1. Look for rebates on basic office supplies. Check sales circulars for special offers and rebates on items you will use all the time.
2. Sign up for customer loyalty programs at office supply stores. Many offer bonus points for initial purchases, and you will receive specials and coupons because you are a member.
3. Ask friends and family if they have any desks, chairs, bookcases, etc. they are replacing- tell them you will be glad to take any items they don't want. This can get your office furnished as you are starting out.
4. Garage sales can yield very inexpensive items such as bulletin boards, file boxes, desk organizers, and storage crates.
5. Search the internet for low cost business cards and promotional items. Vista Print is a popular choice offering free business cards- you pay only shipping. http://www.vistaprint.com
6. Online auction sites are great resources for deals on items such as shipping supplies and ink cartridges.
7. Sign up for a 6 month no interest credit card to get you started with inventory and supplies- just make sure you have a plan in place to pay off the balance in full before the no interest period ends.
8. Check with different banks and credit unions to see which offers the best deal for checking accounts and various banking services.
9. Don't overlook the obvious- dollar stores are great resources for pens, pencils, notepads and calendars.
10. Search for websites offering free or low cost advertising to get your company name out there.
Remember, as your business grows, so will your budget! You can always upgrade furnishings later. Focus first on keeping your space functional and organized so that looking for things doesn't take time away from the most important task in building your business- working on income producing activities.
By Paige Pate Hall
Image by Newphotoservice