Any small business will have to consider the logistics of dealing with the items it sends out in the mail. As a small business owner, a question may have come to mind: Should your small business invest in a postage meter? Of course, another question may have followed shortly thereafter: What the heck is a postage meter?
Let’s answer that question first. Even if you don’t know it by name, you’ve seen metered mail before. You know how some mail, instead of having a stamp on it, will have a printed design, much like this one? That’s a metered stamp; a proof of postage, a cancellation mark and a postmark all in one, and it is printed on the envelope by a postage meter.
The features of postage meters can vary from model to model, but the basics are fairly simple. First you need to put funds on the postage meter, usually by phone, fax or other electronic means. Then you can just set the meter for an amount, slide the envelope through, and ZING! You’ve got a stamped envelope ready to go out with the day’s mail.
As for whether you should invest in a postage meter, let’s take a look at some benefits, so you can decide what’s right for your business:
Saves time, part 1: Affixing stamps by hand takes time, even if they’re the self-adhesive kind. Postage meters have a powered conveyor that speeds your letter through the machine, stamping your letter in the blink of an eye. If you’re mailing out more than one letter at a time, the amount of time you save grows.
Saves time, part 2: Because you can refill the funds on a postage meter electronically, you never have to go to the post office to buy stamps, avoiding travel time and long lines.
Saves money: Time is money, so they say, and the time you would spend putting on stamps can now be spent on other projects. And with gas prices the way they are, who wants to take an extra trip to the post office?
Professional appearance: Every piece of paper that leaves your office is an advertisement for your business. Basically, it shows your customers just how professional you are. So which looks better, a misaligned postage stamp or a sharp-looking metered stamp?
Even more added convenience: Many postage meters can handle letters, flats and even small packages. What’s more, they often include a scale so you’ll know exactly how much your mail weighs and how much postage to put on it. That’s a lot more precise than “I think four stamps should do it.”
Scalability: With a wide array of postage meters out there, you can find the one that is best for your business. There are meters for those who send out less than one hundred items a month, while some larger meters can handle up to one thousand letters an hour.
As a small business often lives on the smallest of margins, a postage meter may be the small investment that winds up saving you time and money in the long run. For more information on this or for any questions regarding mail and shipping supply chain solutions, do not hesitate to contact us.