Archive for Office Furniture

Stay Within Yourself, Be Great at What You Do

One of the things that I think is critical for long term growth and prosperity of any business is to stay focused on what you do and try to excel at it. You cannot be all things to all people. It is important to know your strengths and use them  as best you can. All companies have shortcomings, know what yours are and either work on them to make them better or accept them for what they are.

Most small businesses have limited resources, so it is best to utilize every resource that you have. Our industry, office furniture, is very much project driven. We try to go after the projects that have the best chance of success. Large projects require a significant amount of time and resources to bid and have a lower chance to obtain due to number of companies competing for the project. It is quite common for us to pass on very large project opportunities because the time required would take away from our focus on what we do best. As the saying goes, Rome was not built in a day. As a small business, we would rather have a basket with many eggs than just a few large eggs in the basket. If you spread your risk, the chance for long term success greatly increases.

Eggs in a basket

Do you have many small eggs or a few large eggs in your basket?

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Expect the Unexpected and Roll with It

detour expect the unexpected


One of the biggest surprises in running a business is dealing with issues and problems you do not anticipate. I learned very quickly to expect the unexpected and then just roll with it. You learn very quickly just how little control you can have, even after detailed planning. I could write a very extensive book on unplanned events. Here are just a few…

(1) Right before we placed the floor samples on our office furniture showroom floor, we painted and carpeted the front room. It was very well done, clean and inviting. It rained the night they finished the carpet. When I went to work the next day, I found that the showroom had taken on a lot of water and did a number on most of the carpet. I was hopeful this was not a sign, but a little discouraged. Fortunately, a wet vac took care of the mess and we moved forward.

(2) Within a few short months of our opening the doors, The Borough decided (unbeknownst to us) to replace the main street going through the business district which closed the main access to our facility. This entrance ended up being closed for approximately 3 months. There was a side street alternate entrance, so I purchased numerous temporary  signs directing customers in the back way. I also purchased a large banner to be hung across the side street to draw attention the our business. Not long after we placed the banner up, a large tractor trailer came down the street and since the truck was not high enough it grabbed the banner and pulled our permanent sign to the ground, snapping the support pole at the base. Our good intentions of redirecting traffic had backfired and cost us money to repair.

The moral of my story is you need to roll with the ups and downs with business. Don’t get too high with the highs or to low with the lows. If you believe in yourself and what you are doing, you will ultimately succeed.

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Setting Up The Office Furniture Showroom

After I left my prior employer, I had exactly 4 weeks to get the office furniture showroom set up and ready for opening day. I found a nice space in an old textile mill that needed minimal renovations, paint and carpet. After hiring a paint contractor and ordering the carpet, I decided to take my pregnant wife and daughter on a long weekend vacation since it was anybody’s guess when I would be able to take some time off.

Upon my return, I then worked closely with area furniture wholesalers and furniture manufacturers to get both educated and also plan the showroom floor. After determining the appropriate product mix I placed an order and shortly after received the products. With the help of my good friends, we had a “Showroom Setup Party”.

Our next step was to purchase a mailing list of businesses’ in a 20 mile radius and have some flyers printed. We did a bulk mailing announcing the opening and in order to minimize expenses, we had 4 different flyers printed at the same time. Our plan was to do a mailing every 30 days. A news release mailing was sent to all area chamber of commerces’ and ads were placed in local business publications. A “Grand Opening” was scheduled, a mailing was sent to all members of the local chamber and the local newspaper was invited to cover the event.

We hit the ground running with a successful “Grand Opening” event and have never looked back. We have made many changes through the years and have tried to adapt to the ever-changing market. Keeping an open mind and being open to change will hopefully insure the continuesd long-term success of the business.

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Planning to Open an Office Furniture Dealership

After 11 years working in the private sector, the last 4 for a major manufacturer of office products, I decided that the best thing for my family and I would be to start my own business. At that time I had a 2 year old daughter. The day I told my wife that I was going to take the plunge, she informed me that she was pregnant with daughter number 2. Undeterred, for the next year I worked diligently to develop a comprehensive marketing plan to make sure that on day 1, not only were we open for business, but we would hit the ground running.

We were up and running 30 days after I left my marketing position. In the year prior to opening, I visited many office furniture dealers along the East Coast to see how they operated and also met with many manufacturer representatives and office furniture wholesalers to determine what would be the best product mix. I also re-mortgaged my house to get a line of credit and opened as many no annual fee credit cards just in case we needed financing. Banks in general do not like to lend to start ups. Fortunately, my wife had a good job in the pharmaceutical industry, so we were able to at least pay the mortgage and basic bills and not go deeper into debt. After determining the market I wanted to serve, an affordable central location was found (at that time, prior to the internet, customers were believed that they would travel up to 30 minutes to see your offering) and the showroom was set up.

