One of the problems of running a small business out of the home is the cost of office supplies. A large percentage of your business budget can go towards buying an adequate supply of paper, software, file folders, and additional office items. Paying too much for the needed materials can cut into funds meant for advertising, equipment maintenance or transportation costs. A solution for staying within your budget is by purchasing the necessary office products at lower prices.
There are many ways to save money when purchasing the required inventory to run your business. Five courses of action are to:
- Buy in bulk.
Buying in bulk from the larger office supply store chains, and the price clubs is often the best way to get the items to meet your home office needs. Always look for in-store deals such as closeouts, discontinued items, or 2-for-the-price-of-1 sales. Also, check for manufacturer's rebate offers. Before buying anything, ensure you have enough space in your business office to store all your purchases.
- Look for Damaged Boxes
Part of doing business is making everything look presentable to the consumer. Retailers don't like ugly. Damaged boxes are considered ugly. Dented boxes are ugly. Opened boxes are ugly. Use this ugliness to your advantage by asking the store manager for a reduced price on these boxes. Many times the merchant will sell the damaged box of supplies for cost. Outward appearances can be deceiving. After all, you aren't buying the box. You are buying the goods inside the box.
- Look for Businesses Going Out of Business
Businesses fail every day. It's sad, but you can use this opportunity to get your office supplies at a reduced cost. Look in newspapers for 'Going-Out-of-Business-Sales'. Drugstores, supermarkets, stationery stores, Temp-help offices, and almost every other business imaginable carry stationery and related stock. To defray some of the costs of closing the doors on the establishment, the owner or manager may be willing to sell his office inventory at pennies on the dollar.
- Seek Out Auctions for Failed Businesses
When some companies go bankrupt, the entire contents of the closed business will go up for auction. This includes the entire stockpile of office supplies. The majority of people attending the auction are usually more interested in the furniture or other trappings that made up the failed business. Once again, you can purchase a wide assortment of office supplies for pennies on the dollar. One note of caution; Do not get caught up in the frenzy of the bidding. You will lose money if you bid too high and pay more than you intended. There will be other auctions on another day.
- Use Recycled Material Products
An alternative to buying high dollar items for your business venture is using goods made from recycled materials. Products made from recycled materials are often cheaper. The quality may not be as good as some top grade materials, but are satisfactory for everyday office use. If you feel any of your customers will look down on you for using cheaper materials, keep a supply of the more expensive stock on hand just for their use and charge them accordingly.
The Benefits of Smart Shopping
As your business continues to grow, the need for office related goods will grow with it. Purchasing supplies at a reduced cost not only allows you to save money, but will also allow you to keep a reserve on hand. In case you need to use your money for a business emergency, not having to worry about performing a balancing act with your company's budget will make it easier for you to operate efficiently.