9 Tips for Equipping Your Startup's Office on the Cheap : Under30CEO 9 Tips for Equipping Your Startup's Office on the Cheap : Under30CEO
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9 Tips for Equipping Your Startup’s Office on the Cheap

| October 20, 2010 | 7 Comments

When starting a business, you are faced with a lot of expenses. You need to consider what kind of office furniture that you will purchase, what software your company will use, and how you will handle your HR and accounting staffs. Here are several ways to cut your expenses without sacrificing the quality of your business.

1. Invest in office chairs: The comfort of the chair increases the productivity. If your employees cannot get comfortable within their chair, they are not focusing on the tasks at hand. Make sure that the chairs are adjustable and that they are large enough to accommodate larger employees. You can pick up some great chairs at used office furniture stores and thrift shops for significantly less than new chairs.

2. Think before you buy: Are you going to be using this giant conference room table every day? Do you have a conference room? Do you need a gigantic coffee machine if there are only a few people within your office? Only purchase the item if it will not be gathering dust.

3. Do not get a phone system: Your employees use cell phones and instant messaging to talk to one another. Train your customers to use instant messaging and email. Designate a cell phone as the public phone of the company, but do not worry about transferring calls and putting calls on hold when your business is beginning. Explore the features of Google Voice, a service you can use to track and record calls.

4. Outsource: As a startup owner, you probably do not need to have a dedicated accountant or human resources person. Outsourcing is cheaper. You do not have to pay to keep a roof over their heads, nor do you need to deal with the paperwork of taxes. There are several services, including administration, accounting, legal, programming and human resources that you can outsource to save money.

5. Do not immediately invest in software: Consider saving money by using open source alternatives to major software packages. OpenOffice offers similar applications to licensed programs, including word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings and databases, to make your office flourish.

6. Learn the art of negotiation: Negotiation is an important weapon in any business owner’s arsenal. Remember that there is no service which is set in stone. Shop around for the best services and take them back to your first choice. See if your favorite vendors will offer you a discount for not going to their competition. Do not be afraid to stand up and ask for discounts.

7. Procrastinate on the purchase of office space: Startup businesses do not have every factor set in stone. You may have a general idea of where you believe your company is going, but the real details are still up in the air. Do you need to purchase office space immediately? Do your customers see your office, or are most of your transactions performed online? You may find that it is just as easy to conduct business out of your home office.

8. Invest in bulk products: Look for bulk discounts. If you choose to set up an office, you will need toilet paper to stock in the bathrooms. By going to a wholesaler, you can receive discounts for something which never goes bad. The same principle goes for office supplies. Every company has a use for pens, paper, and post-it notes.

9. Trade: There are small businesses around your area who need your products or services. Chances are, you need their services. When you barter, you create mutually beneficial relationships. You also teach others that you have more to offer than your cash. Information and products are sometimes worth quite a lot more than the money paid.

Starting up your business is an expensive proposition. You are faced with the prospect of buying office furniture, computers, and software for a lot of employees. Look into the possibilities of telecommuting. Do not be hasty to jump into a several year lease for new business proposition. When you save money now, you will have more money for when you know exactly what you want.

James Adams writes for OfficeKitten.co.uk, a leading UK based office supplies offering everything a business could need.

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Category: Startup Advice

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  • http://twitter.com/ZackShapiro Zack Shapiro

    One word: Craigslist.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/calebparker82 Caleb Anthony Parker

    Another great article for young entrepreneurs!

    I’d like to add #10 to the list:

    10. Executive Space: If you determine you do need to meet with clients in ‘your’ office, there is a cost effective way to transition out of your home office or Starbucks. The executive space office model allows you to secure just the space you need on flexible terms. You can lease a space for an hour, day, month or longer. The offices are already fully furnished and are equipped with phones & internet and are typically in impressive class A buildings. Before you commit your start-up to a long term office lease, Google ‘executive space’. It will make the transition easier and more cost effective.

    Our firm, Executive Space Solutions, helps young entrepreneurs and start-ups determine which executive space office provider will service their specific needs the best. We started in Washington, DC 2 years ago, but now assist clients in in 500 + cities.

    Caleb Parker
    Vice President
    Executive Space Solutions

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  • http://www.acoadental.com/home.php Daniel Todman

    These tips are truly helpful for those who are starting up a business. In buying furniture and decors, those must be appropriate to the nature of your business. For example, if your business is a healthcare, decors and furniture must be fit to the needs of your patients or clients. You may ask the help of some experts about choosing furniture and decors that would be good for your office.

  • Anonymous

    I like the tips shared in the post about how to get office furniture.I found these tips effective and sound good.I will implement these tips when i have to buy furniture for my office, indoor and outdoors.
    Rattan garden furniture

  • http://www.baarse-inventar.dk Garry Navarro

     That is a great tips for those people who plan to start a small company. Buying an office furniture is really for a beginner we have no idea on what is advisable and fits your office. Thanks for this post I have learn a lot from your tips. I hope you continue to post some guidelines something like these so that more people will benefit in you post. Thanks again.