At the age of 33, I had the education, experience and fortitude to work long hours and tried to minimize expenses by being the salesman, delivery person and operations manager. I did hire an inside person as well as one delivery person to help with the process. I acquired a marketing mailing list of local companies and sent out a series of mailings to get the word out. I also joined the local Chamber of Commerce, sent out newspaper press releases and had an Open House for the Grand Opening. The business received orders from day one. I also joined numerous professional groups and made business card exchanges a weekly event. The efforts paid off quickly. We made many mistakes in the beginning, but learned quickly and kept moving forward. As my first real business enterprise, I learned to be open to other ideas and never resist change and do whatever it takes to satisfy your customer, no job is beneath you. Plus, the more things you learn to do in a company, the better prepared you are to deal with problems and adversity.

Furniture Frank

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Is on GSA Contract?

Office Furniture Concepts,, does not directly hold any GSA Contracts. However, many of the items we sell are available on GSA Contract through our different manufacturers. The manufacturers negotiate the contracts for their dealer base. This gives us the ability to sell to government agencies under pre-negotiated GSA pricing as an authorized dealer. Manufacturers in general do not have all of their items on contract but typically have the “A” items on contract. Items on contract are typically domestic made and do not include imported items. To find out if a specific item is on GSA contract, please contact directly. In the event the item is on contract, we would be happy to get you a formal quote which will list the specific contract number and appropriate discount schedule. Items not on contract, can be purchased as “Open Market”. Office Furniture Concepts does accept all Government Credit Cards and Purchase Orders.

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Can I Get Fabric and Wood Samples?

OFConcepts works with many office furniture manufacturers throughout the country. Our manufacturers offer many fabric and finish options for their various products. Viewing color sample swatches online can be a good guide, but when in doubt, we highly recommend that you contact us directly to order and receive exact samples. We will order these directly from the specific manufacturer who will send them to you. The main thing to keep in mind is that this will add some time to the sales process, in general, an additional week. We feel very strongly, that as long as you have some time on your side, order the samples desired. This will insure that you are totally satisfied with your purchase.

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Will The Furniture Require Assembly?

In most cases, the furniture you order will require minor assembly. For larger orders, we do offer assembly at an additional charge, nationwide. There are numerous reasons that the furniture is not already setup with the biggest being transportation costs. A very significant amount of office furniture produced today comes from overseas and is shipped to US Ports in containers on ships. This allows for more product to be shipped in a container, keeping transportation costs lower. In addition, in the event that a part is damaged, it is easier and quicker to replace parts. Many items ship via UPS or Fedex Ground, this keeps shipping charges to a minimum. Bigger items ship by truck LTL. Most manufacturers have easy to follow assembly instructions along with factory websites that have more assembly detail, along with 800 numbers for more technical assistance. In the event you do not want to deal with any delivery/assembly issues, contact us directly. We will do everything possible to find an affordable, practical solution that meets your needs.

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A Sleek and Modern AV Cart

The Boss Metal Presenter Cart by Balt has a top that measures 23 1/2″W x 20 1/2″D and has non-ski pad and security rails. The two side shelves fold when not in use and also feature non-skid pads. This cart also has a built-in VGA, USB, AV input/ouput inlet for connections to computer, projector, Internet cables, etc., which is located under one of the shelves. The silver color adds a contemporary touch to any existing conference room furniture.

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Mesh Back Guest Chair for a Contemporary Look

Global has recently introduced a Mesh Back Guest Chair in their Offices to Go, Seating to Go line. The Mesh Back Guest Chair features attractive, supportive, breathable Black mesh fabric back and mesh fabric seat along with molded armrests and four leg design. The Mesh brings a contemporary look to any office furniture style or color. The Mesh Back Guest Chair can be paired with any of the Seating to Go line’s Mesh Back Managerial or Executive Chairs.

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Mayline Introduces the Santa Cruz Series

The Mayline Group recently introduced the new and improved Santa Cruz Series of Lounge Furniture. All of the seats are Buffalo Split polyurethane coated leather, which are CA117 approved. Available in either Black leather, which is standard with mahogany feet) or Almond leather (which is standard with black feet), this series is equipped to fit with any current office furniture you might have.

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