A good stock of office supplies is key to the smooth-running of a business. Being able to always print out documents, send faxes and prepare for presentations and meetings is crucial to any business's operations.

If you're a start-up business, high on your list of priorities will be making a good impression to new and potential customers. As well as impressing your employees through effective communication.

Proper management of your consumables is a great way to achieve this. It'll mean you can print those all-important invoices to ensure you get paid on time and ensure you never miss a deadline.

This blog suggests a few simple steps you can take to buy in and look after paper, ink and toner for the office.

Buying supplies for the office

Draw up a supplies list

As a starting point, assess what your day-to-day operations will be and take it from there. How many documents a week do you estimate you'll need to print?

Will you be using a lot of colour – say marketing materials, newsletters, designs and graphics?

Working this out will help you to decide what levels of ink, toner and paper you'll need for the office.

Buy in bulk

Draw up a supplies list

Buying in bulk makes financial sense. Once armed with what levels of consumables you'll need you'll also be in a much better position to compare prices.

Most companies offer bulk discounts, but it's important to shop around too. You might find some firms will throw in some little extras in their bundles too.

Once you've been up and running a few months think about putting a regular order system in place with your supplier – this will ensure you get prompt deliveries each month without the need to place new orders and complete paperwork.

Sort some space out

Where will you put all your paper, ink cartridges and toner? Under the desks? Never a good idea. For one thing, and for another, it'll clutter up the office, which won't be good for productivity.

A stationery cupboard is the best idea, failing that, place them in the server room or in the corner of an office.

Keep an eye on stock levels

It's Friday afternoon, you're getting set for the weekend. You just need to print these last few documents out. Thing is, you can't. because you've run out of ink or paper. Or both.

Avoid this office nightmare by keeping a check on your stock levels. Ink cartridges getting low? Paper looking a little thin? Get some more in straightaway to avoid problems further down the line.

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