How to save money on office supplies and services
Efficiency is key in business, and saving money on office supplies and services is the first step towards efficiency. Whether you’re buying individual items or a whole office supply store system, there are plenty of great deals out there . . . even if you’re not necessarily looking for them.
So here are a few ways that you can save money on your office supplies and services.
1. Go with generic brands
One common theme that we see when people start saving money on office supplies and services is going with generic brands. They’re also usually significantly less expensive on a per-use basis. If you’re not sure whether a particular item is name brand or generic, visit Amazon and look up the item’s size and production quality. Almost every generic item on Amazon will be cheaper than the same item made by a specific brand name company, no matter how good the name brand is.
Generic brands often offer the same products at a lower price but may not be as durable, nor do they come with the name brand logos. Take the cheapest pencil you can find and compare the hardness, colour, and pencil lead types. Then go to the next lower price and see what you get.
Office supply brands are usually more expensive than name brands. If you are buying bulk items from an office supply store, you might be able to save a significant amount of money on the purchase by going with a generic brand.
2. Check discount stores
Discount stores often have great overall deals on office supplies and services. Be on the lookout for sales, markdowns, and specials that you can use to your advantage.
Before you shop at your local store, check out the online catalogue. Many times, you will find deals on name-brand products that you can’t find in the store. You should always check the “recent deals” section of the website. You may find deals that you would be interested in that aren’t listed on the main page. Make sure to read the fine print, though, as some stores may limit the amount of savings you can apply to your order.
3. Keep an eye out for deals
One of the best ways to save money on office supplies and services is to look for deals. After all, retailers are always trying to save money, too. Check out the following websites to find deals on everything from gas fill-ups to home improvements.
You can also try to spot deal sites and email newsletters in your favourite newspaper and on your favourite social media platforms. While you might not know about big discounts that are listed as “now” or “never” happen, you’re bound to know about upcoming discounts that have yet to be officially announced. Keep an eye out for emails, websites, and social media posts with deals that you might be able to use.
4. Batch order from an online store
If you are looking for a deal on a large number of items, consider ordering online. Not only are you getting the item faster and cheaper, but you are also purging yourself of the hassle of going to the store. Batch ordering from the online store also lets you choose from a variety of different brands which can further save you money on postage and storage.
When you place an order online, you can choose to have it shipped to your office or picked up at the store. They’ll send them to you in bulk and will give you a discount based on the number of items ordered.
If you are not too sure about which items you would like in your order, you can always return them if you are not satisfied.
5. Look into used & refurbished equipment
You can find some great deals on used and refurbished office equipment. Take the printer you are planning to use and see if you can get it for half price or less. Or check out refurbished computers on websites like eBay. Check out online ads for equipment for sale and refurbished computers. You can also contact local businesses that sell office equipment and ask if they are interested in purchasing refurbished or used equipment.
When looking for old or surplus office equipment, check eBay and other online auctions. You might be surprised at the number of great deals you can find on surplus office equipment. You might even be able to get a free license for your software if you buy it from an auction site! Be careful though, as refurbished items often have lesser quality control issues than new items. Before you decide to buy a refurbished item, check the Better Business Bureau rating and review the store that sold it to make sure that it isn’t a scam.
6. Don’t spend money to make money
The biggest misconception about office space and rent is that it has to be expensive. You don’t have to spend a fortune to create a comfortable, secure space with plenty of room for your employees.
The trick is to find a space that is both functional and affordable. If you’re unsure where to start, it may be a good idea to look at your current space and see what it would cost to upgrade. If you’re lucky enough to have a large building with plenty of space, you may be able to keep your current space while adding new features. However, if you’re in a smaller space, you may have to consider renovation. The most important thing is to make sure you spend the money wisely.
7. Only hire the best
Make sure you’re choosing employees who will be productive, efficient, and adherent to company policies. It’s important to screen candidates thoroughly before hiring. Ensure they can do the job properly and are knowledgeable about the industry.
It’s not a good idea to let employees who don’t matter to you slip through the cracks. Keep an eye out for people who seem to be doing less than they are supposed to be doing. If you notice someone isn’t following company rules or isn’t using proper tools or training, don’t hesitate to set them straight. You don’t have to fire the employee to correct the issue, you can simply terminate the contract. This can be a great way to save money in the long run.
8. Set up email and chat-based meetings
If you have a large company with a large staff, it’s probably easy to get overwhelmed. There’s no way to avoid hearing things that need to be heard, and you may even find yourself in the middle of a meeting you weren’t expecting.
By setting up meetings with the appropriate parties, you can ensure everyone is up to speed and able to contribute. By meeting with coworkers in person, you can also develop friendships. By having regular meetings in your office, you can also save time by not having to drive to the meeting location and back each time. Additionally, you can ensure that each person in the office has a voice in the decisions that affect them.
When you set up meetings over email, you can also send out agendas and schedules, keep track of who is present, and keep the conversation moving.
9. Utilize online resources instead of printing
Spending money to buy paper and printing materials is a traditional office cost-saving idea. However, these expenses are easily avoided with the use of online resources. Research shows that people are willing to pay more for premium quality services, like good paper or digital products, when they are delivered online. That said, if you must print, there are plenty of free services that can do the job.
10. Track & analyze data instead of spending money on cuts and changes
Spending money on cuts and changes can be a good way to save resources, but it’s not the best way to save money.
Cuts can be done facility-wide, rather than just fixing what is broken. Changes can be done at the staff level, rather than being made at the operating level. There are plenty of ways to save money without resorting to these drastic measures.
Track your spending on every expense, including meeting expenses, and make sure there is a good reason for each expense. This way, you know exactly where your money is going, and you can decide whether or not spending money on a change is the right thing to do.
11. Collaborate with your colleagues remotely
If you have remote collaboration or collaboration tools, or you work in a small office with low-speed internet, printing may not be a viable option. You may have to print a few documents for your board or committee meetings, or your team’s annual report. However, there are plenty of online collaboration tools that let you publish the report or print the agenda on demand. This can save you time and money.
Saving money on office supplies and services can be very challenging. It can seem like there is never enough money in your budget to go around. However, with a few tips, you can greatly reduce your expenses. When you use coupons, you can save even more money. Plus, when you shop wisely you will be able to find some fantastic deals on name-brand items while saving money on generic brands.