Outfitting an Office on a Startup Budget

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? It’s a paradox that has been the subject of much debate for eons. But, had Plutarch created the paradox in the modern era, he probably wouldn’t have been asking about chickens or eggs at all. Instead he would likely be asking the same question every startup entrepreneur does when they come to my showroom, Buy Rite Business Furnishings–which comes first start-up or the office?

Thankfully, there are a number of options that start-ups have at their disposal to successfully outfit their first office.

The Affordable Office

When working with a limited budget, start-ups need to think strategically with their business and the same is true when planning the office too. Prioritizing the client-facing areas like the boardroom and the reception over the working area can help give the “wow” factor and set the right tone for important business meetings.

But, that doesn’t mean the company should completely cut comfort corners for their team. Skipping ergonomic seating for something cheap could lead to decreased productivity and seriously hinder the morale of the office. By using artwork and plants, business owners can help make a space feel complete and comfortable, too.

Clearance products or former rentals mix-and-matched with new items is one of the best and most common ways for cash-strapped startups to ensure that their first office has everything that it needs. Unfortunately, one of the biggest mistakes that startups can make is purchasing from one of the big box furniture stores. Although these items are often more affordable in comparison to commercial-grade furniture, they are simply not built for the rigors of the modern office–often breaking down quickly, forcing the company to pay more to replace the item.


Prioritize Your Needs

Selecting the budget, the “must-haves” in the office, and how to fund the first office opening is a very personalized thing and ultimately depends on the experience of the CEO and their mindset. Whichever option you choose to fund the new office, make a budget and religiously stick to it. For most startup companies, $10,000 is an adequate starting point.

However, there is another way to successfully furnish an office space. That solution is leasing furniture. Instead of having one large upfront cost, furniture leasing allows for truly cash-strapped companies to pay monthly installments on their office furniture all the while writing it off on their taxes at the end of the fiscal year. That’s correct, instead of having to depreciate the value of the furniture over the years, startups can write off their monthly costs as a business expense for the life of the lease. Once the lease terms are up, the furniture is theirs to keep.

When it comes to furnishing offices, there are many ways for entrepreneurs to lean on specialists but, unfortunately, most budding business owners do not know where to start looking and often end up spending up more than what they needed to. From space planning to leasing, the support and solutions for entrepreneurs and their first office is out there, just as long as they are looking in the right places.



Zane Mohammed is the entrepreneurial brain behind Vancouver office furniture store, Buy Rite Business Furnishings. An alum from BCIT, Zane recognized the need for durable and, most importantly, affordable office furniture. Inspired by the spirit of entrepreneurship, he strives to surround himself with a diverse range of creative and talented individuals.


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