Most small businesses go bankrupt and close down within the first 5 years of operation. This is according to statistics by the small business administration (SBA) department. One of the main reasons that such businesses fail is mismanagement of funds. The business owners fail to keep track of expenses, and they end up eating into the operating cash flow, stalling the day-to-day running of the firm. In the end, the business closes down because it can't support itself. Luckily, there a few strategies that you can use to keep the office supply budget low. They include:
1. Defining Costs and Revenues
If you want to keep your office supply budget low, you have to know how cash flows in and out of the business. Find out if there are any expenses that can be avoided and evade them. Find out which office supplies you spend money on. Another reason why you should define your costs is because they are tax deductible. Hence, you can end up saving more after factoring in the expenses on the final income statement.
2. You Don't Need to buy Everything
Before you spend money on any new office supply, ask yourself if buying the item can make any big impact on operations. For example, do you need to buy a new office desk when the old one is still fully functional? Alternatively, do you have to buy wireless printers for everyone when they can use anonymous guest printing on one printer. Sometimes, it's only fair to only stick with what you need to properly run the business.
3. Stick to your Old Source of Income until the New Business Stabilizes
If you operate a small business as a side business, you can use the income that you earn from your daytime job to cater for additional expenses on office supply. That way, you don't put too much pressure on the firm's operating cash flow. If you had thought about quitting and focusing on the small business, don't do so just yet. Wait for the business to be self sustaining before you can do that.
4. Remote Office
Instead of working at a commercial space all the time, you can decide to work from home on specific days. This technique allows you to put less strain on office supplies and extend their shelf life. You can also encourage your employees to work from home on certain days. Another cost saving advantage of working remotely is that it entitles you to a tax deduction in the home office.
5. Co-working Spaces
If you don't really need to have a physical office all the time, your firm can pay for co-working spaces and share an office facility with another organization. The space is only utilized when you have to hold board meetings and special office meetings. The good thing about this option is that the supplies expenses can be shared by those that use the place.
6. Embrace Technology
Another way to save in the supplies budget is to go for automatic systems. Instead of buying papers and printing them for office documentation, why can't the process be done automatically? The firm can allow top management to use digital signatures to sign important documents in soft copy and then send them to the necessary parties through email.
Another way to cut down on the supply budget is by reducing the number of workers or stopping any further recruitment. That way, you put less strain on the available office supplies. Before getting rid of some workers, find out if the firm can do without their roles. If it's possible, give the person an early send off package. Without office supplies, the place can be quite chaotic. For example, failing to meet deadlines because there wasn't enough office supplies. However, if you are struggling with office supplies costs, you can use the mentioned strategies to lower them.