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Running Your Business Without Breaking the Bank: How to Save Money on Office Supplies

Apr 1, 2008
Setting up an office, whether it's at home or in an office building, can get very pricey. Between your desk, printer table, chairs and other necessary accessories, you may think it's impossible to furnish your office for cheap. You also have to contend with daily office supplies like paper and printer ink that can eat away at your budget. The following resources and ideas will help you run your business smoothly without breaking the bank.

Before you start, make a list of your must have items. Your needs will differ based on the type of business that you run. If you own and operate a business where you won't need to see clients in your office, you can cut corners and go for function over looks. But if you're going to host clients, you'll want to make sure that your office appears professional. In this case, you may want to spend more on decorations and guest seating than you would otherwise.

You can either try to find cheap, new furniture or find quality used furniture at a discount. If you are meeting clients in your office, it may be best to try to find quality pieces that have been discounted for some reason. This way you'll give off the impression of being established and having a big budget, even if you don't have one.

To find quality furniture at low prices, you can go one of several places. Thrift stores often have great office supply finds. Filing cabinets, desks and shelving units can be purchased very cheaply. The styles you find at thrift stores may be a little outdated, but they are normally well-built pieces that have withstood the test of time. If the furniture is worn, you can sand and repaint or stain it to give it a fresh, new face.

Another resource for low-cost office furniture is office furniture liquidation sales. Liquidation sales held by furniture stores, office supply stores or corporate furniture rental companies can be a great place to find the quality furniture you are looking for. Check your local paper to find these types of sales.

Besides furniture, you'll also need to purchase office supplies that will help your business run on a daily basis. Printing paper, calendars, pens, ink and other necessary items can cost you a lot if you don't shop wisely.

The easiest way to save money on office supplies is to comparison shop. You'll have a hard time figuring out exactly how many pieces of paper you use each month, or how many post it notes you'll need. But if you find the right price for your supplies, you'll save a lot of money. Make a list of the types of supplies that you'll need to help your business run smoothly. Then do some research online to compare prices.

You can also save money in the long run by buying in bulk. For example, instead of buying paper by the ream, you'll pay less if you buy it by the case. You can do the same with ink, pens and other common supplies. Even though the costs at the outset will be higher, you'll save money on the cost per item.
About the Author
Jamie Jefferson shares the web's best office supply coupons where you can subscribe for free coupon updates for your favorite office supply stores or products. She also posts office supply coupons here .
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