Every business needs a base of operations. As a solo entrepreneur you probably ran your company out of a spare room or garage. Now that the company has grown, though, you need real space and you’d like to not have to spend everything you’ve saved getting it set up and running. Here is how to do that.
Sure, you probably have visions of giant office spaces in which everybody has a private office the size of a studio apartment. Maybe someday you’ll even be able to have that. Today, though, the smaller space into which you can fit your business, the better. Smaller spaces cost less money. Your employees can work at their own desks in a “bull pen” environment for now. You can set up a small office or conference room for private meetings. You get the idea.
The best way to save money on office furniture, like desks and chairs, is to buy the pieces in bulk from an outlet. For example, buying your executive desks online can save you more than a hundred dollars per desk. Some companies will give even further discounts if you meet a minimum piece quota. Buy as much as possible from one outlet to help save on shipping costs (and time spent shopping).
For the lobby, shop at your local furniture outlet store for a couch and some matching comfortable chairs. Remember, you don’t have to have microfiber recliners to put people at ease. You just have to keep them from being forced to sit on the floor. Basic models of couches and chairs work fine.
Go paperless. Apple and Microsoft both have programs in place to help small business owners save money on tablet computers – especially if they agree to buy enough tablets to outfit all of their employees. You can pay for these tablets outright at the discounted rate and use them to help you create an almost entirely paperless office. The money you save in paper, toner and printer/copy machine maintenance will more than make up for what you spent on those iPads.
For the break room, use reusable cups and other dishes. Washing a load of coffee cups is better for the environment and cheaper on your budget than buying paper or Styrofoam. You can easily buy a couple dozen coffee cups at stores like IKEA for around $20. Even better – have your employees bring their own mugs and take care of them themselves.
Making eco-friendly changes to your office space is good for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the savings you’ll get on your utility bills every month. You could also, depending upon the “green” measures you implement, qualify for some pretty great tax breaks at the end of the fiscal year.
PRO TIP: Install timers and motion sensors for your office lights. This way the lights will only be on during certain times of the day and only if people are moving around in the office. You won’t ever have to worry about elevated utility bills because someone forgot to turn off a light.
As a frugal entrepreneur you’re used to looking for ways to save money. What are some of the best money saving measures you used to set up your own offices?
About the Author: This article is written by Tara Miller.