15 Apr Ready To Equip Your Small Business for the On-Demand Economy?

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Over the past few months, we’ve worked with companies from a variety of different industries to help them better manage their delivery operations. In the process of working with such companies as Boxbee (on-demand storage services in NYC and San Francisco) and HelloFresh (meal kits in Europe and Australia), we’ve come to find a few constants to be true in making sure that small businesses are prepared to even provide delivery service.

While Onfleet can help you better manage your local delivery operations, here are a few steps we recommend you take to hit the ground running with on-demand or scheduled deliveries.

1. Get Insured

Some of the businesses we’ve worked with own a fleet of delivery vehicles. Others require that their drivers use their own cars. It’s understandable that as a logistics business you’re likely looking for creative solutions to keep your overheads low and your operational costs lean, but remember that delivery cars have unique insurance needs. Your drivers and your merchandise should be covered at all times, so make sure to go over all your insurance options. Further, collecting accurate data from your drivers when they’re out on the road can reduce commercial insurance costs significantly. Ask your insurance company about such discounts and try to understand what data you should be collecting.

2. Determine Your Delivery Costs

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One of the exciting benefits of taking your business online and offering deliveries are that you’re no longer limited to the customers in your neighborhood. You now have the option to reach customers everywhere. But remember that sometimes, there can be too much of a good thing. Our most successful clients calculated the costs of delivery before offering too many options, such as tight delivery windows, returns, or distant zones. Get a good understanding for which distances you can cover and only expand your coverage area when you have a clear plan for how to reduce or maintain these costs. Again, capturing data from the field can aid this process significantly.

3. Let Your Customers Know

Facebook updates, Twitter ads, signs at your cash register – these are all ways that you can make sure to let your customers know that you’re now giving them the option to enjoy your products from the comfort and convenience of their own homes (or wherever they’re ordering from!). To make sure you have a successful first step into the delivery world, communicate through all your customer touch points and let them know where, when and how they can order from you.

4. Receipts are Important

When it comes to delivery, the devil is in the details. The best way to keep track of your inventory and to make sure it’s getting to where it needs to go, is to ask both parties (your drivers and your customers) to sign off on receiving the goods. Proof of delivery can include digital signature capture, photo capture, and even customer feedback.

5. Maintain Your Focus

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When you move away from selling your products on location to offering delivery options, you also move towards increasing your sales and your customer base. Growth is always exciting, but remember to keep your focus on your product: maintain the quality and improve it if you can, just don’t get distracted with logistics or delivery details and forget that what you’re delivering always matters more than how you deliver it.

Conclusion

It’s important to find new ways to reach your customers. Whether you plan to give your customers the option of instantly buying and getting your products, or if you’d prefer to offer pre-scheduled options, your customers will appreciate being able to get ahold of what you’re offering more efficiently.

Getting into the business of delivery is exciting and rewarding. Do you have any concerns for your business, or tips that we missed here?

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