Five Things to Know Before You Buy Office Furniture for Your Startup
Updated: Sep 1, 2021
Even startups have to purchase office furniture eventually. You may have to consider it if you want to expand, move from your garage to an official office, or establish your identity. Buying furniture is pretty significant, though. You need to know a few things before even heading out to the nearest store.
Your advantage over people who scoured various furniture shops for selections is that you can do your research primarily online. Most sellers now have websites where they showcase their items. Some sites only post pictures to gain your attention, while others include the prices. Sellers that have delivery or pickup may also allow you to purchase the items online.
If you must bring down the number of things to know to five, here is what you should focus on:
1. Cost versus budget
Being a startup is hard enough. So, you must make sure your budget is utilized the right way at all times. Set a ceiling price for your total furniture cost. After establishing your budget, scout the prices of furniture pieces at the most reputable and nearest shops. While you may find an inexpensive item from another state, are you willing to shoulder the shipping and handling costs? Of course not. It is best to find affordable things well within reach. The price should represent the furniture only and not the shipping costs so that you can get a chance to purchase something of higher quality.
However, you must learn to distinguish between affordable and cheap. An item can be inexpensive but still of good quality. Buying it is wise because it can last even with the small amount of money you invested in it. On the other hand, sometimes a cheap product costs less because it is of poor quality. It is better to buy the more expensive furniture piece rather than an inexpensive item that needs to be replaced not too long after purchase.
2. Comfort versus style
Comfort features add cost to any product. Style does the same thing. However, looking at the two side-by-side, which can you not do without?
Style is easy to see. You check the website and browse the pages. Some of the products will pop without even trying much. It may be the colors, or it may be the form. However, you must look at these furniture pieces more closely. Yes, they will certainly improve the aesthetics of your office space, but will they be comfortable?
For comfort, you must consider your employees. Which items will they find comfortable in the space that they are given? Bring along some of your employees to test the furniture if you must. If the pieces are for them, why not give them a chance to try if the shop allows it?
3. Office need
This consideration might be the first thing you seek to understand. Do you even need the furniture pieces you are planning to buy?
If you are starting from scratch, you don’t really have a choice. You must buy furniture. However, you don’t have to purchase all the pieces in the showroom. Yes, you may need desks and chairs for every employee. However, do you need a curio or buffet cabinet? If you are a startup, you may want to stick to the most fundamental pieces before considering decorative ones.
4. Functionality and flexibility
As mentioned in the previous point, you must focus on fundamental furniture pieces. Once you have decided on each item’s necessity in your office, address its functionality.
What is the furniture for? Can it possibly be multifunctional in the office? Does it have the potential to be replaced in the near future? For example, if you buy filing cabinets, will you still need them if you go completely digital? If you think the cabinets can be used for other functions once all your files have become digital, you may still want to buy them.
Finding functional furniture is a must. Why buy pieces that you won’t use, anyway? Finding flexible and multifunctional furniture is a bonus, especially if you are maintaining a minimalist office. If you are not sure how a furniture piece works, do not hesitate to ask the seller for more information.
5. Brand identity
You may have found products that are affordable, multifunctional, flexible, comfortable, stylish, and necessary. It sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it can be. However, it is also possible once you take your time to conduct your research and ask critical questions at the store.
Back up a bit, though. Yes, your furniture pieces have all the above features, but do they represent your brand? For example, you may have found multifunctional furniture that uses traditional products, such as wood. It has all the characteristics you have been looking for, except that it does not jive well with your technology-focused business. You may then have to look elsewhere. Perhaps you can find a furniture store with a section that focuses on trendy, metal furniture that can go well with your minimalist and high-technology themes. While surveying that section, you can start looking at pieces that go well with your other considerations.
Brand identity is essential. You cannot skip it. You must even go through some self-examination to find designs that suit your company. Clients should come to your office and immediately “read” what you are about. The consistency of your brand can help you attract the right kinds of clients.
It goes without saying that before you purchase anything at all, make sure you have done your research. You should know what you want and need, and see if there can be a balance between. Even if you have an eye for the most stylish pieces, you might have to limit your choices with a budget. Your employees can also help you decide on the furniture. After all, they will also be using them at work. The suitable types of furniture can help boost productivity while also keeping a haven for your employees. You want them to be happy with their surroundings. Content employees can be more convincing as salespeople, customer service help, or negotiators. A good piece of furniture can do that.
There may be other facts that you can add to the list of things you need to know before purchasing furniture. However, the five above are those that you cannot skip. Get more tips from Planwell Strategies to help your company with its organization and operations.