Cost-saving measures are smart practices for any size business, but for a brand new start-up – where cash is almost always being spent more than it is coming in – they are vital. This means being mindful of where the smallest of cents are going, even if it entails sacrificing certain aspects of the design you envisioned for your product.
While it might be hard for certain perfectionists to swallow, putting out a beautifully complete version of your product right out the gate is just not realistic. Think of ways you can get close to your aesthetic vision while not over-spending on what essentially is an early prototype.
Here are a couple examples of how we’ve scaled back on early ideas of perfect product packaging to save money:
1. Printing and cutting our own labels
Ordering labels from a professional printing supplier can be expensive. Especially if you have more than one variety of your product – or in ‘Chups’ case, five! Not only have we been printing and cutting our own (using regular sized sticker paper from any office supply store, like this), but the label isn’t product-specific until we handwrite in the flavor.
While we didn’t originally plan on this in our design, as we started going through the process of finding labels and pricing, we quickly realized we needed to be flexible and get creative. The outcome ended up being something we really loved – the handwritten flavor is a great homemade, artisanal touch that fits great with our brand.
2. Flat rate shipping
One of the first things we discovered once we started taking orders for ‘Chups was the expense of shipping. In a few words, it’s not cheap. Though we had envisioned beautifully designed packages featuring our branding, visually delighting the customer before even opening, it was obvious these ideas would need to take a backseat to financial necessity. The zone and weight costs (glass, why you so heavy?!) of shipping alone were adding up to be the same price of our products. Oy.
Enter flat rate shipping – ya know, if it fits, it ships? Yeah, that one. So far, it has been the cheapest and most consistent way for us to ship. And though we aren’t thrilled that every box we send is a free advertisement for USPS and not ‘Chups, it is a sacrifice we are willing to make to help us pinch pennies until we can afford the packaging we desire. And there are ways to make it a little more appealing once the box is open, such as cute marketing inserts and fun excelsior stuffing!
Another shipping tip: if you can, print your postage online! We save 65¢ with each postage printed for our small flat rate shipping boxes – not to mention, less time spent in line at the post office. It’s win, win!
If you have any cost-saving ideas that you’d like to share, please let us know! If there is one thing we’ve learned from our journey so far, it’s that talking to others and seeking advice is more valuable than anything.