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5 ways small businesses can save time and money buying supplies

With a shopping experience tailored to businesses and features that make buying more efficient, you can spend less time stocking your business and more time serving your customers.

When you started your business, you set out to take an opportunity from vision to reality. More than likely, your vision didn’t include spending hours a week buying supplies and managing inventory. But, for many small business owners, keeping a business stocked takes precious time and energy away from serving their customers.


A 2019 study showed that 94 per cent of business owners surveyed who buy supplies at brick-and-mortar stores spend up to ten hours a week on shopping trips and managing receipts.1


Buying supplies doesn’t have to be so time consuming. Amazon Business saves small businesses time and money by combining the convenient shopping experience of Amazon with a host of free features that make it easier to buy for your business.


Here are five ways you can make purchasing more efficient for your small business with a free Amazon Business account.


1. Keep your home and work purchasing separate

Many of the small business owners we talk to are already using Amazon.com to buy for home. Wanting the same benefits—like fast, free shipping—many business buyers use their personal Amazon account to buy for work. This can seem like a simple option, especially if you are a sole proprietor, until i t’s time to separate your expenses, with taxes for example. Bookkeeping and tax write-offs can get tricky when you mix business purchases with personal ones.

A free Amazon Business account lets you keep your work and personal purchases separate so you can have a clear picture of what you’re actually spending on your business. You can easily switch between your Amazon and Amazon Business accounts on your desktop or mobile app. And when tax time comes, or when it’s time to reconcile your books, you’ll save time by having your work purchases all in one place.


2. Shop suppliers with business-only selection and pricing


To keep your business running you need the right supplies, and you need to minimize costs. But you don’t have time to shop multiple locations, compare products, and negotiate prices. Amazon Businesses simplifies buying by bringing together in one location hundreds of thousands of sellers who offer products across multiple categories tailored to businesses.


When you shop through Amazon Business, you get access to business-only selection and pricing that you don’t get on Amazon.com. Quantity Discounts start at just two units on select products. If you don’t see a quantity discount for an item you need, you can request one from multiple suppliers. Business Prime, a membership designed for businesses and only available on Amazon Business, unlocks more savings through Progressive Discounts—tiered savings on the items you buy the most.2


To get your business stocked up, a good place to start is with our Business Plus selection—pre-selected products across common categories for businesses. These products have 4+ Star Ratings from business buyers like you, with business-only prices on select items. Find what you need all in one place for your:

  • Breakroom, like beverages, snacks, paper products, and first aid supplies
  • Office, like paper, electronics, office and mail supplies
  • IT peripherals, like monitors, computer accessories, and point-of-sale
  • Janitorial and sanitation, like cleaning tools and products, restroom fixtures and supplies
  • Maintenance, repair, and operations, like electric, heating, lighting, hand tools, and hardware


Also find hundreds of millions of products for your unique type of business, whether you run a restaurant, auto shop, salon, daycare, medical or dental office, lab, nursery, pet store, or any other business.


Small businesses can also cut costs on shipping and delivery. All orders of $25 or more of eligible items qualify for free shipping, and when you sign up for Recurring Delivery on eligible items, you can save up to 10 per cent. Business Prime members get unlimited free two-day, one-day, or same-day shipping on over 100 million eligible items.


3. Automate your shopping, ordering, and delivery


As your business expands, your supply needs increase and become more complex. Having a process you can automate across shopping, ordering, and delivery can help you better manage your growth.


While you’re shopping, our machine-learning technology powers intelligent search to give you personalized recommendations to cut down the time it takes to find what you’re looking for.


When it’s time to order, tap into tools that let you set it and forget it. Similar to Subscribe and Save on Amazon, Recurring Delivery is available through Amazon Business on eligible items. Set up your order once for automatic delivery, eliminating stock-outs and reducing last minute trips to the store. Or, create Reorder Lists in your account so you can reorder multiple items with just a few clicks rather than spend time searching through your order history.


4. Adjust to the needs of your business


Your business is unique, so you’ll be more efficient if the way you shop, your delivery schedule, and your payment methods are tailored to your needs.


If your work frequently takes you away from your desk, ordering supplies through your mobile device will keep you working while you’re on the go. With the Amazon mobile app you can buy from Amazon Business from wherever you are, get notifications on your device when your order is shipped, and approve orders placed by your team members, all from the palm of your hand.


If your business has unique hours, you can set up shipping and delivery options that are convenient for you. You can also consolidate your orders into fewer deliveries to save even more time. You can set your business hours and holiday schedule on your Amazon Business account and add delivery instructions to help drivers get your supplies to the right place.


If your business needs to maximize cash flow, or if you need to share payment methods across your team, Amazon Business offers flexible payment options like

Pay by Invoice with extended terms for Business Prime members (subject to approval). You can share your existing purchasing cards with any team member on your account. And, for tax-exempt purchases, eligible organizations can enroll in the Amazon Tax Exemption Program.


5. Evaluate your spending


Billion-dollar companies have whole departments dedicated to watching over spending and finding opportunities to save money. But small businesses typically don’t have those resources.   


Fortunately, spend analysis solutions are now accessible to small businesses. Amazon Business Analytics automatically pulls in spend data to populate canned or custom reports. You can save time and identify savings opportunities with out-of-the-box reports and dashboards.


When it’s time to reconcile your accounts, you can save time by having Amazon Business send enhanced, line-item transaction data directly to your reconciliation system or purchasing card providers to help you quickly identify any discrepancies.

When you spend less time and money buying supplies, your business can grow faster. The free benefits available with an Amazon Business account help you stay flexible and move your business forward.


Learn more about how Amazon Business works for small businesses

How a rural brewery owner gets more time to focus on his passion

Located in the small mountain resort town of Red River, New Mexico, Red River Brewing Company was established in 2018 by Michael and Sharon Calhoun. Though it’s three and half hours from the nearest major city, during peak seasons, Red River Brewing Company will have more than one thousand guests eat, drink, and enjoy live music on a single day.

With his busy schedule, Michael Calhoun looks to keep the number of suppliers to a minimum to streamline operations. Red River Brewing Company consolidates purchasing with Amazon Business. They buy across 17 product categories such as office & IT supplies, point of sale, shelf-stable goods, and brewing system supplies. They also leverage mobile ordering, allowing them to place orders in real-time, on the floor, without having to be in front of a computer.

“What we like most about Amazon Business is the ability to find almost everything we need to run this company in one place,” says Michael. “It’s difficult for businesses in Red River to get what they need efficiently, given we’re a few hours from the city. With features such as Business Prime and Reorder Lists, I just keep a list of my commonly purchased items, and in a push of a button anywhere on site, I’m restocked in 2 days without spending hours leafing through catalogues, or worse, driving to and from Albuquerque. I also use the Business Analytics tool to quickly pull spend reports and reconcile my credit card transactions. As an engineer, this efficiency is what attracts me to Amazon Business.”

And with this efficiency, Michael gets to spend more time focused on his passion: providing Red River Brewing Company guests with a great experience, every time.

Read the rest of the story

People eating at a large brewery that has many windows and made of natural elements like wood.

1. Agile Marketing Research, 2019

2+ Offer available on eligible items

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