It is the larger expenditure that we remember the most but when it comes to keeping on top of your finances in your business, it makes sense to look at everything you spend money on and not just the big ticket items.
Office supplies can often seem like a minor expense and an area that does not warrant a lot of scrutiny, but the amount you are spending in small quantities each time, can soon add to a large amount.
Every purchase you make has an impact on your bottom line so it makes sense to achieve savings wherever you can, so here are some tips and ideas on how to save on the cost of your office supplies.
Choosing your suppliers
It was not that long ago that you were restricted to buying your office supplies from a local store but the advent of the internet has been a game-changer and you now have much more choice and that is good news as choice means competition and competition should mean lower prices to you the buyer.
Be aware of the cost of items and also aim to be more discerning about what you are ordering. There is a big difference between items that you simply must have in stock and items that would be good to have but are not actually that important to you. Cut out the needless expenditure and only order what you need and you will soon notice a difference in your office supply costs.
Another good way of saving on your office supply costs is to be more organized with what you have got in stock.
A good move would be to purchase some stationery storage cupboards or units and get hold of a Dymo label writer, which you can get from a supplier like labelcity.com. This will give the chance to organize your stationary area and label everything up so you don’t order what you already have and can find things much more easily.
Negotiate a discount
If you order a significant amount of office supplies each month then you should try to negotiate a purchase contract with your supplier so that you can lock in prices at a discount rate.
Whilst this strategy works well with very large companies you could try to be innovative and if your buying power is not sufficient on its own, if you share business premises with other companies, see if you can pool your resources and order together in order to get a better price.
Most companies need paper, pens, envelopes and other common stationary items so you will almost certainly be ordering a lot of the same items anyway, so it might be as workable idea that will save everyone some money.
If you have the space and you know that you will need to use the items within a reasonable period of time then it may pay to bulk order supplies such as paper so that you get a better price.
Bulk ordering is a good way of saving on costs but be wary of tying up capital unnecessarily if you are not realistically going to use what you order within a reasonable time span.
No amount of expenditure is too small to scrutinize, and making lots of small savings and cutting out waste will actually have an impact on your profitability in the long run.
John Young is an office manager. He is passionate about efficiency and productivity and often writes about his ideas on business blogs.