Furniture Budget – Part 1

How do I figure out my furniture budget?

Part 1

This is a question that is probably asked thousands of time each week around the country. How much do I need to spend for my office?

In this section we’re going to start with the basic questions to get the ball rolling.

The question is not easily answered in a single question but requires a number of questions first. What we will be outlining is a process that you can use whether you have an office of 2 or 2,000. What you need to answer will be for the same reasons, it’s just a matter of scaling up or down.

First lets discuss your office.

  1. How big is your office in square feet?
  2. How long is your lease going to be?
  3. How many people will you be moving into your new office?
  4. What is your average growth rate per year and / or how many people do you plan to have in the first year?
  5. Do you have existing furniture that is worth bringing to your new office?

Let’s talk about this group of questions.

In a smaller office you will not find a benefit of scale for purchasing purposes. Very few suppliers are going to give you a discount for 2-10 offices or desk units. It’s simply not big enough to matter in the day to day scheme of things. And please don’t try the “but we’re going to become a really big deal, soon” ploy. This has been used extensively over the years to entice someone into a better deal. Choose someone that you like and respect, that will provide you with great service even if you are small fish and reward them with continual business when you become the whale you plan to be. You won’t be disappointed.

The term of your lease could have an impact on the style or type of furnishings you purchase. If your moving frequently for any reason you’ll want to look at products that can be assembled and taken apart easily. It will decrease your costs in the long run. If you are staying put for 5-10 years then a more extensive installation of the furniture can be spread out over that longer term lease.

The number of people moving relates back to the size of your company. We like to work with both the size of your space and the number of people. It helps visualize the scope of work.

When looking at your growth rate this will give us an idea of how many people you are adding. This of course means future revenue. This can also mean you might want to add to your order now which could cost you less per person. If you are adding 10-20 people in the next 6 months, it may be cost effective to add some of these to the new order now. The extra may push you into a better price category. This will vary from supplier to supplier. Discounts are not necessarily automatic so check with your supplier. The worst they could say is “no” or “hell no” you don’t get what you don’t ask for.

If you have existing furniture that you like and want to reuse make sure it is taken into consideration. No sure? Have someone take a look at it. Desks, files and some tables can last for a long time if properly cared for.

Chairs, if used daily, have a general life span of 5-9 years. This will depend on the quality of chair and their use and abuse. ¬†You can also look at using older chairs for conference seating. If you have war room or work room where things are pushed around and used roughly (warehouse conference room) older chairs fit very well here. Even some of the most expensive chairs don’t last as long as you want. Just because you spend $700+ for a desk chair doesn’t mean it will last for 20 years or that you want to keep using it for that long.

Ok, that’s it for part 1. In the next installment we will explore your tastes for the style of furniture. This will have as big an impact on your budget as the number of people you are moving.

Till next time.

Published by Matthew Brooks

Matthew has been in the Office Furniture business for over 36 years - that's a long time. As the owner of Interior Dimension he strives to provide the highest level of service to our clients to keep them truly excited about working with IDI.

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