Question: What is one resource or tip for finding suppliers for furniture, stationery, retail items, etc. that you need to run your business?
"We were really cash-strapped in the beginning (although we're still frugal), so we bought IKEA furniture to outfit our office and assembled it all ourselves. We created our letterhead in Google Docs and purchased what we needed from Amazon with two-day delivery on a weekly basis. We also have a contract with a local office supplier for things like copy paper and printer service."
"We have a loose definition of "supplier." Whether my company needs to stock up on basic materials or we're looking for new furniture for a new employee, Craigslist is the way to go. Sometimes startups start scaling, and they need to offload "lower-quality" products. Other times, businesses that are struggling need to generate cash and slim down. As a scrappy startup, take advantage of both situations!"
Look for Office Liquidations
"So many businesses fail, get downsized or relocate. Befriend industry insiders and real estate brokers in your area, and take advantage when a company has to liquidate its office furniture. You can get big savings and end up with a more modern and high-end aesthetic than you couldn't have afforded otherwise."
Meubles Beverly Hills and Online Marketplaces
"Apart from offering you free shipping nationwide, Meubles Beverly Hills is a wholesaler, meaning your office furniture will be less expensive than retail. As for office supplies, it depends on what your style is. If you're looking for something different, head straight to Etsy. For competitive pricing, marketplaces like Aliexpress and Amazon do the trick, since various vendors sell the same thing and undercut each other."
Buy in Bulk
"There are really only two places I purchase stuff for the office -- Amazon and Sam's Club. The nice thing about Sam's Club is that I can buy in bulk and save money. In addition, Sam's Club sells pretty much all of the business supplies I need, including printer paper, pens, tablets, post-it notes and highlighters. It also sells furniture and discount computers and printers."
Rent a Truck
"I always stress that you must keep costs at an absolute minimum and drive revenue when starting a new business. With that being said, get a truck, drive to IKEA and load up on all of the basic necessities for the office. IKEA is cheap, easy to put together and has a variety of modern furniture that will fit everyone's tastes."
Get a Virtual Assistant to Do It
"Make a list of everything you need, set a budget and assign your VA to source what you need and order it. In the past, I've had a VA create Amazon subscriptions for office products and it was great. If you'd rather stick with other sites like Craigslist, etc., then that's fine -- but you don't need to slog through tons of different possible deals if it's easy for someone else to set up."