Your office is a projection of yourself, so you need to be sure it give the right impression from the start. If you’ve ever walked into a business to find total chaos and files and papers on every surface, then you know it doesn’t do a lot to instill confidence in a perspective client.

Although having your office space professionally design may cost more, there are still ways you can save money in the overall cost. The trick is to think outside the box and look for hidden items that don’t have to impress your customers while serving their purpose. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Organize from the inside out. Drawer organizers file hangers, and office supplies are usually out of sight, so you can economize here. Look for discount websites to save even more by ordering online.

Hide it in plain sight. If your office has a closet then consider using it to store supplies or items you don’t use very often. Hang shelves and dividers to utilize every inch of space!

Turn down the utilities. You don’t have to work in the dark, but you should use low cost light bulbs and install a programmable thermostat to keep your utility bills at a minimum.

Consider secondhand. Often you can find great deals on used office furniture that still looks new, so shop around before you buy new. There may be a company nearby that is going out of business, and their loss may be your gain!

Get second estimates. Even if your designer seems to be fair you should check their prices before you sign the contract. They may be willing to throw in some freebies or perks in order to earn your business.

Buy on time. Often your credit card company will offer interest free deals for six months or more, so take advantage of this type of offer. That way you can make installment payments on your new office without paying high interest rates at the same time.

Do it in stages. If you can’t afford a deluxe office right away, minimize your needs and do it over several weeks or months.

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