Hot Tip: Shipping Costs
Former teacher Scott Kunst started Old House Gardens, a catalog retailer of heirloom bulbs in Ann Arbor, Mich., six years ago. Like a lot of rookie business owners, he lacked the financial know-how he needed to bolster his bottom line. But he quickly evolved one strategy that's helped him: reaching out to all free and low-cost services. One base hit: a call to the U.S. Postal Service, where he learned that for $8.25, it would pick up shipments of any size, quantity, or weight (under 70 pounds) at his company. Up to that point, he'd used UPS for pickups. While UPS didn't charge a separate pickup fee, Kunst was always stuck calculating shipping rates based on each package's size and destination.