If you’re renting space from the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), you’ll be provided with office furniture, office supplies, copiers, conference rooms, Wi-Fi, and other necessary office tools. If you’re graduating from ATI, or you’re looking for office space on your own, you’ll need to obtain office furniture as well as office supplies.
ATI Trusted Partners
When exiting ATI, companies are referred to the “Trusted Partners” list for recommended office furniture and office supply companies. However, you may want to explore multiple options and compare prices.
Top Office Supply Stores
If you decide not to use a provider on ATI’s Trusted Partners list, the obvious choice is to go with one of the major office supply retailers. Many of the top retailers of office supplies (e.g. Staples, OfficeMax, Office Depot) offers savings/rewards cards which give you percentage discounts or points toward free supplies for large expenditures at these stores.
Online Office Supply Stores
Most online office supply stores will give you free shipping on large purchases. Supplies at these stores can be cheaper than in-store purchases, since online stores can avoid the cost of store displays, shelf-space, and cashiers. We’ve used CPI Office Products in the past and are comfortable recommending them. They send you a catalog from which you can browse for office supplies before purchasing them online.
You can buy low cost basic office supplies (pens, pencils, paperclips, etc.) at warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s. However, their selection is limited in comparison to office supply stores; and finding special or peripheral office supplies at warehouse stores could be difficult.
You can get electronics in-store or online from a number of places. We recommend purchasing electronics online from sites like NeweggBusiness.com, which gives you business discounts and make it very easy for you to purchase electronics for your business. Newegg features reviews and comparisons on all sorts of office electronics from computer servers to desk lamps.
If you are wary about buying something as important as a server, PC, or laptop from a reseller, you can buy directly from the manufacturer and avoid any warranty conflicts. Here are some top place to look: HP.com, Apple.com, or Dell.com. If you’d rather have a first-hand experience with a computer or other electronics, then a bricks-and-mortar retail store is your best bet; try Best Buy, Radio Shack, an Apple Store, or other local electronics stores.
If you want information specifically on purchasing office computers, check out How to Select the Best Small Business Computer.