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The Eight Most Costly Mistakes

you can make when looking for a new commercial space.

Mistake #1

Mistake #1

Not Investing Time in the Design Process - Or Designing Without a Purpose

The most effective workspaces don’t begin with great furniture, they begin with great design.  Design isn’t just about aesthetics.  Good design streamlines workflow, improves productivity and efficiency, encourages collaboration and teamwork, facilitates information and knowledge transfer and helps you to recruit and retain great people.   It should give your company a unique competitive advantage in the marketplace. 

That doesn’t happen on accident, it happens because of the thought you put into it on the front end.  An effective office space should reflect your company’s strengths, while honestly addressing its weaknesses.  By acknowledging what isn’t working with your current space, you can use interior design and furniture applications to correct or improve these problem areas.

The Midwest design methodology puts you in control, not someone who doesn’t really understand how you work.  Our real-time 3D design process allows you to engage with a designer about what works and what doesn’t, working side by side on layout, configuration and finishes.  You’ll see your fully designed and furnished space before you spend dollar one.  Most importantly, we are going to accomplish all of this in a fraction of the time it takes our competitors.

Our designers are experts at educating you along the way, helping you to understand what has worked well in the past and what hasn’t, sharing best practices and suggesting new and unique ways to solve old problems.  In the end, you’re going to be blow away by the space you helped create…and it’s going to look amazing!

Mistake #2

Mistake #2

Becoming a Captive Client

So you’re moving into a new office space and someone you are working with, someone you trust tells you…we work with XYZ Company, they’re the best.  It’s all very smooth, that company suddenly has your information, maybe even your floor plans, meetings are sets up for you and they commence design and space planning, often without really knowing anything about your company.  Fact is they may be the best, but then again they may not.  Before you know what hit you, you've become a captive client and that's the last place you want to be.

Competition is a good thing and nobody brings out the competition like Midwest.  Whether you ultimately chose MWCI or not, your process will be improved, your outcome will be better and we can guarantee you will make a more informed decision.

We will take the time to really understand what your new space needs to accomplish, we’ll inform you about important factors you should consider, we’ll offer a low price guarantee and your new space will look fantastic!  The design and furnishing of your office space should be done with the same level of due diligence as the selection of your office space.  Without this you can be assured of one thing - it will cost you.

Mistake #3

Mistake #3


The lowest cost, best value and most effective solution all begin with one thing…the best designed space plan. 

Too often, a client will begin with a poorly thought out, “one size fits all” space plan that was quickly thrown together for them by a competitor.  Never mind that the plan really doesn’t meet their needs or relies on 20 year old design principles using outdated furniture.   The client then uses this “plan” as the basis of comparing one office furniture dealer to the next.  They end up trying to get the best price on a dysfunctional and inherently expensive solution, almost always spending significantly more time and money than they need to.

The dealer knows exactly what they are doing.  Larger cubicles, massive work surface, unnecessarily high panels, and excess storage capacity are just a few of the things that are going to drive costs up considerably.  All the components and furniture specifications are designed to generate more revenue for the dealer and if every other dealer is forced to quote the same design and product, nobody is the wiser.  You’re going to lose at this game every time.

Value based design isn’t about giving anything up; it’s about getting and paying for only what you really need.  If you want the most cost effective solution, you have to begin with the most cost effective design.  One that really speaks to how you work and what you need. 

At Midwest we are experts in making sure you begin with the right solution.  We work with you, side by side, using real-time 3D tools to ensure that your design, furniture and layout does exactly what you need it to do…and doesn’t cost more than it has to, just because “that’s the way it was drawn”.

Mistake #4

Mistake #4

Shopping for too much space.

Increased space doesn’t make for increased productivity, and too much space is a productivity killer. Often times it goes unused, or under utilized costing you money by the square foot and countless hours of productivity each year.

