Postal rate change has big impact on small businesses

Published:  02 May, 2012

The rise in the price of stamps brought in by The Royal Mail on Monday will change the way small businesses communicate, according to research conducted by Pitney Bowes.

The survey from the office and mail equipment suppliers found that 93% of small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) in the construction sector believe the change will have a negative impact on their business.

Half of the 1,000 SMEs surveyed said that, with first class stamps rocketing by 30%, they will be sending less post or using other methods of communication.

Phil Hutchison, marketing director of Pitney Bowes UK, said the change was inevitably going to have an effect on Britain’s SMEs.

“However, it’s important that businesses don’t panic and abandon physical mail in a bid to avoid high postage rates,” he said. “Physical mail still has an important part to play.

“Successful customer communications depend on a delicate balance of message, medium and timing. Although digital communications undoubtedly have their place, traditional print campaigns are still critical for most businesses and are likely to remain so for many years to come,” added Hutchison.

Pitney Bowes is urging SMEs to take the opportunity to review their entire communications strategy, and encouraging businesses to move to franked mail, which can cut costs considerably.

For those that want to stick with stamps, savings can often be made by folding documents into letter format, reducing costs from 90p to 60p for first class and from 69p to 50p for second class. The Royal Mail website provides information on the new prices.

Pitney Bowes has also published advice and product information online at www.ratechange.co.uk, where existing users of franking machines will be able to view a webinar to help them understand the issues and which response is best for their individual situation.