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Issue 001 2009
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Penny-Pinching in Business One Key to Success

Whether you run a business from your home office or you're company fills an entire building, making sure you have all the necessary office supplies can eat up quite a bit of the budget. The usual furniture and equipment such as desks, tables, chairs, computers, printers and coffee makers is just the tip of the iceberg when considering the total operating costs. The office supplies that get consumed quickly every day like paper, inkjet cartridge, pencils and ink refill , for example, will simply drain the budget if you're not paying attention. The following ideas are just a sample of steps office administrators can take in order to run the office in a more cost effective manner.

In the current economic climate, it is important to convey both a streamlined and professional image. Before running out to make purchases, evaluate what major pieces the office will need first. The type of business you're in will largely dictate what you'll need. For example, if clients do not visit the office space, then you can save money by adopting a no-nonsense look and get affordable furniture and equipment that is totally functional, although not necessarily stylish. On the other hand, if you meet with clients regularly in the office, then a bit more of the budget may go toward arranging and decorating the waiting area and conference room in a professional and impressive manner.

One option to cut corners is to find somewhat cheap, new furniture that serves its purpose while looking halfway decent. Alternatively, it may be worth a little extra effort to search for higher quality furniture that is gently used at discount prices. One advantage of this is appearing to be a successful, established company that has money to spare. In order to find quality furniture at reduced prices, a trip to the thrift store is often a great first stop. The usual office basics such as desks, filing cabinets, and book shelves are to be had at a fraction of retail prices. Although there is the possibility that some of the furniture you find at thrift stores may look a bit dated, you should be able to find some well-built pieces that have some classic lines. Use a little elbow grease and creativity to repair, sand and paint furniture to update the look. Affordable office furniture also can be found at liquidation sales held by furniture stores, office supply stores and corporate furniture rental companies.

Paper, toner, pens, staples and all those other necessary items can eat up all your profits if you are not sensible. Just like going to the grocery store, the simplest way to save pennies on office supplies is by comparison shopping. See if you can negotiate better deals by buying all your supplies with one company or having the suppliers bid for your business. If you can afford to do it, buying in bulk is probably the best way to make sure you pay the best price per item. For example, buying paper by the case, will always be a better value than purchasing individual reams. Every cent saved on a pen or paper clip will really add up to enhance the bottom line, so don't be wasteful when it comes to office supplies

By: Connor Sullivan

                      USING LOANS TO START A BUSINESS

To start a business, it is a lot easier if you have money in the first place to invest. However, not everyone has enough money to kick-start a company and hence, loans to start a business are available to individuals with a vision.

Loans to start a business can be found in multiple places. Most often, these loans are made from close family members and friends, due to low, if any, interest rates. In some cases, it may even be a monetary gift from them. This is usually an easy source of loans to begin a company as, in most cases, family will listen and accept your ideas and visions already.

However, not everyone is fortunate enough to have wealthy family members and friends and a source from outside is necessary. This source is primarily divided into three: advance credit, loans from a bank, or sponsorship.

Assuming that you have a great credit record, it is more than likely that you can be approved for advanced credit. However, credit should not be your entire loans to start a business, and should mostly be used for emergency purposes. It is more preferable to use it with a combination of loans from the bank. Banks are more than willing to give out loans for you to start your company, as more and more people are proving that individuals are capable of starting small businesses. Of course, a well-made application and business plan is necessary for approval.

Sponsorship is also an option as there are hundreds of foundations and corporations out there looking to develop new entrepreneurs in multiple industries. Depending on where you live, the generosity of sponsors can vary, but nonetheless, they are there to loan you the money to start your business.

It is best if you start a business straight from your savings, as loans are not always the best way to go and one can potentially fall into the trap of borrowing and borrowing again and again. Regardless, if loans to start a business are necessary for a successful vision, there are many options out there.

By: Mattew Rawlins

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