Obviously a building owner would like to lease you as much space as possible.  That said, both you and the building owner share a common goal; ensuring you are successful in your new space.  A failed business pays no rent, no matter how big their office space is.  At MWCI our team has not only the experience but highly evolved visualization tools that allow us to collaborate with you, your real estate professional, and your architect in determining the optimal amount of space you need, and furnishing it for optimum results.  When it comes to office space it is not about how much space you have, but how much you get out of the space.  Your space should speak to your values and culture, it should create and experience for your clients, and it should help you recruit and retain the best talent.

Do the math: The annualized cost over the life of your lease for just 1,000 square feet is staggering.  The cost of doing preliminary planning that ensures you are looking for the right location is insignificant.

Mistake #5

Mistake #5

Thinking too small.

It’s a huge mistake to think that your project is too small, or your budget is too constrained to do it right. Regardless of the size of your project, or your budget, you should expect your commercial furnishings company to take the time to really understand your unique needs. They should be willing to invest in educating you about what works, what doesn’t work, and why. They should custom design an appropriate solution, provide the best products at the best value point for your needs, and help you visualize exactly what your completed space is going to look like...and it should look amazing!

Regardless of your company size or budget, your commercial furnishings company should make you feel like their most important client. At Midwest, we pride ourselves in the number of large clients we have today...that just didn’t start out that way. We know that if we exceed your expectations on your first office, chances are good we will be working with you on your second and third office!

Mistake #6

Mistake #6

Assuming used furniture is a bargain.

Let’s face it, used furniture is about one thing; saving money. Why else would you settle for old, outdated products that look mediocre at best and were designed for someone else’s office?

Unfortunately, used or refurbished furniture isn’t the bargain it appears to be. Maybe you can save some money up front, but it can turn into a nightmare down the road, when you’re looking to expand or upgrade your office space. On top of that, prices of used systems have steadily increased in recent years relative to new lower cost solutions. Even in today’s challenging economic environment, fewer companies are settling for used or refurbished products…mostly because they don’t have to.

Mistake #7

Mistake #7

Viewing office furniture as a one-time cost instead of a monthly expense.

Leasing advantages are well known: flexibility, preservation of capital, and very attractive tax treatment. So why not lease your office furniture? Steelcase, the largest office furniture manufacturer in the world, is also the only company in the industry that has it's own financing subsidiary. This allows Midwest clients to benefit from subsidized lease rates that are often as low as 0% (really!) and always well below market rates.

Our clients love the ability to tie the lease of the their furniture to the lease of their space, and they love the ease of the entire process. At Midwest, we are experts in helping our clients achieve more than they ever thought possible in their space, and leasing is often an integral part of the overall solution.

Mistake #8

Mistake #8


It goes something like this; the office furniture dealer initially hits you with a lowball price, using outdated and cheap furniture that they never intend to sell.   They bait, they switch and they overcommit at every turn, and before you know it you’re looking at a price that doesn’t even resemble your initial quote.  The problem is, they have also been methodical in eating up as much time as possible and now it feels like it’s too late to turn back, deadlines loom and you just don’t have the time to start from scratch with anybody else.  The strategy is well rehearsed and most clients don’t know what hit them until it’s too late.

It’s never an experience you will have at Midwest.  Helping you to manage and stay within your budget is something we’ve staked our reputation on.  Frankly, we are very good at it because we know that “on-time and on-budget” are two of the most important reasons you’re going to come back to Midwest next time.

But if you have had this experience with a competitor, it’s never too late to call Midwest.   We have special teams dedicated to quick turnaround projects, with our 3D design and rendering capability, we can accomplish more with you in 3 hours than our competitors can in 3 weeks.  Our purchasing power allows us to shave weeks off manufacturer lead times and our in-house installation crews can accommodate even the most demanding deadlines.  If you’re feeling locked in and going down a path that doesn’t feel right with one of our competitors, call us…we will lighten your load!  

It can\'t hurt to talk.

It can't hurt to talk.

Spend a few minutes with one of our workplace consultants and find out how to avoid making these mistakes.

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