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08/12/13

Saving The Small Business -- One Envelope And Paperclip At A Time

The lynchpin of the economic climate often points toward the success or failures of the small business. Those small businesses typically look for a plethora of cost-cutting measures as they typically don't sport the kind of budgets that their larger, Fortune 500 companies do, thus putting them at somewhat of a disadvantage.
One of the spots that is heavily analyzed is office supplies. Typically, office managers scurry from one web site to another in the hopes of finding the best "deal" on everything from an office chair to a simple, tablet-top desk calendar.
When every penny counts, someone is always counting on pricing that meets in the middle with superior customer service and on-time deliveries. So, which companies pack the most punch without knocking out an entire year's worth of office supply budget in just one order?
The answer is maybe a bit surprising as the would-be heavy hitters such as Office Max and Staples don't make this particular list. No, numbers 1 and 1a as far as being the total package in terms of office supply superstores are Office Depot and, surprisingly, Amazon.com.
The inclusion of Amazon.com perhaps shouldn't be all that stunning given the excellence and reputation exuded by the online-only brand. What may be shocking more so is that Amazon.com has a specific site just for office supplies, including printers and scanners. Amazon often reaps the benefits of a smarter consumer base who shops for particular products within a physical retail store, writes down what they want and then visit Amazon.com to get the best possible price.

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Office supplies certainly are no different in that respect than flat-screen TVs, DVDs or computers as far as Amazon.com is concerned. Not surprisingly, either, from Amazon.com is their penchant for only dealing in marquee brand names. Nothing sours the small business shopping experience than trying to find discounts in the form of lesser-known products.
The office temp or intern probably would rather have to fix a copy-machine jam on a Canon as opposed to a name no one has heard of before.
Those die-hard purchasers of pens and notebooks who would rather opt for an office-supply superstore that totally focuses on those products alone probably would be best served to visit Office Depot -- either a physical store or online. They're truly a remarkable warehouse-like office supply chain that spends its time, effort and money on creating an ordering portal that includes fast shipping and incredible low prices -- as opposed to fancy marketing campaigns and pricing that claims to be low but isn't nearly competitive enough.
Office Depot also isn't afraid to take their low-price mantra and adding even more of a discount or clearance. That certainly bodes well for the small business owner or manager and does wonders for their bottom line.

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