If you’re a small business owner running an online business, you’ll be only too familiar with the necessity to multitask. Today, you’re Accounts Payable while tomorrow you’ll be the Technical Director and on Tuesday it’s Marketing day. Your days won’t ever be boring – in fact, there are probably not enough hours in the day to get everything done!
Take distribution, for instance. Wrapping items and packing parcels securely for customers is one thing, but waiting in for the courier to collect or deliver? Who has the time? Surely, there must be an alternative to waiting in for hours. You’re right, there is another way.
Most courier companies, especially international courier services strive to provide the best possible service to their clients, so they’re normally perfectly happy for their driver to collect your parcels from a designated ‘safe place’.
That’s great, but how do you go about picking a really safe, secure place and what can you do to ensure it truly is safe? Here are some handy tips that will help you find the best possible place to leave your parcels.
Oh, and almost all these tips also apply if you’re looking to choose a safe place for deliveries too…
What is a good ‘safe space’?
- A shed, a greenhouse or a large container
If you have a handy garden shed or a greenhouse on your property that’s easy to access (no padlocks or locks) then this is a perfectly safe and reasonably secure option for parcels awaiting collection. If you have a large metal container or wooden box with a lid in your garden this could also do the trick.
If you’re lucky enough to have a covered front porch, or a small side office next to your reception area, then placing all of your parcels here is a good idea. Just make sure if your porch or side office is lockable, that you leave it unlocked on the day of collection.
- A delivery or collection box with key safe
One of the safest methods to store parcels awaiting collection is in a delivery or collection box. These are becoming more popular and, as long as you leave the safe code in your collection instructions, then the driver will be able to collect your parcels and they’ll be safe and secure. These boxes come with a key that’s hidden inside a coded lock, so all you have to do is provide the driver with the access code.
What makes the space safe?
The 3 key factors for safe and secure places are that they’re weatherproof, away from prying eyes and easy for the driver to find.
- Is it weatherproof?
It’s vitally important to ensure your safe place is weatherproof. If your parcel is packaged in a cardboard box, the last thing you want is for it to get soggy and damaged before it’s even left your company’s premises. If this happens, you’re going to have a very grumpy and angry customer on your hands… and a very confused delivery driver if the ink on the address sticker has run and is indecipherable! Any paperwork that must accompany a package should be fastened securely to the parcel – place it in a plastic wrapper so it too can’t get damp, wet or torn.
- Is it out of sight?
It’s not a good idea to have a stack of items standing in full view outside your company’s back or front door, or cluttering up your reception area. Sadly, not everyone can be trusted these days, so you should choose a place where your packages remain out of sight until the driver comes to collect them.
- Is it easy for the courier to find?
Although you’re concerned about leaving your packages well out of sight, you still need to make sure your hiding place is not too difficult or tricky for the courier company driver to access. This means no high fences with padlocked gates, or awkward, narrow overgrown pathways, where the driver might trip and fall while carrying items. Make sure it’s obvious too, so if you tell them that the parcels will be in the garden shed, makes sure there are not three sheds in the garden. If there are, tell them they’re in the shed with the red roof or the shed that has a painted green door.