Shopping for office furniture can be confusing process for a small business owner. Having never shopped for office furniture, many people will either go to big office supply stores or to the first office furniture store they find on Google. This can lead to two common mistakes. Either a business owner will buy disposable office that will not serve the business needs, or will spend too much on furniture that is more than the business needs (like buying a BMW, when you needed a pickup truck). These mistakes cost the business time, efficiency and money in using and replacing inadequate furniture as well as valuable capital that could be used to grow the business.
The first step in successfully outfitting a new office, or upgrading an existing office space is assessing the needs and budget for the space. This is relatively simple process: just ask yourself how many people are working in the space, what will those people be doing, and how much are you willing to spend in order to create an efficient working space.
Here is an example of how this can work . Your business is moving into a larger warehouse/office space and you need to provide workspace for two workers responsible for shipping and receiving. First determine how much workspace is needed. Will they be doing most of their work on a computer or is most of the work paperwork? The more paperwork an employee is doing the more workspace and file space they will require. If the employee is primarily working on a computer they will need adequate wire management.
Warehouse and backrooms are great places to save money on furniture. A new and used office furniture store can provide a commercial quality steel desk for $99 that will last 50 years, and a two drawer vertical file cabinet to match for $49. You have now spent $300 on two workstations and can used your remaining budget for quality chairs. A good used chair can be purchased for $59 or an new ergonomic task chair can be purchased for around $200. By saving money in the less seen areas such as warehousing and backrooms, you are able to spend money portraying a success image in the most visible places such as reception and conference areas.
After you have asked yourself these questions and assessed the needs and budget for the space, the next step is choosing a vendor. In choosing an office furniture vendor there are several important factors to consider. Is the vendor able to provide both new and used solutions for your office furniture? Do they offer refurbishing? Does the vendor deal with cubicles, chairs files and casegoods? What is their reputation? can they show you past projects and provide references? How well do the sales people know the furniture? What brands of furniture does the vendor carry? Do they offer their own delivery and installation services? Will they be able to provide you the furniture in your time frame?
A vendor that provides both new and used solutions will be able to offer you money saving options on all types of office furniture. Buying a new cubicle can cost anywhere from two to five thousand dollars and take five weeks to arrive. A used cubicles will typically cost anywhere from four hundred dollars to a thousand dollars and be installed within a week. A vendor that provides refurbishing can spruce up used products by reholstering, painting or creating new worksurfaces. By using a vendor that sells chairs, files, cubicles and casegoods you can not only leverage your buying powers, but also have one single vendor responsible for all of you furniture. This creates less problems and shipping and installation coordination.
The reputation of the vendor and the ability to deal with a someone you trust is one of the most important factors in the decision making process. Sometimes a company can save a few dollars by going with a vendor who doesn’t have a showroom or is brokeing furniture. However, if an issue arises it is important to have a vendor that will stand behind their work and protect their reputation.