When looking for office furniture, it doesn’t matter whether you’re starting a new business, remodeling or spiffing up the look of a current office, or setting up that perfect home office. There are so many important aspects to finding the right furniture, at the best price, that it is not a task that should be left to chance. Using a checklist is a time tested and established tool for making sure that all of your bases are covered, before undertaking such a major decision.
1. Know your needs: Knowing your needs is paramount to knowing what to buy. Make detailed floorplans, measure small spaces to make sure the furniture you buy will fit. This way there will be no unnecessary purchases. Consult your employees about their needs as well, you may not be able to accommodate all their requests, but by accommodating some, you will help lift morale and let them know that their input matters.
2. Know your budget: Make goals and then stick to them. By creating a concrete spending plan, metaphorically written in stone, one can factor in the essentials first, and then after calculating what finances are left over, they can then start creating that wish list. Make sure to try to always negotiate on price, the worst a salesman can do is say no. Always research items online first, that way you know exactly what the going price is for a given furniture item.
3. Know your options: There are situations where “lightly used” furniture may work where public view is uncommon. Breakrooms take a beating, as do lunch break areas. It is far more financially feasible to replace used, than it is to replace new bought furniture. Refurbished furniture is also very economical. Refurbished furniture is very lightly used furniture which has been cleaned, and in some cases refinished with new coverings, and also has had worn or broken components replaced. This gives refurbished a “Like New” appearance. Remanufactured furniture has been taken another step further than refurbished, by being stripped down to its basic framework, and then totally built back up to a virtually “new” like standard.
4. Know what a bargain is: Everybody wants a bargain, but keep in mind the old adage of: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Buying from 0% down warehouses with pushy salesmen in cheap suits is not the way to purchase office furniture. Zero down means that all sorts of finance charges, outrageous interest fees, and monthly “processing” charges have already been factored into their overly marked up product. It is best to get a good deal on quality furniture that is durable enough to stand up to years of use, and occasional abuse, than that seemingly “Great Deal” on cheap furniture that will start to fall apart after only a year.
5. Know what’s new and trending: The reason some models of office furniture are popular or trending, normally has to do with a happy customer base. Read up on new trends on office furniture items on the internet. Check out websites that have other customer reviews on products. It is best to find out about problems other purchasers have had with a product, than to find out yourself the hard way from experience. Modern technology and better understandings of workplace ergonomics has opened up some remarkably versatile, health and production oriented office products.
6. Find a balance between comfort and efficiency: Remember that comfort enhances an employee’s morale, reduces anxiety, and helps to minimize the risks of workplace ailments due to prolonged sitting, standing, bending, and typing. But also remember that too much comfort in the workplace also causes complacency, lost focus, and daydreaming. Choose furniture that is a happy medium between comfort, and that edge of un-comfortability that keeps the body on its toes, and the mind knowing that it’s in work mode, rather than leisure time.
7. Find a working office style that works: We are not going to get into the ongoing debate over traditional cubicle packed offices, verses open-spaced ones. Or whether standup desks are more productive than standard old-school teacher style desks. But the facts of the modern office are that people swear by both, and the merits therein that one has something that the other doesn’t. Decide which style is right for your type of business.
8. Find easily replaceable pieces: The worst thing that can happen after buying a set of matching office furniture, is to have a piece break, or need to add onto a set, and then not be able to find a matching one. Make sure ahead of time that the furniture you are buying can be easily replaced with the same style, color, and model. This usually means purchasing through larger retailers, or directly from the manufacturers.
9. Find the right retailer: Use caution when dealing with unknown or potentially disreputable furniture retailers. Once again check online at scam buster type websites that check out a business’s trust-ability ratings, and of course, use the good old fashioned Better Business Bureau. It is always better to be cautiously safe when buying office furniture, than financially sorry later. There is a plethora of reputable, well known major players in the industry, who are waiting to help you with your furniture needs.
10. Find the best delivery system: It is nice when free delivery is offered on a big purchase, but sometimes, that just doesn’t happen. Delivery charges by the store can sometimes turn out to be a downright rip-off. In these situations it is much cheaper to just rent a moving truck, and ask a few friends or employees to pick it up for you at the retailer. If the furniture needs to be shipped, make sure to check your price options by shopping around for the most economical shipping company first, before just taking what is offered by the seller.