in the home over the last 10 years, and at Coghlan, we’ve been lucky enough to be mostly on the front line of that. However, one of the things that we know for sure is that a lot business owners often wait longer than they need to when it comes to outsourcing their fulfilment and logistics.
Sure, especially when your business is new, it might cost you a little more in terms of financial outgoings – and you’re right to be careful of that.
But the waiting can cost your business too. And they’re far more real and longer reaching costs for you and your business that you might not have thought about – yet!
- Sanity cost of never really being able to escape work. It’s everywhere you look, all around you, on every other surface. That constant pressure to keep on keeping on, without a real break – that’s just exhausting. Everyone needs time away – even during crazy season. If you don’t get that break, that can be the beginnings of a mental health issue. And no matter what age or stage your business is at, it really doesn’t need that.
- relationship cost over the years we’ve had enough clients mention their significant other/family was utterly relieved when the ‘business’ left home and home was, well, just home again.
- personal cost – did you go into business so you could claw back more of your time? Maybe it was to spend with your family or on your favourite hobby? Yep, that’s a really common story. Are you spending your time the way you really want to?
- storage costs. Before finding a 3PL or fulfilment outsourcing solution, a great many customers have told us that they’d previously used storage facilities to store new shipments or excess stock or product. And that can get really expensive. Plus, then you’ve got to go to the storage facility, possibly hire a ute, trailer, truck, courier, etc so that you can break your pallets down to a ‘lug-able size’ and trek back home with it, only to have to unpack it again when you get there. And then when you’re done and it’s all packed, you have to lug it all to the post office/pickup point.
And then there’s my favourite…
- opportunity costs. As someone once told me that when you’re running your own show, you get the freedom to choose whichever 18 hours a day you wanted to work. And whilst that can seem excessive, you have to choose which tasks are best for you to work on. Is picking and packing or prepping shipping the very best use of your time? Or is it sourcing a new line of product, reworking the content of your landing page for split testing or developing a new social media campaign for your brand a better use of your time? If you’re often stuck doing non-revenue generating or client facing activities, then you’re missing out on business opportunities left, right and centre. Something to really think about.
If you’re nodding along with any of the above points, you might consider how you could change your approach to servicing your business in 2018. After all, now, well maybe after the Christmas rush, is a great time to rework what needs reworking for the next year – especially if you’re planning a saner year or one with more growth opportunities.
And that’s where we can help. If you’re looking to create a better business in 2018, and have upwards of 50 orders or more a month, we’d be delighted to talk to you about how outsourcing fulfilment could help. You can always give us a call on +61 2 9828 0111 (Sydney), +61 3 9240 300 (Melbourne) or +64 9 263 8855 (Auckland) or drop us a note via the form below. Alternatively, you can find a full list of available services here.