SCORE Small Business Blog

Productivity: The US Postal Service Can Help You Save Time
4 Comments

I haven’t seen a commercial from the US Postal Service in awhile, and I’m finding that a lot of entrepreneurs have forgotten how they can help you be more productive.

  • Order free packaging from their Web site. I keep a supply of Priority Flat Rate envelopes and Flat Rate boxes with postage already applied. And, their regular envelopes with the postage already on them come in handy too.
  • Keep various denominations of stamps on hand. I always have Priority Mail and other denominations of stamps with me when I travel. I keep them in a pouch with each type separated. When I’m in my office, I use my LabelWriter(TM) Twin Turbo by DYMO. I can print my own stamps in any denomination, and also use it to print shipping labels. It’s much simpler for me to do this than go to the USPS Web site, complete all the information, pay for the postage, print the label, then affix. When I need to send email shipment notifications to my customers so they can track a shipment, I use the USPS printed stamps. (Update: You can also buy stamps at local businesses such as Office Depot, Staples, Wal-Mart, and more. Just look for the USPS Buy Stamps Here logo.)
  • Have your postal carrier pick up your mail. If you’re shipping at least one Priority Mail package, the postal carrier will pick up your shipment for free. I love Federal Express and UPS, but I don’t ship enough to justify paying extra for pickup. With the US Postal Service, I schedule the pickup on their Web site, (https://carrierpickup.usps.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/CarrierPickup.woa) and leave the package on my front porch. That’s it.
  • Mail it when you can’t fax or email. I don’t have a fax machine and my combo printer/fax/scanner/copier is broken. So, when I can’t email it, I mail it. It’s funny how people have forgotten about that option. I also receive faxes in my email using a free service from efax (http://home.efax.com/s/r/efaxprint). I’ve also gotten very creative about running my business without a printer and will blog about that later.

Wish List
There is one thing I wish the US Postal Service would offer. I’d like to be able to get self-adhesive, coded labels that track and bill my account. Then all I’d have to do is affix my shipping label and their computers would track the cost of the postage and bill me later. I have this with Federal Express and love it.

The next time you’re standing in line at the post office, ask yourself why. Instead, use these steps to help you be more productive and get the most out of your day.

Peggy Duncan, SCORE Atlanta
View more posts by Peggy

I’m a productivity and technology speaker, trainer, author, and consultant. I own The Digital Breakthroughs Institute in Atlanta GA.
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Discussion (4) Comment

  1. Hi Catherine, tell us more about this discount. I did’t know about that. Do you have the URL to the discount page?

  2. I can’t say enough about how great the Post Office website is for postage needs at home. I use it for all my postage needs. You can print 1 stamp or a page of 20 stamps. I order clothing samples and need to return them. There is a discount for priority and express mail on the website. I print out the shipping label on plain paper, cut and tape to box. I schedule the pickup by my mailcarrier and the process is so smooth.

    I highly recommend this service.


  3. PeggyDuncanVisitor

    Hi Stacey, thanks for the comment. I’m glad to hear that someone else is also pleased with USPS. Unfortunately, I don’t ship express. I’d like to do this with Priority and Media mail packages. Perhaps I’ll check with them periodically for updates. Thanks again for taking the time to write.


  4. Stacey MathisVisitor

    The post office does have self-adhesive, coded lables that track and bill your account. My company has such an account with the U.S. Post office and has had it for quite some time. It’s for express mailing a package, and they are timely, extremely reliable, trackable online and very reasonable in terms of cost. They also have an 800 number for any questions you may have and you get to talk to a live person. Another great thing about it is, unlike Fedex, the post office delivers express mail packages to PO boxes. The post office will even guarantee a window of time within which the package will be delivered.

 

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