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Old 12th March 2007, 10:40 AM   #1
abba
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Default Any Advice On Office Supplies?

Hi I am Abba.

I work in advertising, and am constantly looking for great business ideas. I am currently looking into the world of office supplies, and was wondering whether any of you have any experience or ideas to share with me. what's good, what's bad, what you'd like more of?

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Old 12th March 2007, 10:58 AM   #2
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I'm not sure I understand... are you looking to start selling office supplies?

If so, depending on where in the world you are, that can be tough, as you'll potentially be competing against the likes of Staples, OfficeMax and (to an extent) warehouse clubs and discount retailers (WalMart, Target) who also carry office supplies. (Substitute the names of the big office supply houses in your locale as appropriate. ) It's going to be tough to go up against these "big boys" in terms of selection or price.

Your best bet would probably be to find some kind of specialty products that have sufficient demand to make it worth the while of a smaller company, but that the "big boys" don't find profitable enough to stock.

An example would be some of the places that carry specialty papers (like PaperDirect, for instance). In some cases, they've even ended up supplying a some of their more "mainstream" products to the superstores while keeping most of their product line for themselves. In most cases, though, they simply position themselves to address a niche market the big-box stores can't profitably reach.

My $0.02

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Old 12th March 2007, 11:09 AM   #3
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You might want to check out
http://www.iteminfo.com/faq.asp

The site doesn't sell office supplies, but provides info including products/mfg for independent office supply stores.

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Old 12th March 2007, 04:02 PM   #4
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Hello Abba

welcome to the forum.

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Old 12th March 2007, 05:37 PM   #5
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Hi There Abba

Welcome to the forum. My parents had their own small office supply store growing up. I agree with Torka, their store was wiped out by Office Max and Office Depot and those stores were not even in the same town. Specializing in a certain something in the office supply area is a good idea. Good luck to you and please let us know how it is going.

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Old 13th March 2007, 03:37 AM   #6
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Maybe not having a store front, but an online office supply may not be a bad idea. Even keeping records of a clients supply uses and needs so you can keep them stocked without them even having to order. Would save them time and money, and the data base wouldnt be hard to figure out and make it allmost totally automated.

There just thought of a new business for you.

Seriously, welcome to the forum.

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Old 13th March 2007, 12:04 PM   #7
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In my local (small town) area there is an independent office supply store that has been in business for 20+ years. Back 15 years ago, it was the only local place to get many office supplies including stuff like boxes of copy paper. Today there is now an Office Max in the local area. Although the independent store remains open, looking at the newspapers best of list "Office Max" tops the list with the independent second and a Target as third. Based on my experiences, there are things an independent can do that a big box won't. For example, sending a rep physically into the office every week or two based on buying habits and then delivering the box of copy paper so its hassle free. At the same time, price is a factor and is the niche market big enough to stay in business. I wouldn't expect the general consumer/customer to prefer you over the big box, and maybe not the offices either unless you give them a competitive offer and a very good reason.

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Old 14th March 2007, 05:57 PM   #8
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Hi Abba,

to the Forum..Hope that you get some ideas here, regarding your problem..

Enjoy and have fun..

Good Luck Girl!!!

Ann

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Old 15th March 2007, 04:05 AM   #9
DBeavers
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Default Don't overlook the fact...

Quote:
Originally Posted by abba View Post
Hi I am Abba.

I work in advertising, and am constantly looking for great business ideas. I am currently looking into the world of office supplies, and was wondering whether any of you have any experience or ideas to share with me. what's good, what's bad, what you'd like more of?
that in addition to the big box office suppliers as well as independents in your market, you'll also be competing with OfficeMax.com, Staples.com, Viking.com (now part of Office Depot), Reliable Office Products, and all the other online and mail order companies that dominate the industry.

A lot of the big ticket sales, electronics and office furniture don't allow the large markup that many may expect.

Take all that into consideration, and you might want to investigate a combination of advertising and business-to-business sales that can fit right in to many of the same clients. Promotional advertising has many of the aspects of what you are looking for, including volume orders and high repeat orders.

Add in customer loyalty and you can build a great business with just a small number of regulat clients.

Every business from "Mom & Pops" to Fortune 500 corporations rely on promotional advertising (or ad speciatlies as it was known in your father's day) to achieve many different marketing and advertising purposes. It is particularly well suited to targeting niche markets and existing customers.

I've been selling promos full-time in my home-based business since '87, and have been affiliated with Kaeser & Blair for the past 13 years. They are a 113-year-old, national leader in the industry, with sales exceeding $75 Million annually. No one company dominates even 5% of this $18 Billion market in the U.S., so it can be relatively easy for a newcomer to capture a worthwhile amount of business either online or off.

Please visit my website, if you would like more info on the no-cost dealership from K & B.

Dennis Bevers
BASSCO, Inc.

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