As compared to furniture and office equipment, office and business supplies may seem like a minor expenditure. The major difference between the two costs is that equipment and furniture are usually one-time expenses whereas office supplies are used on a daily basis and so they have to be replaced regularly. It is a sort of ‘hidden cost’ that needs to be controlled because if left unsupervised, it can wreak havoc on a business’s budget and can actually lead to cash flow problems. You don’t want to order excess supplies because they tie up your money and you don’t want to order too little because this can affect your work.
So, what can you do? Here are a few top tips that can help you in saving money on business supplies:
Set up a corporate account to control what you buy
These days, most business supplies vendors give you the option of making an online corporate account that can be used for ordering your supplies when needed. While it is undoubtedly convenient, it can also lead to problems because just anyone may be ordering supplies that may not even be needed. Luckily, the corporate account gives you the option of controlling who can purchase items on the business’s behalf. Likewise, you can also set a limit for the number of items that can be purchased. The best part is that you may even get discounts.
If you opt to use a local vendor for getting your office supplies, you may be able to get great deals because they have relationships with wholesalers and can get you better rates.
Purchase in bulk
This is common sense. When you buy items in large quantities, you are going to get discounts. Instead of ordering small quantities, it is best to purchase in bulk. Doing so can lead to a lot of monetary savings in the long run.
Only get the necessary supplies
Take a look at the business supplies that you order on a regular basis. Are all of the products ‘must haves’ or some of them fall under the category of ‘nice to have’? There are some supplies that may seem like a good idea to have, but you are not using them that frequently. In that case, it is better to cut them out of your list because it is unnecessary spending that you can avoid.
Go for generic products
Yes, getting the branded product is very tempting and you like the quality, but the fact is that you have to pay extra for it. In many cases, the generic store brand is just as good as that of a big brand. If you are unsure of the quality, you can always buy the generic products in a small quantity to test it. Even if you save only a few dollars on every purchase, it can add up considerably in the long run.
Make a supply station
Instead of keeping your office supplies and stationery in the storage room, it is best to make a supply station. This means creating a common workspace where a full set of supplies and tools are available. In this way, you will know what is required and what is not and you will not purchase any redundant items that are not used.
Don’t wait until the last minute
It is a big mistake to wait to purchase office supplies until you run out. Instead of doing so, keep an eye out for any sales and discounts and purchase a little earlier at a lower price, which can work wonders for your budget.