Cost allocation for everything you need in running a business can be tricky. You have to put aside funds forsalaries, rent, electric and water bills, and other expenses. But business owners shouldn’t forget about the basic office supplies that their employees use.
For example printer ink is one of the most important consumables in the modern workplace. Consumer Reports notes that ink made by original equipment manufacturers (OEM) can cost anywhere between $13 and $75 an ounce, making it one of the most expensive liquid items one can buy today. Thankfully, there are more affordable substitutes to OEM ink, which include specialty products like remanufactured and compatible ink cartridges.
With the help of the following tips, you can avoid overspending and perhaps even set aside the extra cash for other important expenses.
Buy high-quality off-brand alternatives
People have the notion that high-priced branded items are automatically of superior quality, while “cheap” off-brand products are inferior. But that’s not always the case. It all boils down to finding reputable companies or suppliers who can provide alternatives that are on a par with or even better than their OEM equivalents.
In the earlier example of printer ink, for instance, businesses can consider purchasing from trusted online suppliers like Carrot Ink, which offers high-quality cartridges for popular brands like Hewlett-Packard, Canon, and Brother.
Buying off-brand can be done for many other office necessities, including writing supplies, bathroom toiletries, pantry consumables, and so many more.
Buy in bulk
Businesses can reduce costs by buying supplies such as paper, pens, ink and the like, in bulk. But be careful on what you end up purchasing. Bulk buying should only be applicable for items that your company will use a lot. If you are in a business that requires the use of printed documents daily, then order paper bundles or ink in bulk. Most stores also give discounts when you buy in mass quantities.
In addition, make it a point to try and test out products first before purchasing anything in huge amounts to prevent wasteful spending.
Buying products online is preferred by a lot of businesses and individuals these days for two main reasons. First, it is usually cheaper and there are more opportunities for additional savings (websites offer clearance sales often). Second, you don’t need to make trips to the store. You can browse and order from the comfort of your office or home.
Negotiate with suppliers
If your business has been a loyal customer of a particular supplier for a while, then price negotiation is possible. Center the discussion on items that your company orders on a regular basis. Continued business is what suppliers aim for, after all, and most would be willing to lower prices (reasonably) than lose a customer.
Restock supplies ahead of time
Replenish your office supplies before they run out. When people use up their resources and are immediately in need of replacements, they become more prone to impulse buying. This results to hasty purchasing of unneeded items. Restocking ahead of time saves you from doing this and can even allow you to plan for any upcoming sale events that particular stores or suppliers might have.
Audit expenses and inventory your supplies
Keeping track of your expenses is useful in many ways. You will know how much you budgeted for your office supplies and will be able to compare it to how much you actually spent. If you spent too much, at least you will know how to budget better next time by referring to the list of items that were bought.
It is also recommended that you take stock of your supplies to determine which items are currently running low and which ones are being used or not. This way, you can produce an accurate list of necessary supplies to repurchase for the future.
You don’t need to break the bank when buying office supplies. Sometimes, a bit of research as well as knowing exactly what you need will help your company save money. Whether your business is big or small, informed purchases can benefit you by keeping your expenses in check.
Byron Simpson is a qualified business/finance writer expert in investment, debt, credit cards, Passive income, financial updates. He advises in his blog finance cent.