Office supplies

Sanat Singha is a technical writer, an editor, a blogger and a web marketing consultant. Contact him at wsigmas@gmail.com

Run a business? Then you know how expensive it can be. Computer equipment and office furniture are among some of your larger expenses, but then there are those smaller items. Paper clips, pens, staples…these are your small office supplies. Compared to the larger purchases, you probably won’t sweat the small stuff, but you should. Every penny counts, as they say, so you still need to factor in the less expensive purchases.

So, let’s save you some money. We are going to focus on those small office supplies, and show you how you can cut down on costs, even when it comes to paper clips.

Forget about brands

Branded office equipment is always the most expensive. But let’s face it, a generic roll of sticky tape is little different to something with a flashy name. It still does the same job. The same applies to every other piece of office equipment. Does a branded paper clip function better than a budget packaged paper clip? No, of course not, even if the branded ones are in prettier colours.

Only buy what you need

There’s the temptation to fill your office space with the expected items… rubber bands, pencil sharpeners, erasers, post-it notes, and yes, those beloved paper clips. But how many of them do you actually need? If your organization has gone paperless, for example, you are probably wasting money on items that can no longer be considered essential. In short, stop buying stuff, and save yourself some money while decluttering your desk.

Buy online

Buying online is often cheaper than buying equipment from your regular bricks and mortar store. This is especially true when buying computer ink, which can be expensive if you are using your printer a lot. Official inks, such as HP ink, can be found cheaper online, but you may be able to save even more money by buying unofficial ink for your printer, which generally works fine. When shopping online, check out a range of sites, and buy as cheaply as you can. Look for free shipping too, as some retailers may hike up postage costs to make some money back on their discounted items.

Order in bulk

You may end up with more office supplies than you actually need, but buying in bulk is often cheaper when you buy online, especially when the retailer has offers, such as a ‘two for one’ deal. To misquote the movie ‘Jaws,’ “you’re going to need a bigger storage cupboard,” but at least you are less likely to run out of something sooner, and you will have saved yourself a heap of money to boot.

Speak to your supplier

If you regularly use the same supplier for your office supplies, you may be able to negotiate a discount. These are often called ‘purchase contracts,’ where you are able to secure a deal on the items you purchase often. If you’ve already set up an account with your supplier, you may be able to enjoy other benefits, especially if they have a rewards programme in place for regular buyers.

Finally

So, there we have it. 5 ways to save money on your small office supplies. Over time, you will have saved a significant amount of money, so it’s worth keeping our tips in mind the next time you run out of paper clips.