In recent years, the cost of traditional stamped mail has increased dramatically. This is bad news for businesses that send out hundreds or even thousands of mail daily. It is also not good for small businesses that send less than twenty letters because a small business’ cash flow is limited. Even a small increase in their expenses can hurt. Royal Mail has given us a solution and that is to use a franking machine.
Obviously you need a franking machine in order to start franking your letters. You can get from any of the top brands in the UK – Pitney Bowes, Neopost, Frama or FP. You can also get from any Royal Mail accredited supplier. You can view the complete list of suppliers in the official website of Royal Mail. These suppliers also offer other brands of franking machines. Some even manufacture their own.
Another thing you need is a licence. Your supplier will help you get one. Your licence will contain a unique die number. It should match the number on your machine. Other information that will be seen in your licence includes your name, the serial number of your machine, the supplier or manufacturer and the model. You must wait for your licence to arrive before you start using your equipment.
Do I get discounts when I send mail?
Yes! You will immediately qualify for the discounted rates on first and second class letters and parcels. There is no minimum number of letters to send to avail of the discounted rates. It does not matter if you send 1 or 1,000. You will get a discount. The more letters you send, the greater your savings will be. You will surely see the difference in your cash flow and monthly budget. You can save up to 22% of postage costs when you frank your letters. Visit Royal Mail’s website if you want to find out more about the latest rates and privileges of franking machine users.
I only send 5 letters per day. I don’t think this is a worthwhile investment.
Actually, with the amount of mail you send per day, you should think about getting a unit of your own. You only send a few letters per day but the savings will add up. Compute how much money you will save in a month by franking and you will be glad you made the switch.
What other Royal Mail benefits can I get?
You will also have access to Royal Mail special services. Depending on the brand of your equipment, you may also be given discounts. You are also entitled to free pick up if you will be sending bulk mail. They can also deliver supplies such as mail bags and trays to your doorstep free of charge. Now you don’t have to line up at the post office and spend time, money and energy which you can use for other important things.
Will it be beneficial to my business?
Absolutely! With the savings described above, you instantly improve your cash flow. There are other things that a franking machine can do for your business. Some franking systems are capable of printing logos and customized messages. You can print your logo on your envelopes giving it a professional look. You can print a return address so that the mail man can return the letter to you in case it does not get delivered. This will help you clean up your mailing list, saving you even more time, energy and money. The return address is also useful if your customers want to send you feedback.
You can turn your mail into a professional looking piece of advertisement by printing a personalized message. Your clients will be impressed. You can now send targeted mail. You can change your message according to your customer niche.
I am VAT registered. Will I benefit from a franking machine?
Yes! If you pay VAT, you should choose a SMART franking system. This will allow you to receive VAT invoices from your supplier. In some cases, Royal Mail will send you your VAT invoice. You can now get the VAT back on your postage.
I have a small business. Is it advisable to get a franking machine?
If you send at least 5 letters per day, we advise you to invest in this system. Don’t worry about the cost as there are models built for small businesses like yours. You can surely find one that fits your budget and requirements.
I don’t think I’m ready to purchase. Can I rent one?
Definitely! There are many suppliers out there that offer franking machines for rent. You can choose from small volume to large volume models. You can rent a unit for as low as £20 per month. That’s not bad, is it? The good thing about renting is that you can change models whenever you need to. You can upgrade and downgrade without any hassles and without the added costs. You will also be able to try the latest models when they come out. You can have the latest state-of-the-art equipment without worrying about investing a lot of money.
You will also have a choice of contract length. Contracts can last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. It is advisable that you determine the length in which you will need a franking system so that you won’t need to cancel your contract. You may be charged a cancellation fee if you do so.
Is it possible to try one first before I decide?
Yes. There are many suppliers such as Neopost that offer a free 30-day trial. During this time, we guarantee that you will see and feel the difference when processing your letters and parcels. You will experience savings immediately even though you did not release cash for the unit. It is very rare that a business turns down a franking machine. Before the trial ends, inform your vendor if you want to continue renting the unit or you would like to return it.
What other costs are associated with franking?
You will need to budget for supplies such as ink, labels and envelopes. New models have an added functionality that alerts the user if the ink is low. This will allow you to have less down time. You will also be able to finish important tasks without the fear of suddenly losing ink.
You also need to have your equipment serviced annually. This is required by Royal Mail. This ensures that your unit is working properly and is able to give the correct postage every time you use it.
Where can I get supplies?
Royal Mail also has a list of accredited suppliers. Do not buy from other vendors that are not approved as you may have problems especially with the ink. The post office prescribes blue ink. It used to be red. New models of franking machines now print in the prescribed blue shade. All SMART machines are required to use only approved ink.
A franking machine is a great piece of equipment to have in your office. With the benefits it brings, you can easily recoup your investment. You will be able to improve your cash flow and your bottom line.