Cost cutting measures do not always have to be drastic. They say ‘desperate times call for desperate measures’. Ideally though, as a new start-up venture, you should not let that happen in the first place. A business should always have a proactive approach and not a reactive approach. While office supplies may not be your single largest expense in the income statement, it definitely helps if you trim your expenses, leaving you more capital for the venture.
So, what are some ways you could save off money from office supplies?
Place your bets on off-brand and recycled
Usually, there is not a world of a difference between branded and generic stationery. Branded items, usually only offer you more variety in terms of colors, designs and customization but also come with a higher price tag. Many companies now also feel the urge to go green and hence go for recycled office supplies. Not only can you come up with creative ways to reuse your office items, you can also buy recycled items from popular places as Office Depot, Staples and OfficeMax, among many others.
However, make sure you do thorough research when you are purchasing high-value office items such as copying or printing machines. A generic copying machine may come a lot cheaper but may not have warranty and repairs.
Make the Most of Freeware
Typical software applications do not come that cheap. However, freeware, open source options and shareware have made no-cost software solutions much easier for small start-up entrepreneurs! You should definitely explore CNET’S download site and the free open source option OpenOffice for calculating spreadsheets and databases.
CNET also shows you reviews of software available as well as editor ratings, making it easier for you to decide which software best suits your corporate needs.
Though hypermarkets offer huge discounts on bulk items, you can also shop for office supplies online at Amazon.com and Staples, comparing different products and further chopping down your expenses. Online retailers offer a wider scope of market to consider help distinguish cost evaluation when comparing branded products, including the reviews which come with them.
Enroll in Loyalty and Rewards Programs
These days, many hypermarkets offer enticing rewards programs for their customers. Reward points can usually be redeemed to purchases other items in store.
For example, if we examine a supplier such as Office Depot who currently offers 10% back as reward points on purchasing toner, ink and paper and copy/print/ship services. Customers also get 200 points for recycling their ink and toner cartridges, with a limit of up to 10 cartridges in a month. You can also receive points for completing your online profile on the Office Depot’s website including a rewards certificate for every 1000 points. Office Depot currently offers three types of memberships, namely, Star Teachers, Loyal Customers and Local Businesses, each with a unique offering for your corporate needs.
Whereas Staples ® offer 5% back in reward points. Other rewards include bonus events, Copy & Print Instant Discount and Free Staples EasyTech Services, depending on the type of membership you enroll for.
Office supplies, though seemingly insignificant, can contribute considerably to your expenses; the savings from office supplies can be re-channeled and used for items which are more important to aid in your company’s growth and expansion.
Image Source: The Director Group