When you first start out in business you will need to watch every penny you spend because you simply won’t have significant cash flow for at least your first couple of months.
Unless of course you’re very fortunate, but hope isn’t a a business plan, as they say.
So for the average business person, it’s a good idea to keep your office furnishing costs down to the bare minimum.
Let’s look at some ways to do that to create an office space without spending a fortune.
Secondhand Office Furniture
That new desk you just spent $500 on becomes secondhand the split second you sit down at it.
The same goes for your chair, filing cabinet, storage shelves, etc, etc.
So there’s no reason to focus only on new home office furniture when secondhand furniture will do the job perfectly well.
The best places to find used office furniture are thrift stores, garage sales comma, and then all the usual online places like Craigslist are Facebook Marketplace.
One of my favorite places to find used office furniture are call centers and office buildings. A quick email to their facility managers is usually all it takes to find out if they are about to dispose of any office equipment, including desks and chairs. I’ve seen office desks and chairs worth hundreds of dollars each thrown into dumpsters.
Sometimes it’s because they might have a stain on them or a small tear in the fabric. But the other main reason this happens is because the company is simply upgrading their decor and binning all their old furniture.
So, you’ll often find that the only difference between the new furniture you were considering buying and the second-hand furniture in front of you is maybe nothing more than a few scratch marks.
What tends to worry business owners or entrepreneurs about buying used office furniture is they think it’s going to look cheap and dilapidated.
The truth is typically the exact opposite.
Bulk Buy With Buddies
You also have the option of exercising your buying power.
What I mean by this is that if you know of several small businesses or business people in the area who are currently looking for new desks or chairs for their offices, then why not pool your financial resources?
Then go and ask for a discount with a local or national supplier based on the fact you’re purchasing several desks and chairs at the same time.
Will you get a discount?
But you won’t know until you ask.
Sales and Discounts
This might sound like the world’s greatest case of stating the obvious but check with your favorite online or offline office supply store to see if they’re currently running a sale.
Most of these businesses will run a sale towards the end of the year or the start of the following year because they need to dispose of end-of-line or end-of-life products i.e. stuff they’ll never have in stock again.
And you can then pick these desks, chairs, or whatever up at a significant discount.
An easy way to monitor these types of sales is to follow your favorite office supply store on social media and/or sign up for their newsletter.
Repurpose Existing Furniture
What’s the difference between a regular bookcase and a business bookcase?
After you’ve given this a few moments thought you’ll understand that there is no difference.
They both do the exact same thing and serve the exact same purpose but the regular bookcase will cost a fraction of what the business bookcase will.
So why not find a bookcase in your house that you’re not using and simply repurpose that for your office instead?
There are probably some other pieces of furniture in your home that you could repurpose into office furniture. Maybe that old kitchen table in the garage could become your desk?
Are there any comfortable chairs in your attic or garage that could do double-duty as your new office chair?
Just make sure that these pieces of furniture are going to be ergonomically suitable for office use. And what I mean by that is that they’re not going to hurt your neck, back, legs, or arms from using them for hours at a time.
DIY Your Furniture
If you’re one of those people who knows how to build things from scratch then you also have the option of building your office furniture and storage space from scratch.
You will only need basic carpentry skills to put together a pretty decent office desk, although an office chair or sit-stand desks is going to be a little bit more complicated.
But with that said you could save yourself a lot of money by making your own office desk, storage cabinet, or shelves.
The cheapest way to do this is with off-cuts or “rubbish” lumber or timber from your local hardware store.
You can buy new, treated wood instead, but it could cost you a pretty penny.
Okay, some old or used office furniture might not look as good as it once did and you’re worried that it will make your home office look “cheap”.
But don’t forget that sometimes all it takes to bring a piece of office furniture back to life is a fresh coat of paint.
You can bring pretty much any tattered piece of office furniture back to life with some sanding and paint, and you’ll even be able to add pops of color to your home office environment if you choose brighter paints.
If you still don’t want to use used or secondhand furniture after reading the info above, you might find this article useful – it help you work out the total cost of furnishing your home office.