Delivery services failing small business

Micaela Smith recognising women in small business

We deliver to 25 countries around the world…so having access to reliable and competitive delivery services is a vital part of the running the business.

In our first two years of operation we’ve seen significant and promising growth in our sales, website visits and average spend per order, so we know customers are liking our business. The biggest challenges in starting and running a small business were not what we expected – it’s getting our products physically out there to our customers that’s been one of the toughest parts.

Posting internationally is by far the most unreliable, followed by couriers within Australia. There are so many inconsistencies and the small-business contracts are hard to get, and then there’s the issues with late, lost or undelivered mail.

We deliver to 25 countries around the world, with the top three overseas markets being in the UK, USA and Canada. Having access to reliable and competitive delivery services is therefore a vital part of the running the business.

On our launched in April 2016, we began with a selection of products from just 14 suppliers, offered a competitive flat-rate international shipping fee of $15.00 and free delivery within Australia for orders over $30.00.

Today free delivery within Australia requires a $50.00 spend and a postage calculator was recently added for all orders, due to the continued lack of flexible, tailored and reliable delivery services available.

Like most two year olds, we’ve learnt a lot and found our feet! We’ve got more experience and confidence – so we’re using this exciting milestone to celebrate our achievements and be a bit ‘terrible’ by speaking out about the things that really bug us and make running a small business hard.

I am constantly blown away by how little infrastructure there is for small businesses and it’s not just the distribution channels. We need a lot more support in areas like small-business lending, banking and cutting through red tape. I am forever shopping around for the best deals, it’s a very manual and time-consuming process and our suppliers tell us they have similar problems.

Our mission is to promote local talent and make Australian-made accessible to a wider audience, and we also hope to triple our sales within the next two years. With so many roadblocks, it’s not surprising to hear that many new businesses stall or fail in the early years.

We know that small business plays an important role and make a significant contribution to the Australian economy, so we’ll continue to champion small-business issues and fight for more practical progress to be made for the industry as a whole.

Micaela Smith, Founder and Director, Bits of Australia