Collection of office stationery

Office supplies made easy

by Angus Jones
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Visiting an office supplies store is a bit like visiting Bunnings. You go in for a pen and you walk out with a pen, a new printer, and a chair mat. What you may not know is these stores can help small businesses with so many other services. This guide will show you these stores can be a one-stop-shop for many of your small business needs.

Office supplies are consumables and equipment regularly used in offices by businesses and other organisations, by individuals engaged in written communications, recordkeeping or bookkeeping, janitorial and cleaning, and for storage of supplies or data.

Wikipedia

WHY should I use an office supplies store?

Having the ability to buy a lot of the items you will need to set up or run your small business is an advantage as it will reduce the running around and ad-hoc nature of procuring items.  You will also find the major chains are competitive and offer some type of price matching or beating offer.

Opening a business account with one of these stores could offer the following additional advantages:
  • faster checkout – as your details are already in the system
  • view order history – easy to find something you liked before
  • manage shopping lists – reorder your most used items easily
  • credit account – a single invoice to pay with credit terms every x number of days

Considering an office supply company for some of your services may also reduce the number of vendors you need to deal with.

WHAT can I buy at an office supplies store?

You may be surprised by the breadth of products and services that can actually be available:

Staples
  • Stationary – pens, paper, scissors
  • Office Furniture – chairs desks storage cabinets
  • Bulk and specialised printing – business cards, brochures, posters, signs
  • Office supplies – diaries, financial books, laminators, paper, ink & toner
  • Cleaning supplies – toilet paper, detergent,
  • Kitchen supplies – coffee, bottled water, tissues
  • Office technology – Laptops, printers, monitors, Hard drives, software
  • Telecommunications – Smartphones, phone plans, cordless phones
  • Workplace safety – safety glasses, workwear, ear protection, signs
  • Office security – video surveillance, locks, safes
  • Moving supplies – boxes, tape, trolleys
Services
  • Technical support – help get your IT problems fixed
  • Business IT solutions – consulting on what you need
  • Software licensing – packaging software to suit the number of users
  • Safety solutions – consulting on your needs
  • Managed print services – See our guide on printing
  • Promotional products – giveaways with your logo printed on them
  • Parcel delivery – freight services you can use
  • Office fit-out solutions – consulting on office fit-outs
  • Furniture assembly – building flat-pack
  • Business financing – small business loans
  • Product Insurance – cover for devices like smartphones, Laptop, etc
  • Graphic design – logo design and layout services
  • Alcohol deliveries –  ready for Friday drinks
  • Milk and fruit delivery – perishables delivered to your door

HOW do I get office supplies?

Most organisations will allow you to

  1. Shop in-store
  2. Online orders
  3. Phone orders

For your online or phone orders you can click and collect or have the items delivered.

Delivery may even be the same day if you order before a certain time and some even offer free delivery when you spend over a price threshold.

Online orders also offer tracking so you can get a good indication if the item you desperately need is on its way.

If you require the services on offer such as one of the consulting services you will need to go instore to discuss or enquire online.

HINTS

Have some controls on how much can be spent and by whom otherwise you may find office supplies cost a bit more than expected.

A shared stationary cabinet stops each desk containing boxes of spare biros.

SUMMARY – One-stop small business shop

An office supplies store is so much more than a place to get a pen or some paper and can indeed become a trusted business advisor.  If nothing else it is a store that you can conveniently get most items needed to run a small business office.

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