The cost of business supplies can add up. In industries such as catering and hospitality, reducing the cost of supplies can have a huge impact on profit. Even in workplaces with fewer supplies (such as offices), cutting the cost of supplies can make a difference.
So just how can your business save money on supplies? Below are just a few cost-cutting strategies for small businesses.
Buy From Wholesalers
You should avoid buying your supplies from a high street retailer. Instead, look for wholesalers that you can buy supplies directly from. Wholesaler prices are likely to be a lot cheaper than retailer prices, especially as most retailers buy their stock from wholesalers. You’re also likely to find a lot of specialist products at wholesalers that may not be available through general retailers such as these wholesale chemicals. More choice means more options to shop around.
Bulk-Buy What You Can
Many items are discounted when you buy them in bulk. Consider buying items like toilet paper and cleaning supplies in larger quantities to take advantage of these discounts. Just be wary of bulk buying items that may have a use by date – there’s no point buying huge amounts of printer ink or coffee if you’re not going to get through it before it expires. Similarly, you don’t want to bulk buy items that you rarely ever use (such as 100 pens if you rarely ever need to use a pen).
Know When to Negotiate With Suppliers
There are some supplies that you can negotiate the price of. For instance, you can often negotiate the price of construction supplies by shopping around and asking for price quotes. Certain catering ingredients may also be possible to negotiate the price of (especially if you’re buying them straight from the farmer). Some items may not be possible to negotiate – it depends on the nature of the supplier as to whether they only accept fixed prices.
Print Less (Or Go Paperless)
Many offices spend more money on paper and ink than is necessary. Nowadays, there’s very little need to print off lots of documents – most documents can be shared electronically via emails, group chats and the cloud, while you can even sign documents digitally. By using less paper and ink, you could save some serious costs. Check out this guide to going paperless for more information.
Encourage Sharing of Supplies
You can sometimes save money on supplies simply by learning to share more. For instance, in an office with multiple desks and multiple printers, consider whether each employee really needs their own supply of paper and ink – it may make more sense for all employees to share these supplies. Sharing within a business isn’t the only way to share either. In such situations, there may be ways of sharing resources with other businesses to save money. For example, if multiple businesses are all operating out of the same building, you may be able to make a pact to share certain resources like printer paper, saving you all money.