The Secret To Stress Free Office Supplies

Image via Pexels

What keeps your office running on a daily basis? While supplies of notepads and staplers may not seem like the most exciting area of your business, it's undeniable that these staples of daily office life can cause serious problems if they aren’t in order. For a flat-out busy start-up business, this can be surprisingly hard to get right. 

Allocate Office Resourcing To Someone

You are unlikely to be in a position to have an office manager at this point in the company’s development, and if it isn’t within someone’s specific job description to source franking machine quotes or make sure the coffee is stocked in the kitchen area, then they generally won’t go above and beyond to do it. Sometimes it can fall to you as a business owner, so that in between chasing up late paying clients and preparing for that crucial funding pitch, you realise that you’re out of sticky notes or pens because you simply didn’t have time and headspace to order them. The fundamentals of running a business include a reliable supply of materials and of managing the cost to the business that ordering stationary and sundries can often represent. Crack your office supply sourcing, and you will have more energy to spend on other things, knowing that your basics are safely taken care of…

Establish What You Really Need

If you’re inexperienced at managing office supplies, then you can often make the mistake of over or under ordering, or of ordering the wrong items. All of these cause their own problems. Understock and you run the risk of running out of something seemingly trivial but essential to your productivity, and having to either interrupt what you’re doing to sort it out, or having to buy something in a hurry that may not be the best value. Over stock and you’ve essentially wasted money at a time when cashflow is hugely important. Order the wrong items and it's even worse - you may have to pay more for the right ones, and you’ve already had the expense of items you won’t use. So planning is essential in order to get it right. Find a basic office supply checklist and evaluate it against the specific needs of your business. For example, you may have opted for an office setup with digital white boards on the meeting room wall for mind-mapping, which means you won’t be needing flipchart paper. Think it through before placing that order.

Evaluate Your Usage

Once you’ve ordered, keep tabs on what actually gets used. You need to aim to separate core items from non-core items - core items are usually sold by office supply companies at very competitive prices, while you end up paying more for non-core items that you may not even be using. Sort your usage by the price spent and identify the highest usage, highest expense items. Your core items should account for at least sixty percent of your total office supply spend. See where you can make additional savings by switching to generic brand items. A lot of suppliers will steer you towards a standard choice from a named brand, but they also offer cheaper versions which could save you money. Develop a great relationship with your supplier, and over time you’ll have grounds to negotiate for a better deal overall.

No comments