As you grow your business you’ll need to start buying supplies at a faster and faster rate. Buying supplies once per month turns into once per week, then twice per week!
You’ll need trash bags in several sizes, different types of toilet tissue and paper goods like c-fold towels to name just a few. Keeping the different products in stock can be an adventure.
When I was new I always looked for the cheapest price, but that had me going from store to store. Before long I was visiting five or six places to get everything. While there is nothing technically wrong with that, I wanted to focus more on marketing my services and less on driving around purchasing supplies.
So I experimented with having a “primary vendor” for my company. The goal for me was to try to order most everything from one distributor. The upside was that it would save me time driving around gathering supplies. The downside is that it can cost more on the whole because no one company has the cheapest supplies across the board.
But for me the greater good was spending more time spreading the gospel that I owned a cleaning business. What it cost me in increased supplies costs would be completely offset by the added revenue my marketing efforts created. For the record, my plan worked just fine.
Staples Advantage as my primary vendor
What I do every once in a while however is look for a new primary vendor. I’m always on the lookout for an easier and hopefully cheaper way to purchase supplies. Lately I started looking at Staples Advantage to be my main vendor. After some homework, I made the switch.
In case you didn’t know, Staples sells a lot of the products we need in the cleaning industry. Many times if I was in a pinch I would stop in and buy some c-fold towels or trash liners. But the convenience of that is pricey, as you really are paying “retail prices”. No real deals to be had buying at the stores themselves.
You can however get much better pricing via Staples Advantage. In a nutshell this program is designed to provide “wholesale prices” to companies that need products in bulk or resell them to third parties. As a cleaning business we do both, so it makes for a good fit in theory.
I had a salesman reach out to me a few months back and he kept hounding me. Though I didn’t sign up right away, he kept in touch just enough to let me know he was there in case I changed my mind. His persistence paid off this past week as I made my first order.
While it’s hard to compare apples to apples when compiling prices, it looks good enough on the surface to give it a try. I plan on ordering a selection of products to see how I like quality of the items. The first batch seemed fine except for the paper towels. I’ll try another brand of towels next time.
What I like is that they deliver right to your door for free. No delivery charges at all. I don’t know if that is true nation wide, but it is for me here in New Jersey. Another benefit is that they will deliver supplies to home-based businesses. That’s nice because some suppliers use big trucks that can’t come to residential neighborhoods. Staples Advantage had a smaller box truck for my delivery.
Down the road I’ll touch on this program again, so be prepared for another post on this topic in the near future. For now I really just want to do a little more experimentation with some different brands to see how much I like it. So far so good, but we’ll see if this holds up over the long haul.
If you want to learn more simply check out the Staples Advantage website. If you inquire they will probably have a salesperson contact you to follow-up pretty quickly. Be prepared with whatever questions you may have and see if it’s a good fit for your situation. If you like it give it a try, if not just keep doing what you are doing. Either way you’ll learn something new!
Like this post? Then subscribe to my RSS feed. Looking for a step by step blueprint showing you how to start your own cleaning business? Check out my Cleaning Business Training Courses. Looking for more cleaning contracts and revenue? Check out my Cleaning Flyers Value Pack. Want to learn how to make money Stripping & Waxing VCT Floors? Check out my VCT Training Course. Need a great website? Take a look at my Cleaning Business Website Packages.