Like any business owner, you’ve probably had to fund a long list of expensive things, and stretch out your available capital almost unbearably. With all that money already gone, your office supplies may seem like a pretty minor addition on top of it all. Still, you need to bear in mind that every penny counts, and good budgeting is just as important for office supplies as it is for anything else. If you’re ready to start sourcing things for your office, here are some handy tips for going about it.
Forget brand names
Sure, brand names may have a certain air of prestige and professionalism about them. However, they’re rarely the most cost-effective choice. There are countless generic products which are just as useful and effective as their branded equivalents, and cost far less money to source. Of course, when it comes to computers and other tech, the brand and their reputation should be a big consideration. Still, it’s not like a Sharpie is any more advanced than an unbranded permanent marker!
Negotiate with your suppliers
If you’ve been looking at supplies from a major office supplies store, and the prices are making you gulp, then you can be sure there’s a better supplier who wants to remain competitive. This makes them much easier to negotiate on price with. For a lot of these businesses, getting a loyal customer is much more important than racking up capital, at least in their early stages. Whether you’re trying to find a photocopier for the whole office or just a bulk order of paperclips, you can be sure that you’ll be able to find a supplier who’s cheaper than the closest ones.
Look for reward programs
A lot of the larger office supply stores not only offer great, competitive prices to keep their commercial customers happy, but also run loyalty reward programs to keep them coming back again and again. When you’re choosing your first supplier, it’s always worth looking into the different reward schemes you have available. They may not look like much in writing, but it doesn’t take long for the savings to really add up.
Monitor and Eliminate Waste
Keeping your office as economical as possible doesn’t just stop at the purchases you make now. After you’ve bought everything, you need to be continually monitoring your acquisitions by both price and quantity, and how this is tied in with the everyday operations of your business. You can use this data to cut down on any unnecessary expenditures through repeated purchases which could be bought all at once. You may also realize that you’re regularly spending money on things which aren’t all that necessary to your business operations.
You should also make a point of monitoring how supplies are being used in the office. It’s likely that there’s at least one employee who’s being wasteful with supplies, or taking things home without ever bringing them back. Like the loyalty schemes, cutting waste is all about making small changes to see big savings!