Should You Purchase or Lease Furniture for Your New Space?
Find and Acquire Furniture That Meets Your Office's Needs and Aesthetics
Now that you have secured your office space, it's time to fill it with the items your staff needs to be productive. Office furniture will likely be at the top of your list—as well as a major part of your budget.
Office furniture consists of desks, chairs, tables, bookshelves, file cabinets, and other large items used for seating or storage. Office décor, including as wall art and foliage, are also part of a cohesive office aesthetic, so be sure to include those details in your budget as well.
Determining Your Office Furniture Needs
Selecting furniture stretches beyond tallying staff and purchasing the corresponding amount of chairs and desks; It's also necessary to determine how pieces will be arranged to allow for staff to be comfortable and able to move about freely. You'll also want to allow room for additional storage space, such as bookshelves and file cabinets. Ideally, you want to arrange the furniture in a way that does not overcrowd the space and helps hide everyday clutter.
Buying vs. Leasing
While office furniture is a large part of your budget, buying the furniture outright rather than leasing it, covers the costs in your start-up budget rather than your long-term budget.
On the other hand, if you choose to lease your furniture, you'll likely have a smaller monthly payment for the length of the lease term. Depending on your budget, you may be able afford higher-quality furniture if you lease it rather than buy it. Another advantage of leasing furniture is that you may be able to acquire your new furniture quickly, as purchased furniture can lead to a longer turn-around period.
While leasing may seem like the more affordable option at first, you might end up paying more over time. Another point to consider is that you'll eventually need to return the furniture when your lease is up—and then you'll start over again. Instead, you might want to consider a third option, which is lease-to-own. Essentially, a furniture store will extend you a line of credit so that you can pay off your furniture bill in the agreed-upon time frame.
Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to purchase or lease your office furniture:
If you plan to be in the office for the short term rather than the long term, leasing office furniture may be the best option. When it's time to move on from this office or upgrade the furniture, it can simply go back to the company from which you leased it.
If you plan to eventually add to your team, you'll need to add the appropriate amount of furniture to accommodate new employees. Depending on the office design and layout, this might be as simple as adding more of the same desks and chairs. Lastly, if you plan to receive clients in your office, it might be a good decision to choose higher-end office furniture that will make a lasting impression.
Custom Design vs. Store-Bought Office Furniture
Office furniture is unique in that it needs to serve your company well both in terms of productivity and ergonomics. Unlike accent furniture that you can purchase for mere aesthetics, you should choose office desks, chairs, and other work surfaces for their ability to allow your staff to complete tasks and projects comfortably.
Stores like Staples and IKEA offer plenty of office solutions for a variety of different budgets, but if you are looking for something different or more unique to attract clientele, think outside the big-box store and consider custom office furniture.
Custom furniture will cost more, which is why it is important to determine the aesthetic of your office. Office furniture bought as-is can certainly provide for your staff's everyday needs, but if you are seeking to create a space that is both attractive to your staff and impressive for your clients, then you'll want to increase your furniture budget.
When determining your furniture budget, be sure to factor in delivery and assembly costs. Depending on the volume of your purchase, you may be able to negotiate this fee. While set-up costs are an added expense, it is a great timesaver for your company.
Your office is the face of your company for both your employees and your clients. By determining the right office furniture solutions to fit your staff's needs, you will be poised for productivity and success.