Building an Office on a Budget
More and more startups around the world are starting to make use of frugal practices to make their first couple of months in business smooth. Offices are starting to use secondhand furniture and equipment, they’re using recycled printer cartridges and there are more business owners outsourcing work instead of relying on employees for everything.
We’re seeing a shift in the startup community and as a result, more people have opportunities to kickstart their idea on a lower budget. This opens up room for more experimentation and more people can get started in their chosen industry without handing over a fortune to begin. If you want to get your office started up on a budget, then here are a couple of tips you should follow.
Pick up secondhand furniture
Furniture like office chairs and tables can get very expensive. Although you might get mismatched furniture that looks a bit tacky, you can refurbish abandoned office equipment that you can pick up for very low prices. A lot of offices like to renovate and throw out old equipment they no longer need because it’s too much of a hassle to sell it on a website like eBay. If you live close to other offices, consider doing a little search for equipment you can refurbish or repurpose.
You can save a huge amount of money by fixing up old equipment that might just need a little polishing, sanding or some new screws. For example, you can get heavy duty drawer runners very cheaply and restore drawers in cupboards and on desks. You could also buy office chairs and replace the wheels for cheap or fix up the backrest so that it’s more comfortable. If you’re lucky, you might encounter an office that is doing a full renovation of their space and you might have the opportunity of buying their entire furniture range for a very low price.
The most important thing about a computer is that it works. You might not have the money to spend on extremely new or updated hardware, and you probably won’t need office-grade hardware if you are just starting out. The best way to go about deciding your hardware needs is to first understand what you need computers for. If you only plan to do some word processing and document reading, then a very old computer from eBay will work just fine. If you want to do video editing, then you’ll need to invest a bit more money.
Any office computer from the past decade that runs at least Windows 7 will be powerful enough for daily tasks. For light video editing and content creation, look for something in the past five years that supports at least Windows 10. You want to look for a minimum of 8GB of RAM, and a processor that is Intel i3 or higher. Hard drive space doesn’t matter because it can be easily upgraded with the help of a tech professional or a little research.
Like with furniture, one of the best places to pick up lots of unwanted hardware is to do a quick search around local offices that are renovating or moving out. Computers are much easier to sell on eBay, however, so you might want to take a look there first or in a local directory such as CraigsList or Gumtree.
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