Having your own business comes with a multitude of perks, such as deciding your own schedule for where and when you’ll work. However, being your own boss also means that many things a large company would have taken care of for you, like providing office gadgets and supplies, is now all up to you. Luckily, there are some pretty great ways that you can cut back on office supply costs to save you some cash every month. Since even the smallest amount of money not spent can positively impact the bottom line of your business, any amount of savings is worthwhile.
1 Embrace the Digital Life
Even if you enjoy having a physical copy of every document that crosses your desk, it’s really unnecessary in the long run. Many businesses don’t rely on paper like they used to, primarily because the paper is easy to lose and can be easily destroyed. Instead, you need to digitally back up all of your important data. You can do this either with a physical hard drive, or you can utilize a cloud-based storage system that holds all of your data without any extra equipment.
Once everything is digitally saved, you can find all your files in a moment’s notice and email them off whenever one is needed. Make sure you organize your files in well-labeled digital folders so you’ll be able to easily access them. By not printing everything out, you will seriously save on the cost of paper, printer ink, and the general wear-and-tear of your at-home printer.
2 When You DO Need to Print
It isn’t practical to completely eliminate paper from your business, because sometimes you’ll still need to print documents or provide hand-outs during a meeting. One great way to save some money when it comes to printers is to sign up for an instant ink program. Whenever your ink supply runs low, the printer will automatically order a replacement cartridge so you never have to worry about ink emergencies ever again. Some programs incentivize this service by providing you a discount of up to 50%, making it the most affordable way to keep your printer kicking.
Taking advantage of recycled paper and energy-efficient printers will also cut your monthly business costs down—not to mention make your company more environmentally friendly.
3 Stay Organized
Anyone with their own business needs to be organized, from the way you keep track of client meetings to the way you set up your email inbox. When it comes to organizing office supplies, you should always have a specific place for each item that never changes. By having a dedicated space for these supplies, you will always know when you are running low and need to replenish your supplies. A disorganized office supply cabinet will result in wasted purchases that get lost or misplaced. Keeping an orderly supply closet will help you save money in the long run because you won’t end up buying more paperclips or Post-It notes before you actually need them.
4 Keep an Eye on Your Electricity Bill
From light bulbs to laptops, it’s likely that you use many electronics on a daily basis to run your company. All of that energy adds up when it’s time to pay your electric bill. However, you can definitely cut some corners to save some money by simply shutting off gadgets when you aren’t using them. For instance, if you find yourself only using your printer a couple times a week, shut it off in between uses so it won’t suck up power while it idles. You can also put electronics in standby or sleep mode when they are inactive to reduce their energy intake, therefore decreasing your total bill at the end of the month.
Another way to lower that bill is to replace fluorescent light bulbs. While the initial price of those bulbs might seem cheap, their short lifespans actually make them more expensive since you have to constantly replace them. Consider buying more environmentally friendly CFL bulbs that have a lifespan of many years. They might be a little more up front but they last longer and they don’t use as much electricity, saving you money in the long run.
Use these tips to keep your office supply costs to a minimum. While your savings might seem small at first, you’ll be surprised by how much they add up over the course of a year. Be intentional and consistent about your goal to save money, and your business is bound to prosper because of it.