Saving money when buying office furniture is a concern for every office manager or sole trader working from an office at home. Choosing, ordering, installing and paying for furniture can be a costly and time consuming aspect of business. Help alleviate a lot of the issues by following these 10 tips for saving money when buying office furniture.
Here are the 10 basic tips to save money when you purchase your new office furniture. All of them are actionable and explained in a little more detail below…
Only Order When It’s Definitely Needed
Don’t Cut Corners
But Don’t Over Engineer
Don’t Over Order
Look Into Bulk Buy Discounts
Make Room For Deliveries
Consider Refurbished Furniture
Allow Co-Working Space & Storage
Order Well In Advance
Organise Your Order List
1. Only Order When It’s Definitely Needed
You need to check whether it is completely necessary to order new office furniture. We have written in the past about how to know whether it is time for a refurbishment in schools – though much of the advice applies for your office – or when you should notice it is time for some replacement furniture.
You will save money by following this advice. If financial concerns are more pressing than brand image or ability to work flexibly, it may be an option to wait a little longer when purchasing new office furniture.
2. Don’t Cut Corners
That said, when it is time to order new office furniture, it can quickly become counter productive and create false economy savings if you try to scrimp and save. Look out for ordering things which will end up costing more money and hamper productivity in the long term.
Look out for things like these, in the following list, to avoid cutting corners: storage units which are too small or impractical for your line of work or number of employees; sub-standard chairs and desk units, which need replacing too soon; insufficient working and meeting space; too fewer storage units for your workforce.
3. But Don’t Over Engineer
At the other end of the scale, you’ll be surprised how many offices we have cleared which have unused or barely used furniture items. Or items which have been asked to be removed or taken away when they are barely halfway through their potential lifespan.
To illustrate, for example, a common error is to provide the Managing Director with a top of the range, highly engineered and well designed – and very expensive – desk chair. This person is barely in the office at all, while, at the same time, the receptionist’s chair is a low budget option which needs replacing due to heavy use.
Think about the level of usage and intended use by the designers. Speak to your supplier if you are unsure.
4. Don’t Over Order
Another common ordering error is to order too many different items or too many of the same item. Does everybody need two triple tier desk trays? And does the company need those extra storage units “just in case”?
If there is anything in your current office setup which hasn’t been touched – with useful purpose – in the past 12 months, other than for archive storage, it might be best to store said contents off-site at a secure unit. This will reduce your office furniture spend considerably.
5. Look Into Bulk Buy Discounts
Another means of achieving this is to try and source bulk buy discounts. Either by ordering multiple amounts of certain items or by opening a trade account with a supplier, you can save money and take advantage of wholesale order savings.
Particularly for stock items, lots of suppliers may be open to offering cost savings when you order in bulk or to a large total order value.
6. Make Room For Deliveries
Make sure that you do not have to turn away any deliveries. This will incur an extra charge from your supplier for returning it to their warehouse and they will often charge you for the space which is being taken up by storing it until you are ready to receive another delivery. Or you will have to pay for temporary storage yourself whilst existing furniture is removed, but this will involve further transportation costs too.
Make sure you plan in advance how you are going to organise the removal (or moving location) of existing furniture to coincide smoothly with the delivery of your new items.
7. Consider Refurbished Furniture
Another cost saving option is to consider refurbished furniture. Although it may be used, there are many options for restored and “like new” furniture for your office.
Lots of office furniture is made available for refurbishing well before the end of its practical lifespan due to all sorts of reasons, from liquidation to relocation. Speak to your supplier about the possibility of acquiring any second hand, refurbished furniture which can be just as good as buying new.
8. Allow Co-Working Space & Storage
It’s possible to save money on the amount of furniture items you purchase by promoting shared storage units and facilitating online cloud storage whenever possible. When employees are sharing storage they should be more conscious about what actually needs printing and saving as opposed to just being saved electronically.
Also, if some tasks need more desk space and room for working, but they are only performed intermittently, then shared larger workspaces and smaller regular working spaces, shared on a hot-desking basis, is a great way of maximising space and being cost efficient.
9. Order Well In Advance
If you can plan and order your office furniture well in advance, you can then look into negotiating any potential cost savings from a stronger position than ordering at the last minute. Suppliers will welcome advanced entries into their order books.
You will also remove the risk of any cost fluctuations and spikes, especially if items are sourced from abroad and have to be imported. Look at the increase in imported items since the EU Referendum, for example.
10. Organise Your Order List
And, as a variation on a common theme from all of these tips; stay organised.
Being well and truly organised is the key to not falling foul of any unexpected and costly hiccups. If you can follow this advice (and choose to use our free planning checklist), you will minimise the risk of any costly mistakes, such as missing items, ordering extra items or even the wrong sized items of office furniture.
Get The Guide And Get Organised
If you want a handy way of keeping on top of the furniture order for your office, want to find out exactly what you actually need and avoid wasting money on needless items; download this free and printable checklist guide we have put together.