You’ve finally found the perfect office space and successfully negotiated your lease. Next step: furnishing your office.
While shopping for furniture and fixtures can be fun, you’ll soon realize the costs can add up quickly. Offices need a lot of furniture: At a minimum, most offices need desks, chairs, conference tables, whiteboards, file cabinets, and storage shelves—plus furnishings for any waiting or break areas. And then there are decorative elements like rugs, plants, and lighting fixtures.
For a growing business, furnishing an office can cost you tens of thousands of dollars and wipe out your working capital.
This is where financing comes in. Financing your office furniture can help you spread out the costs and maybe even build business credit, but are there any potential downsides to financing you should know about?
Financing your office furniture has plenty of benefits, but are there any risks you should know about? (Spoiler: The upsides outweigh the risks.)
Let’s unpack all the potential benefits and risks of financing your office furniture, shall we?
4 Benefits of Financing Your Office Furniture
1. You Can Keep More Cash On Hand
Overhead is required to run a business. Licenses, software, utilities, payroll, taxes, supplies, marketing—you’ve got to make sure you have enough cash on hand to cover it all so your business keeps humming along.
Financing a larger purchase, like office furniture, protects your working capital by allowing you to spread out payments over time. And then you have the security of knowing you’ve got plenty of cash on hand to cover your standard overhead, deal with emergencies, or even splurge on those little extras like bringing in doughnuts on Friday mornings (pass the apple fritter, please).
2. You Can Get Everything You Need When You Need It
If you’re unable to cover the cost of furnishing your entire office with a single cash payment, you may be tempted to pinch pennies by skipping necessary items or opting for lower-quality purchases. This rarely sets you up for success.
For example, we’ve all sat in a cheap chair and felt the lousy ergonomic impact for hours afterward. The same goes for using a makeshift desk instead of a real one or not providing your employees with a proper break area—it detracts from the workday and isn’t worth the time that’s lost trying to come up with a suitable alternative.
Rather than cut corners or fill in your office over time, financing enables you to get everything you need to work comfortably and efficiently.
3. You Can Build Business Credit
Financing is a common way to establish and build your business credit. Making regular, responsible payments on a loan or line of credit can ensure your business qualifies for help when needed and position your business for growth opportunities in the future.
Here are some upsides of building your business credit:
Allows you to work with higher-quality vendors and suppliers and obtain larger lines of credit with them
Qualifies you to bid on government contracts or submit RFPS for enterprise projects
Helps you qualify for lower interest rates and more favorable terms on credit cards and major types of financing like commercial mortgages
Qualifies you for lower rates on some kinds of business insurance
4. You Can Take Advantage of Perks
Some office furniture companies offer complimentary upgrades or services along with their financing.
For example, National Business Furniture offers free design planning services. This gives you access to office design professionals who can help you determine layouts, make the most of smaller spaces, choose colors and fabrics, or create an unforgettable atmosphere for customers who visit you.
Be sure to ask any potential office furniture vendor about any complimentary services, discounts, or other perks you may gain access to.
2 Risks of Financing Your Office Furniture
1. You May End Up Paying Interest
Like most forms of financing, office furniture financing can include interest—which means you could end up paying a little more overall than you would if you paid in cash.
Your interest rate will likely be determined by your business credit score, personal credit score, time in business, purchase total, and more.
If your business and credit are in top-notch shape, you may discover that you can take advantage of 0% interest. And some office vendors offer 0% interest options for shorter payment plans—like National Business Furniture’s Pay in 4 plan, which is the option to split a purchase into 4 payments with zero interest.
Be sure to ask your office furniture vendor about the criteria used to determine interest rates, what interest rate you can expect, and whether any interest-free financing options are available to you.
2. Late or Missed Payments Can Affect Your Credit Rating
Loans and liens are typically reported to credit agencies—which means you can see improvements in your credit rating for having a good track record or dips in your rating if payments are inconsistent.
The best way to make sure your office furniture financing boosts your credit is to make your payments on time and in full. We recommend setting up automatic payments so you don’t even have to think about it.
We Covered Financing—Now Let’s Get to the Furnishing
One final piece of advice before you start sorting through swatches: Like any financial or legal obligation, make sure you have a thorough understanding of your office furniture financing agreement, including terms and conditions, benefits, and risks.
If you have any questions we didn’t cover here today, talk with the National Business Furniture team at (877) 649-0482. We’ll walk you through our Pay in 4, PayPal, and open credit options—and we’ll put you in touch with our design planning team so you can craft a comfortable, functional office space.
The material on our site is for informational purposes only, is general in nature, and is not a substitute for professional financial or tax preparation advice.