This year has been a wild ride for many different reasons. 2020 has given us lots of fear and scares all across the nation and especially when it comes to getting your favorite items in. The COVID-19 Pandemic left our economy in shambles in some areas and getting food for a time was limited and restricted by law all across the nation. It is all possibly about to kick off again, so if you have a favorite snack that you want to make sure you have for another year, you may want to hop in the car follow your local regulations and pick up a bundle of your favorite candy boxes right now.
If you had not noticed the 2020 election just took place and it is all on the stall. The possibilities of a peaceful transition to either Trump or Biden is most likely less likely for the public than you would think. Don’t worry, the government will transition just fine, but the civil unrest that we saw all throughout the year is most likely going to pick up even worse and the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns will likely continue and even get worse. That is why for the last few months I have been preparing to live off of what I have for a good long time. There are some items that simply disappeared from shelves for months due to the previous lockdowns and a trucker strike is now taking place. If this all happens again, make sure you have all the goods and foods that you need.
My family has a few things that we would like to have in stock for the next year and some of them are not even that important. I know that having a year’s worth of my favorite candy boxes is not a major priority, but if it helps keep the peace in your family during hard times then it now becomes essential. It could be as simple as having Snickers in the house for a year. That could be the difference between despair and happily surviving. I know it sounds silly but we all need to do what we must in order to live a good life. There is no reason to be worried or paranoid, but if you are able to store up extra food items in order to be safe and happy and it lowers your anxiety then I think it is indeed very important to do.
It really is incredible to see how our economy can be shut down overnight by legislators who have been proven to be presenting lies and falshoods all across the nation. That is why I think it sounds silly to stock up, but lies can cause huge shortages and have already destroyed billions of dollars of food and livestock this year due to the dissemination of false information by our government and news outlets. So even if we are not in much of an emergency we could be thrown into an economic stop, where just in time delivery no longer happens and it is simply better to have more prepared than not.
We have even seen locations due to the unrest in the United States where shipping stopped for months because of lawlessness. It is sad that it happened, but it is better not have it affect us again if it does again!
The best part of being in the business world is learning about ways to save money. This can be from time spent on less important things that should be delegated to simply changing tape for your warehouse. There are so many different ways to be efficient and to start changing the way our company works. I truly enjoy being apart of victories and understand that our failures and lost money are a reminder about being wise and thinking about all the different areas of being successful. Lately, with the bonus of eCommerce starting to become one of the biggest sales industries we have been working hard to be successful at shipping our items with the best price and most safe for our clients. This area is something that we want to really narrow down our costs and possible competitive advantages against our competition. So I just wanted to go over some of the areas that have helped us cut costs and improve our quality.
The first eCommerce section that we ended up changing and lowering costs and increasing capabilities was such a small thing. It turns out that tape is a big deal when it comes to shipping and getting the best quality and lowest costs are easier said than done. To be honest I really only thought that packing tape existed in one flavor. But there are different thicknesses and types that hold all kinds of different weights. There is also gum tape and it is water activated and is much stronger and can be super fast as well once you program a machine to cut it to the perfect length. I have really been impressed with the whole process and am excited to rock the future without new water-based tape.
See we were using up to 15 strips of tape for each of our cardboard boxes that we were shipping. This was because some of our products are really heavy and some of our employees get a little excited and go overboard on taping. But it turns out that in some cases it was needed with the type of tape we were using. So we ended up calling up a packaging supplies store and asking what might work best for our company. It turns out that for the cardboard boxes that we were using we could incorporate gum tape. This was a small investment to begin with but we ended up saving 69% of all our costs of tape within 3 months. That was a massive difference and it allowed us to cut labor costs because our workers were able to do their job 30% faster. That is a huge deal in eCommerce.
The process of using a gum tape dispenser is simply having a machine that wets and cuts the tape to a certain length. Our machine programs the legnth and width of each box that we use. So we can choose to have it cut 3 pieces of tape and have it done within a few seconds. It then is put on the package and it perfectly fits each time giving the perfect amount of tape. Once we programmed the right lengths our team was flying through packages and we were super happy that they enjoyed not having to lean over and tape as much.
It may be Fall, and Halloween may be right around the corner, but that may not be the biggest reason to go shopping now. In all honestly, usually, the candy aisles start to get a little barren around this time of year because everyone is getting trick or treat candy for the holiday. But this year it may be a little different. The economy has been very strange this year and many companies are struggling to get supplies in order to even produce products. The other factor is that the election is right around the corner after Halloween and people are all worried about rioting and stores shutting down not only from COVID-19 but from lack of supply or criminal activity. It is a whole mess of craziness out there right now and if you need that sweet delectable treat with your favorite candy boxes then you may need to get them now before the shelves clear out.
Now normally in a regular holiday season candy will ramp up and people will be able to not only get all the treats they want before Halloween, but also after. This year most of the country has reported that trick or treating is going to drastically go down. As a result, stores and manufacturers simply did not make as much. This means that if you want some now only for the holiday, but also possibly for after it may be the time to do it. If companies have already told you they didn’t make nearly as much and are also struggling to get supplies then if you want you favorite candy boxes in your home this year, you may need to get them now.
