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Starting an Online Business All-in-One For Dummies®, 3rd Edition by Joel Elad, Shannon Belew

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Deciding to Outsource Fulfillment

Most people have a passion for the businesses they want to create. Whether someone is turning her knowledge of, and experience with, a hobby into a business or solving a need and providing a product that people want, a business owner dreams of turning a business idea into a reality. A business owner usually doesn't dream, however, of a massive shipping-and-ware-house operation (unless that person is UPS or FedEx). Therefore, many business owners choose to outsource their fulfillment operations to someone else so that they can focus on the most important element: their businesses. After all, just because you're good at selling widgets doesn't mean that you're good at packing and shipping them.

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to have a Fortune 500 corporation to outsource fulfillment. Small businesses around the world have outsourced this process, and many continue to do so every year. This action not only reduces the amount of space you require but also frees you and your employees to work on other aspects of your business.

Enter the fulfillment house, a business whose sole job is to handle the packing and shipping of other people's goods. By grouping multiple clients' shipping operations, a fulfillment house can employ fewer people to handle the volume of goods than individual companies who hire their own staffs. These fulfillment companies create state-of-the-art, computerized inventory-management systems and train their employees to ...

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