4 Bootstrapping Business Tips To Stretch Your Dollar When Purchasing Office Furniture and Equipment — Part 1

by Lisa Sims on April 5, 2010

This is one of my favorite times of year. Spring is in the air and flowers are blooming and growing. Just like our small businesses should be. I know it’s been hard to grow your business while bootstrapping in this down economy but it can be done. We just have to be creative and develop a “stretching a dollar” mindset.  Today, I’m going to share with you four ways to stretch your dollar when purchasing office furniture and equipment for your small business:

  1. Yard /Estate Sales. Yes, I said yard and estate sales. This is another reason why I love Spring. Every weekend you can count on someone having a yard sale. Oftentimes, there’s good office furniture and equipment such as file cabinets, chairs, desks, lamps, printers, etc. in good condition waiting to be purchased for little or nothing. The sellers usually just want to get rid of it and oftentimes are open to negotiation. Don’t sleep on this opportunity to stretch your dollar! Check you local newspapers and online resources to find yard and estate sales in your area. Don’t forget to make a list of the items that you are looking for to help make shopping easier. Likewise, get there early because the good stuff goes fast! I’ll be participating in a yard sale in Conyers, Georgia on 4/24 sponsored by Johnson Park at the old Maxell plant on Parker Road from 8am to 3pm. I have a lot to sell but looking forward to purchasing also. I’m killing two birds with one stone :>).  Stop by and say hello!
  2. Goodwill/Thrift Stores. This is another hidden treasure that is often overlooked. Many people make donations to the Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other places for tax purposes and to clear clutter out of the houses. Why not use this to your advantage? I’ve seen some great deals on desks, lamps, bookcases, and other office equipment items at these places. I frequent them at least once a week looking for deals to help me stretch a dollar :>).
  3. Used office furniture stores. This is another great option for bootstrapping entrepreneurs. I found an used office furniture store in my area that offers some great deals on tables, chairs, desks, credenzas, and more. The discounts were about 20%-30% off retail prices. There were some small imperfections in some of the furniture but who cares when you are saving money? I don’t. My personal motto is: Used is the new new.
  4. Going out of business sales. Don’t sleep on these! When a business is going out of business, everything must go. This is a great opportunity to purchase items for our small businesses that were once too expensive for us for little or nothing. Everything from shelves, magazine racks, and more are available for sale.  Not sure what items are for sale? Ask. Always remember James 4:2 when looking for bargains: We have not because we ask not.

With these four bootstrapping and dollar stretching techniques, you are well prepared to furnish your office without breaking the bank. Keep me posted on your deals and I’ll do the same!

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