If you own a small or midsized business in Calgary Alberta, chances are you are spending more than you would like on office supplies. What most SMB owners do not know is that these expenses can snowball if left unchecked.
Here are 20 of the best ways to spend less on office supplies.
1. Shop Online
The best thing about shopping online is that you are able to compare prices between different brands at the same time and at your convenience. This will allow you to choose the products that give you the best bang for your buck.
2. Buy Generic
Choosing generic brands is the most straightforward way of cutting on unnecessary costs when shopping for office supplies. Top brands are typically more expensive while the difference between their quality and that of generic brands is almost non-existent. Keep this in mind when buying expensive items such as furniture and consumables.
3. Track Your Inventory and Prepare a List
You should keep accounts on your office stock, so you can know what you need and what you do not. This will also allow you to know which items go faster and thus be able to plan accordingly.
4. Look for Specials and Discounts
Always look to see if the retailers are offering any discounts for the wares you need.
5. Buy in Bulk
When you buy supplies in bulk, the cost per item goes down significantly. However; you should only buy in bulk for items that you use a lot and not those that you use sparingly.
6. Establish Corporate Accounts
Apart from building a better relationship with your retailer, establishing a corporate account also enables you to easily track how you are using your supplies. This information will allow you to devise ways to control your use and expenditure. Additionally, corporate accounts mitigate the risk of supply theft.
7. Check Your Cards for Rewards or Points
Do your business credit cards offer incentives or points? Check whether your card earns you cash back, bonus points, or miles each time you shop for office supplies. If it doesn’t, get one that does.
8. Do Not Wait Until the Last Minute
Getting something after it has run out is not only stressful but also increases the chances of making an impulse purchase that you’d normally have passed on or spending extra on an item. Ensure that you are always aware of the status of your stock to prevent such incidences.
9. Revive Dead Pens
Do not throw away pens if they stop working when they are still full of ink. Get rid of dried-up ink that is likely to be clogging that pen by boiling some water and then dipping the tip into it for about 10 seconds.
10. Have a Reusable Supplies Station
Set up an area where employees store supplies that they no longer need but are still in mint condition, such as writing instruments, binders, and folders. You will not only be cutting on your expenses but also help in saving the environment.
11. Save Ink and Paper when Copying and Printing
Have the default setting of the printers as double-sided in addition to having the default print settings to draft mode while printing in black & white. This will result in your paper usage getting cut by half while saving up to 25% on ink.
12. Free Delivery
A lot of office supplies vendors will provide free shipping and delivery with a minimum order amount ranging between $45 and $150. This is another reason why you should purchase in bulk.
13. Buy Remanufactured but Quality Toner Cartridges
A remanufactured toner cartridge for your photocopier or printer can be up to 30% cheaper than a new one while offering the same print quality.
14. Have a Gate Keeper for the Office Supplies
A study on office supply theft revealed that about 67% of employees routinely take office supplies home for personal use. To avoid this situation, have a staff member to be the gatekeeper of the supplies. You could also keep most of the stock locked away.
15. Reinforce Folders
Pocket folders typically take a beating. You can reinforce it on the pockets and sides using duct tape. It might see your next generation.
16. Consider Used Furniture
Years ago, you had to choose between either expensive new furniture or broken down shabby furniture. That is no longer the case as used furniture is being refurbished today to look as good as new while still being cheap.
17. Strategize Where You Buy
There are stores that offer better deals than others. Know where you can get the lowest price for each office supply item. Even though this may seem like a tedious task, the long-term implications could run into thousands of dollars. Nevertheless, you still have to consider things such as customer service, warranties, and quality before you settle on a store.
18. Have One Supplier
Larger suppliers typically have customer loyalty programs. Thus, consolidating your purchases to one supplier should see you get discounts or rewards. You might even be able to negotiate prices for orders that are recurring.
19. Create a Supply Station
Have a designated area that encourages employees to share supplies. For instance, instead of getting each employee their own stapler and hole puncher, have a spot where one can take the item whenever they need it then return it for another person to use.
20. It Starts with You
Remember, your employees look up to you for guidance and leadership. As such, you should model good practices for them to follow. Prioritize on using less so that they can follow your example and utilize less themselves.
Adopt that minimalist mindset where you only use what you need. This will help you save on a lot of business costs apart from just office supplies.
Office supplies can quickly put a hole in your budget if you do not plan for them accordingly. Fortunately, applying the above tips should help you cut on your expenses.
Capital Now is an accounts receivable financing firm based in Calgary Alberta and has been helping small and midsized businesses to get upfront capital from their invoices. Accounts receivable financing is an efficient way of getting capital without having to take a loan.
To learn more about Capital Now and the services we offer, contact us today.
Also published on Medium.