Even if you start your business at home, there will come a time when you need to upgrade to better equipment and maybe even a bigger office. When you are expanding your business, consider the needs of yourself and your employees. What kind of furniture will they need to be able to work comfortably, yet productively? How much room will you have in the new office?
Since office furniture and upgraded equipment can be costly, here are some tips for saving money:
Look for refurbished equipment – Just because the box might have been open before, or the equipment may have been tested in some sort of setting, doesn’t mean that it’s not still new. It will be new to you at least. Refurbished products are fairly cheaper than “brand new still in original box” items. According to ConsumerReports.org, only a “small number (5%) of refurbished electronics turn out to be effective”.
Sell your current equipment – If you need to upgrade or invest in newer products, sell the ones you currently have. Don’t think that just because some of the items may be a bit outdated that they’re not worth anything. Another small business owner out there may need them. If you want to sell used printers, do a bit of research to find out how much your brand and type of printer is going for. Factors that may affect the price include brand, print speed, whether it’s an all-in-one, what kind of cartridge or printing supplies it requires, and whether it’s inkjet or laser. Selling equipment that you already have but don’t need will help you finance newer equipment that you do need.
Look for discounts on phased out office furniture – Not all “used” office furniture is “bad” or “worn out”. You might be able to get good deals on furniture from companies that are downsize, moving, or closing. Perhaps a certain brand of office chairs or desks is focusing on a newer line. Since the older line is no longer “in style”, it may be available for a lot cheaper, even though it’s still in excellent condition.
Consider the number of employees – If multiple employees share similar functions and work on the same tasks, you might be able to save money on a large desk or shared workstation as opposed to buying separate workstations.
Don’t be afraid to buy generic – A lot of generic office supplies are just as good as name brands, and they cost a lot less. You can find plenty of inexpensive copy paper, sticky notes, paper clips, staplers, pens, and more at your local office or dollar store. Be on the lookout for unbranded office furniture as well.
Consider investing in a package deal – These deals require you to purchase a few items together. If you need a table, filing cabinet and chair anyway, you might be able to save more money if you buy them as part of a package rather than separately.
Look for shipping discounts – While you can often find the best deals online, there is still shipping and handling to consider. Make sure the TOTAL cost of the furniture or equipment will still be cheaper than buying locally. Keep an eye open for online office promo codes and e-coupons.
Renting office equipment – If you are having trouble finding a deal on the equipment and furniture you need, perhaps you might be better off simply renting some. Stores like JJ Bender make it easy and affordable to rent high-end office equipment – especially printers and copiers. Also, if your business is located in an urban area, there may be some furnished or serviced offices available to rent.
The most important consideration for buying office furniture should not be money – it should be quality. Ergonomics is extremely important. If you want your employees to work, you must provide them with a comfortable environment in which to do so. You will save more money in the long run when investing in quality. This Office Depot blog post explains the importance of ergonomic furniture.