How to Shop Smart for Essential Office Supplies and Technology
Buyers Guides

How to Shop Smart for Essential Office Supplies and Technology

Every penny counts when setting up a business, so making savvy decisions is crucial when it comes to stocking up on the essential products you need to run your company. Items must not only be cost effective, but they have be built to last, so business owners are often left with the difficult mission of finding the balance between quality and value.

When it comes to setting up your business, there are some things you just can’t live without. You’ll need to ensure those office essentials will last in the long term. When it comes to investing in computers and hard drives, it’s not advisable to scrimp and save. However, there are some areas in which you can make smart buying decisions to ensure you’re getting the best quality and value for money:

Where to make smart buying decisions

Paper

Paper plays a central role in all offices, but keeping it in good supply needn’t break the bank. Store brands will often offer a range of quality options so you’re certainly not limited for choice. Use less expensive store-brand paper for any in-house printing, and opt for higher quality paper when needed for client-facing interactions.

Computers and tablets

When you begin to set up your business, a big outgoing will be decking everyone out with quality computers. Whether desktop or laptop, these are a must in the office environment, so make wise decisions by considering your needs and wants against your budget. Think about the type of work you do. For example, if you’re not always based in the office and your work sees you on the go quite often, you might opt for a slim line, lightweight effort such as an Ultrabook. Shop smart by doing your research before buying.

Printer and ink/toner

When it comes to printers, consider all the features and benefits you need for your business to function, and then research the best price for a unit that offers all those elements. While the printer will set you back a one-off cost, it’s the ink that will be a recurring expense. Does the nature of your business rely on the ability to print in true colour? If so, and you require individual cartridges for each colour (as opposed to a single multi-colour one), it can get costly. Look into the price of replacement cartridges for particular printers before committing to any purchases.

Staplers

It would be interesting to know just how much time in a week office workers waste when it comes to sorting out jams and other difficulties with staplers. One way to ensure you’re buying a decent stapler that won’t halt your working day is to insist on a demonstration before purchasing, so you can see the product in action. And if you’re regularly pulling staples out of paperwork because they need faxing, or if documents need supplemental sheets of information, don’t use an expensive cartridge – a box of regular staples is much cheaper, and so discarded staples won’t be such a waste and hit the bank balance too hard.

Whiteboards

Depending on your industry, a large office whiteboard can often be the hub of creativity and imagination among your co-workers or employees. Make use of individual boards, or if space and budget permits, create an entire whiteboard wall as a cost-effective way to offer more flexibility in terms of how the space can be used. Shop smart by using a dry erase paint kit to create wall-size surfaces.

While it’s important that budget stays at the forefront of the mind when shopping for office supplies, if money is tight it needn’t mean forfeiting quality. A few simple changes to the thought processes behind purchases will ensure businesses are financially savvy when it comes to getting the most value for money with those all-important office products.