Struggling to come up with startup office furniture ideas? Not sure how to decorate your first office on a budget? We feel you: you’ve started your own company and everything is moving super fast and you’re constantly spinning plates. Now that your company has grown a bit (great news), you have decided to move into your very own office to help build team bonds and boost your brand. But, you’re not a designer or an architect, and cash is running low…
The costs of taking the plunge and starting your own company can be high, but it doesn’t always have to be, especially if you are delving into the world of digital entrepreneurship. There are lots of tricks to keep spending to an absolute minimum and still transform your office space. Even low-cost coworking spaces and temporary offices give you the opportunity to add a bit of personality to your office space: take the opportunity to do something different.
We know that cutting down the costs at the start of a new business venture is always a high priority, so here are the best ways to can deck out your first startup office space on a shoestring budget.
A lick of paint will go a very long way. Brighten your office space with light or neutral colors, and take this on as your own little project. Painting the space yourself will cut down on costs and help to make your office look professional and clean. While it’s tempting to splash out on brand colours in paint, they can be hard to match, and bright colours should always only be kept to a feature wall.
Flat pack furniture is always super cheap and usually lasts a while. Get your hands dirty and assemble a bookshelf or a desk for your office. Check out places like Ikea, West Elm, CB2 and Flor to stock up your office. Once they are assembled you will feel a great sense of achievement.
Buy second-hand furniture
Don’t pay full price for desks and drawers. Furniture can be one of the biggest costs when starting a company so have a rummage at your local flea market or second-hand store. If pieces are looking a little worse for wear, then you can always upcycle and repurpose them.
Anything that you can do yourself, you should. Putting office chairs together or fitting shelves in your office, try to do these things yourself to minimise the outgoing costs of setting up your new office. Don’t hire someone else to do it for you, get family and friends in and make it a fun day with pizza. There is also no shame in doing this as a team together! What better way to bond and get to know each other than some time putting IKEA furniture together?
Try and dig out any damaged items by asking at your local furniture store. Many items that have a tiny chip on their surface may be deemed ‘unsellable’. By asking around and keeping your eyes peeled, you may be able to pick them up at a very low price. Even just the packaging can drop the price of certain items.
Get tech on lease
Don’t go out and buy 5 Macs for your team: get them on lease. Financing your tech purchases is a savvy way to save money and spread costs: it’s pretty standard practice as technology depreciates over time. And think twice before buying things like printers, scanners, laminators etc: a lot can be done via digital signature and your phone these days. It might be an expense you can afford to cut.
Think about how you’re going to handle meetings at your new space. If there is nowhere private in the building you can use, scout out nearby coffeeshops or find out how much it costs to rent out a local meeting room for any big pitches. Not having the right space can negatively impact a meeting. For internal meetings, go modular and DIY and invest in some cheap stools or chairs that can be easily stacked away so that people can ‘visit’ each other’s desks for informal meeting and training.
Plants are relatively cheap and can really brighten up an office space. Plants have even been found to reduce stress in offices so they are a sound investment in your team and your office space. Get easy-care plants like cacti, succulents and trees that don’t need lots of watering or sunlight.
Ambience & space
Set a nice ambience with some quirky lights or an aromatherapy diffuser (cheap to find on Amazon). Little knick-knacks like that can help create a sense of well-being, but don’t clutter up the space either. Give people desks and boxes for storing their own personal items: it means a lot for people to be able to spread out and feel at home. People need space to store their gym kits etc.
Paintings & illustrations
For the cost of a cup of coffee, you can get some nice framed pictures and illustrations for the office. Don’t underestimate the power of visuals and colour to pep up the office and bring it some personality. Got a landlord who is funny about putting things up on the wall? Use something like Command strips to put up pictures without nails or drills.
Have you got some brand values? Why not shout about them and get them printed and put up in your office? It’s very cheap and easy to get some values printed out and framed, and they can really help set the right culture for your brand. It’s simple touches like these that can really help create team bonds, even if your actual office space is less than glamorous.
What do you already have lying around?
Look at bits and bobs that you have already, maybe lying around the house or at a family’s home. Do you have things you can use at your new office? Patterned rugs? A nice set of mugs? If a piece of furniture is not quite right for your space, try upcycling. This can be a really good way to cut the costs and still pimp out your office.
This is especially true for those starting their own ecommerce or online business. You may only need a laptop or computer, PC screen, desk and chair to get your office space decked out and chances are you already have these things lying around your home.
Finding ways to do more with less is a core part of starting your own company. And this should be the same with your office space. Use your initiative and come up with creative ways to cut down costs and still get your office space decked out. Have you recently decked out your startup office? Did you find any of these tips useful? Let us know in the comments below.