Mailing The Bottom Line
Posted: December 9, 2011
The closure of the United States Postal Service processing facility in Eau Claire this coming spring will make my business life a challenge. As I stated back in September, I wasn't going to be surprised if the postal service decided to close the bulk mail facility as part of a multi-billion dollar cost-cutting move. But that doesn't mean that I'd like the eventual outcome.
I was a bit stressed this week knowing that my 23-year-old business model would likely have to change if I wanted to ensure that subscribers continue to receive this newsletter on a timely basis. I also knew there would be additional costs associated with providing the same service, but I was not sure what the impact would be.
Postal service rates for periodicals will increase 2.2 percent for the coming year. And, with the closing of the local processing facility, there is the likelihood that The Bottom Line will not be delivered on Fridays if I continue to mail the publication on Thursday afternoons. Therefore, I need to do more research in the coming months.
When I asked subscribers how important it was for them to receive The Bottom Line in their Friday mail stream, I was somewhat surprised that it was a split decision. Some felt strongly that it was important to see my business publication on Friday while others replied that they could do without seeing the newsletter until early the next week.
The problem I face is that I've been mailing The Bottom Line at a reduced rate for the past 23 years because the publication has been mailed as a second class periodical. I learned long ago that the second class mail in Eau Claire is sent out with the first class mail. As a result, I was able to save a few thousand dollars annually by taking advantage of that information.
But now that the mail will be processed in the Twin Cities, I have to decide whether it makes financial sense to distribute my weekly newsletter as a first class piece to ensure a more timely delivery.
As a small business owner, I have to examine my expenses and potential revenue streams for the coming year. The last thing I want to do is raise the subscription fee to pay for the additional expense of publishing The Bottom Line. It's a process that every business owner faces over time and it's something that I knew was going to happen. But it's never fun when presumption becomes reality.
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