Entrepreneurs don't take weekends off. Your mailman won't be coming to your business on Saturdays starting in August, but don't let that slow you down.
The United States Postal Service announced this week that it is reducing delivery of letters from six days to five days in a bid to save $2 billion per year. Here are three tips for how you can continue to receive, post mark, and send your letters on Saturdays.
1. Open up a P.O. box for your business. It's important for business owners and consumers to understand that if your local post office has been open on Saturdays before this announcement, it will still be open after August, says Amine Khechfe, the cofounder and general manager of Palo Alto, Calif.-based postage-technology company Endicia. If you know that your business is going to need to be able to receive letters on Saturday, then open up a P.O. Box at your local post office, Khechfe recommends. You will still get letters in your P.O. Box on Saturdays.
Reserving a P.O. box can be done online here and rates depend on the size of box you select, but start as low as $14 per month.
2. Send your mail priority mail. While the post office will no longer be sending your trusted letter carrier to your business to pick up and deliver letters, they will still be delivering parcels and priority or expedited mail. It's the 46 cent stamp-mail that the USPS can't afford, says Khechfe. For example, it costs just 46 cents to send a letter from California to New York. "In France, which is arguably the size of a couple of states maybe, it costs them 58 euro cents -- so about 80 cents -- the distance in France. So we are still one of the least costly places to send a letter," Khechfe says. The costs of labor for sending letters at 46 cents a piece on a day with already lower volume, Saturday, is too expensive for the USPS, but it can still afford to send priority mail and parcels.
Priority mail is a service by the post office that provides free shipping materials and delivery in approximately 2 days. The flat-rate services, which do not require any mailing or calculating, ships in between 2 and 3 days start at approximately $5 for an envelope, depending on your business's volume. Also, prices increase based on the distance your package needs to go and the weight. Price tables are available here.
3. Create a virtual, desktop post office at your business. Companies like Endicia, Stamps.com and Pitney Bowes are approved online postage vendors by the USPS and allow you to print postage from your office. You can either print your postage directly on envelopes or on stickers that then you can affix to your envelope.
If the letters need to be mailed out to customers on Saturday, you can drive by your local post office on the way home and drop the letters in the mailbox and the post office will still take those letters and process them that day, Khechfe says.
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