It is also not only a supply situation. Even though the companies are not only creating less, but people are now on their own buying more in fear of what may come. COVID-19 has started to rise and there is talk from our legislative and executive branches of government all accross the nation from states to federal that the economy and states may shut down again. What this has done rather people thought it would happen or not is cause people to start pannic buying again. Albeit it is slightly less then the first go around, the real issue is that everyone is now doing it just slower. So there are more people preparing for the worst because we have already seen shelves empty for months at a time and rationing take place. Yes, when a store only allows you to get one of an item, and none of another it is rationing. This is what happens in pandemics, economic collapses or hyperinflation. The truth is that our economy is not what it was and our sweet tooths may end up suffering for it.
So what I am saying is plan out what you enjoy and maybe even how much you like to eat. If you know that your family lives happily with a large bag of assorted treats per month, then maybe pick up enough to last the year. Make sure to check expiration dates as well. You do not want to waste food or money on something that wont last long enough to enjoy. So plan ahead be careful and safe and enjoy life.
When you are starting up a new company, there are more questions than answers. I am going to lay it straight this doesn’t change when you get further down the road either. You are always learning and trying to keep up or get ahead of everyone else. The reason is that if you don’t you will simply get left behind. It is no joke that there are always thousands of people and companies trying to crush you. They may not even know it but they are working on it. So that is why you need to be wise in all of your decisions. If you are getting into eCommerce then you need to start off making well thought out and good decisions that are based on money and time. Those are the two things you will most likely be short on and you need to make sure that each decision is based on will it cost more or less, and will it take too much time or not enough. These two areas are linked and they also come into play when you are shipping items.
When you decide to start shipping your product many people think they need the best looking boxes and the fanciest of tape. Everything must have a handwritten note and be perfect. Hate to break it to you, but Amazon changed that outlook about 5 years ago. Only boutique items need that and even then most stores are not shipping them pretty. So first off, get that out of your head because if your competition is shipping in a plane, box that costs 10% of your fancy set up they will win and win big. You will be out of business faster than you know it because you are losing 90% of shipping each time you sell an item. That company can spend it on, advertising, SEO, or even faster shipping. That is what you are giving up when you make bad decisions that cost money. Your competition takes that money and puts it to use.
So think about this when you are deciding to purchase your packaging supplies. If you are spending all your money on a nice box and not buying the right tape you could be losing thousands of dollars a year. I mean it, tape thickness means the difference between one strip used or 15. Imagine spending 15 times the amount of tape costs over an entire year versus getting the right kind and using less, spending less time and money. It is the decisions like these that are making companies pack up and go home. So shop around and don’t buy from the first store on Amazon. Go online and find a good shipping company that specializes in this and use their discounts to undercut Amazon by up to 30%. That is huge and can be the difference between life and death and that all comes from packaging supplies.
I know it sounds like a nitpicky area, but it is not. Think of the competition always and every minute you spend doing some is an opportunity cost on something else. The same goes for money. Every dime you waste is a dime you are not getting an ad out or hiring someone who can take 30 hours off your week to enable you to be smarter and work more efficiently.
If you are on the house hunt then this article is for you. My family has done a lot of moving over the years and we have also helped many friends and family members move over the years too. With the housing boom going on with interest rates super low and the housing market selling like crazy I want to give some advice on moving. Moving is a big deal and moving days can really have an impact on how you feel about your new home as well. I have been surprised at how having a good moving setup or moving crew can change an entire experience. The feel of moving into a new home is just as important as doing it, but it is really how you do it that makes an impact on this.
So what do I mean by moving with the wrong setup? I mean that you need to start with the best vehicle for the purpose. Many people instantly call everyone they know who has a truck in hopes that they can guilt or convince them to help you out. This really is what most Americans do and it is the basic task for new homeowners. They think that they must do this and that having a truck is the only answer for moving. I am here to tell you that trucks make really bad moving vehicles. I don’t like lifting furniture up that high to get it in the bed. I also don’t like tossing cheap moving boxes over the side of the bed when these trucks can be up to five feet high on the bed walls. I have seen so much damage happen to people, items, and yes trucks while moving. Lots of people end up causing more damage all around getting things into trucks than any other vehicle. It takes more physical strength and endurance to workload items into a truck and I think its the worse thing you can do.
The next setup people use it to buy a Uhaul or rent a large truck with a walk-in bed. Now If these trucks have a long ramp then I would say they are pretty good. But some do not and you have to lift all the items up again just like a pickup truck. Yet again this is only slightly better than a pickup truck because it is at least covered from the elements. This helps you not get your cheap moving boxes wet and all the things ruined inside of them. So this option I will put as number two in the scheme of things.
The best option I like is a walk-in trailer. This is simply because it is low and people can use a cart or a hand cart to wheel furniture and packages in. The ability to wheel items in, has saved many injuries and many broken or damaged items from occurring. I have seen people have great moving experiences with a low walled trailer. They can pull it with a minivan and it allowed people to simply have a fast and nonpainful move. The truth is that I have seen people smile when they moved with a trailer versus the stress that comes with a truck. Lower stress means a better move and a happier time for everyone around.