You really can save a lot by knowing where to look for office equipment, furniture and supplies. Here are six tips for obtaining office supplies on the cheap.
1. Take an inventory of items you already have. As much as possible, you'll want to reduce the amount of equipment you need at the onset of your business. If you already have a home computer and printer, use these existing items in your business until your cash flow allows for you to upgrade. By then, you'll have a better idea of what kind of equipment you'll need anyway. You can also use the home stapler, calculator, hole punch, paper, and pens. Buy new items only when you need to.
2. Ask your friends and family for any equipment they may not be using anymore that you could purchase. Maybe a friend's office is planning to liquidate the previous year's computers, for example, and you can get a great system for a very low price. Keep your eyes and ears open, and ask your friends and family to do so, too.
3. Trade services. If you are starting a web design business, for example, see if your local print shop would be interested in trading internet design or marketing help for some quality flyers, business cards or letterhead.
4. Instead of purchasing specially printed envelopes and letterhead, purchase quality linen bond paper and envelopes and print letterhead on your page when you need to. When your business is adequately successful, treat yourself to custom print work.
5. Don't be afraid of second-hand goods. Look for office furniture and supplies at thrift shops, flea markets, garage sales and online auctions. You can often find quality items here, if you look hard enough. And don't just think of the money you are saving; think of the environmental impact of your decision to reduce and reuse as many items as possible. Not only will this habit save you a lot of money as your business grows, but you'll also be operating a business that is more environmentally responsible.
6. Stock up and save by buying office supplies online - and always use a coupon. The major office supply stores often offer deep discounts in their online stores, and you can generally find coupon codes that can save you a significant amount on a large order ($30 off $150, for example.) Many times, technology items are excluded from such online coupons, but you can easily find coupons valid on office furniture, as well as expensive but necessary items, such as printer cartridges. Many of these large online office supply stores also offer free delivery on orders of $50 or more.
You can find great deals on computers online, too. Just shop around, invest in the features you need (so you don't have to purchase another computer next year), and look for a coupon code before you buy. Many home based business owners will attest to the fact that start-up capital should be spent wisely. Once your profits start to come in, you can upgrade your equipment and splurge on more expensive items.
About the author: Jamie Jefferson writes for Susies-Coupons.com and Momscape.com where you find the latest computer coupons and Staples Coupons.