If you’re bootstrapping, you should keep the costs to furnish an office as close to $0 as possible while you get the business off the ground. Once the business starts growing and you move from the seed stage to early stage, and especially growth stage, there’s the tendency to progressively improve the office in an effort to look more credible for recruiting, but especially for egos.
Here are ballpark costs to outfit a startup with mid-to-high-end furnishings:
- Open workspace with “L” shaped desk, cabinet, and electrical – $1,500/person (nice cubicles are $3,500/person)
- Herman Miller Aeron chair – $600/person
- MacBook Air/Pro – $1,500/person
- 25″ monitor – $350/person
- Wired ethernet port – $100/person
- Desk accessories like keyboard, mouse, etc – $150/person
So, for $4,200 per person you’ll have a great, professional environment. Add another five grand for things like a nice coffee maker (a must!), switches, routers, access points, foos ball, ping pong, and more (not counting build-out of the office, conference room furniture, etc). The final ingredient is blazing fast Internet ($2,000/month) and you’ll have a sweet set up.
What else? What other costs are necessary to furnish a nice startup office?
P.S. We’re hiring and have the environment outlined above (apply online).
12 thoughts on “Costs to Furnish a Nice Startup Office”
Substitute Macbooks with high-end Dell or Lenovo machines running Ubuntu or another Linux distro. That can save a couple of hundred per person.
Absolutely do not cheap out on the most important thing.. the computer! I’d rather sit in my $47 office max chair and use a 27-inch apple display and top of the line macbook pro with SSDs and 8GB of RAM.
I’d rather have a half decent laptop – i.e, not an Apple.
David – nice post!
One thing we did at our new office was to encourage our team to design various spaces on a shoestring budget. We carried out an “HGTV-style” competition, which yielded remarkable results, cost-effectively. We thought it was essential for startup employees to have a sense of ownership of their space, so there was no better way, than for everyone to participate in the move and setup of it all.
I blogged about it here: http://rdean.me/ez369R, and it was covered also here: http://bit.ly/hZwDS6 (5th link down).
Thanks Rishi. Awesome office!
One thing that this article doesn’t touch on is the fact that the furniture that you buy now, might not work well in the next space you move to, or as you add people. For startups looking to scale quickly and likely to be moving within 1-2 years into larger spaces, this traditionally can be a huge sunken cost. Enter Swivelfly.com. Applying the “as a service” model to furnishing a space and opening up huge cost savings to young companies.