More and more “lean” entrepreneurs are choosing to start their businesses out of their homes, rather than sinking capital into office space right off the bat. At the same time, an ever-increasing number of people are taking advantage of flextime options and choosing to leave the office behind in favor of working from home.
In order to keep a successful home office and avoid the daily distractions of home life, it is important to transform an area of your home into a peaceful and workable office space. But, creating that space can be prohibitively expensive. Here are our top tips on how to set up a home office without spending a small fortune:
Multi-functional and reused furniture saves money and space
Office furniture can be expensive, so before you rush out to your local furniture store, start creating your home office by examining what you have already got. Look around your house for items that could be utilized better in the office. Is there an old, unused table that would be perfect as a desk? Do you have a chest of drawers filled with junk that could be better used as office storage? Items like these could provide the base for your home office and save you a lot of money in the process. If you don’t have any of these items to spare, ask around friends and family to see if they have any to give you or to loan you.
Be a smart shopper and buy at a discount
Try to avoid buying brand new products, especially with furniture, as you can often get perfectly workable used furniture for a lot cheaper. Visit a variety of flea markets and garage sales, or look out for companies upgrading their office space to try and get your office furniture for less. However, if you are devoted to buying new, there are plenty of companies out there that offer affordable office furniture. Look out for special in-store discount events to help save extra cash. Additionally, sign up for store newsletters online and be kept up-to-date with the latest offers—they sometimes send out discount voucher codes.
Decide what is essential
Create a list of everything you will need for your home office and rank those items in order of importance. Be practical and try to list only the essential items that you will need to operate your business out of your home, and try to keep the list to items that you will actually use on at least a weekly basis.
Try to combine items, too—for example, instead of buying a printer and a scanner separately, look for a printer with a scanning function built-in. Likewise, look for a desk with a printer shelf, or drawer storage. Look for shelving units with organizers for your pens and other small office supplies. This will save you money and space in the office. Then, when you have the cash available, buy each item in order of importance—this approach will make the cost of building your home office more manageable.
Go for the in-house brand
When it comes to office supplies, you may be able to save money by avoiding the larger, more well-known brands. Companies such as Office Depot provide an in-house brand version of a wide range of basic, essential products for a fraction of the price of the more popular brands. These products are of the same high quality as the other, bigger brands, making them the perfect way to save money on setting up your office. UK readers can have a look at Viking if they are interested in Office Depot’s products.
Following these top tips will make your dream home office a reality, while keeping costs to a minimum. That really makes a difference.