You have followed all of the business advice. You have a plan. You have a customer base. You have determined a specific need. Now it is time to bring all of your hard work and planning to fruition. You have just rented out the perfect office space. It is currently just an empty room. A blank canvas. This is where you and your employee will be spending a lot of time. Don’t make it an afterthought.
Setting up an office can be an intimidating task. You need furniture and internet and phones. The list goes on and on. Just like planning your business, you need to plan your office. It needs to be cost-effective and functional as well as an enjoyable space.
Make a List
Before you run off to the office supply store or start filling your virtual shopping cart with fun new office supply toys, make a list of everything you need. Divide the list up into categories: furniture, office supplies, services, electronics, etc.
- Furniture – When it comes to furniture, keep things simple. You will need desks and chairs and lamps depending on the lighting. If you will have clients at the office, you might need some comfortable seating for the waiting area and a coffee table. Get an idea of the type of furniture you would like to have in the office. This way everything will be uniform.
- Office Supplies – This is that never-ending list that is so important. Pens, paper, staplers, hole punches, highlighters, permanent markers, tape and the list goes on. When making these lists think about convenience as well. Something like a Dymo shipping label could save you a lot of time in the long run. Label machines are invaluable if you will be shipping product or even just regular snail mail.
Design a Floor Plan
Now is the time to tap into your creative side. This layout will help inform you of what type of furniture you need to buy. The actual space you have chosen will dictate some of your design choices. You still need to determine what sort of layout type will best fit your purposes: open, closed or modular. Open plans utilize space well. Unfortunately, they don’t allow for much privacy. This can affect workers that get distracted easily. Closed plans offer more private space. This is great for individual work but might stifle collaboration. Modular spaces are a compromise between open and closed plans. Desks are grouped in small clusters. This allows for more privacy while allowing for more collaboration within the group.
Shop for Furniture and Electronics
Now that you have a layout, it is time to start shopping for furniture to fill the space. There are many types of desks to choose from. Your layout type will help guide you here. Where you don’t want to skimp ins on office chairs. Good chairs promote a happy work environment. Do some research and invest in chairs that will keep everyone happy and healthy. You also need to make some decisions as to computers and other electronics in the office. PCs are the most economical options. Macs are great graphics, video and audio editing, but they come at a premium. You also need to consider phone options. Will you use landlines or mobile phones or a combination of the two?
You should be thinking about Internet options and setup from the beginning. You want to make sure high-speed internet is available before you sign any leases or contracts. Look up your options for providers and compare plans, pricing and contracts. Research connectivity levels and determine what your business needs based on industry and number of users on the system. Do your research and don’t jump into a contract without considering all your options. You can also set up your phone system at this time. Many companies are using internet-based phones these days. This system definitely has its pros and cons. Another essential for setting up a new office space is a vanity phone number, ensuring that potential clients and customers will always remember how to contact you.
Setting up your first office as a small business owner is exciting. It can also be a daunting task. It is full of lists and delivery timing. Each task stacked precariously on the one before it. Make sure you have a plan and your office will be a source of joy instead of a headache.