When you're running your business on a shoestring you need every dollar. Here are two sites for office essentials.
Through their size, large businesses are able to attract better pricing than small businesses as they tend to order in much larger quantities. That means small businesses should be able to get the same sorts of pricing if they're able to band together and form a buying bloc.
Group buying sites like LivingSocial generated a lot of attention and sales last year, but there are also sites catering for small businesses.
SME Savings offers its members buying power of $25 million. There are discounts advertised for small-to-medium businesses on essentials like paper, stationery, fuel, banking products, technology and training. The free service functions under the idea that bigger buying power secures better prices. By registering, SMEs are promised they can save as much as 50% with any of SME Savings' suppliers.
SME Savings has over 400 members and a number of big name suppliers on board such as Officeworks, the Commonwealth Bank and BP. There aren't joining fees, ongoing fees or obligations so you can sign up, try it and decice whether the service works for you.
PowerBuy takes a different approach. They provide a one-stop shop for discount vouchers and rebates for products. By signing up and becoming a subscriber - if you use the free service you get three discounts per year with $149 giving unlimited access - you receive offers via email.
PowerBuy charges companies a small fee to offer products to you. They see themselves as a broker that provides a number of different offers for you to choose from. If you receive a discount voucher you receive that discount at the time you make your purchase. With rebates, you need to submit your receipt to PowerBuy - you can do this online rather than snail mail - and receive the rebate straight into your bank account or as a cheque.