Things you need to do when starting your first office

By Helen Bradford

Opening an office is a huge operation that takes time and careful planning. If you’ve decided to open up your first office, prepare to spend a lot of time, money and research to find exactly the right space for you and your company. In a well-prepared office, your business will be more efficient and productive, so you need to look at every aspect of the set-up, including equipment, systems and the overall environment. This guide will help you make the right decisions that are vital to your success in your future endeavors.

Early planning

This involves brainstorming about how you and your company can benefit from opening an office. Think about why you need a dedicated space and what function it will have. Is the space going to be for you, your employees, your customers, or all of the aforementioned? Determining the exact function of the space can help a lot when it’s time to make more detailed plans.

Figure out your budget

Depending on whether you’ll buy the space altogether or just rent it, your budget can vary a lot. It covers not only your lease and moving costs, but also equipment and technology set up in the new space, available parking and even reprinting your business cards with the new physical address. Keep that in mind when making a budget plan and make sure to leave some extra when you calculate the total cost of starting your office, in case something unexpected occurs when it’s time for the move.

Design

Invest in functionality by focusing on creating an office layout and workflow that supports your team’s tasks and increases productivity. Organize the office to minimize the time wasted moving about, and if you have employees, place those who work together close to each other to maximize efficiency. Make sure to make a comfortable environment – If your office is going to be in a commercial building, you can find roller blinds online and keep the sunlight from interrupting your employees. Make sure there’s good lighting and an overall pleasant ambience. You can achieve that by painting the office a neutral, soothing color.

Furnishing

If you rent space in a business center, basic furniture is often included in your license fee. However, sometimes that’s not always the case. If you have the budget for it, invest it into ergonomic furniture, as it can greatly improve productivity among your employees. Just start with the basic minimum: desks, adjustable chairs, shelves and lockers. Determine exactly what you need right now to kick your business into gear, and you can get all the additional furniture later when everything stabilizes. If you have a space dedicated to visitors and clients, invest into making it look comfortable and tasteful, so you make a good first impression.

Equipment

Purchasing office equipment will most likely be your second largest startup expense. If you plan carefully you will be able to control your office equipment expenditures by only buying the essential equipment you really need. Here are some of the basic equipment you’ll need in your first office: a business telephone system, computers and software, internet connection, printer, shredder, mailing equipment… Make sure everyone is connected and everything is in working order.

Office supplies

Office supplies are usually not expensive, but depending on the size of your business and the number of your employees, it should be accounted for. Don’t spend too much time on this task, but at the same time make sure it is not forgotten. If you have various designated areas in your office with different functions, sort the supplies by that same function. For example, your break room will need a refrigerator, trash cans, coffee maker, table, chairs, maybe a microwave, etc.

Stationery

Your stationery is an important factor in creating your business image. It should be all in the same style and designed with a clear and easily readable typeface. If you have the time and money to deal with this task, a recognizable logo or slogan can help build up your company image. Business cards give customers and other contacts a record of your name and details – include your name, address and telephone number as well as your mobile phone number, email and web address.

Conclusion

Planning a new office can be tough, but with careful planning and good organization, it can be a smooth transition into something bigger and better for your business. After you’ve finished, remember to update your contact information on all your company materials and make sure your current customers know where to find you.

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Helen Bradford is a student whose main interests are interior design and business so she tends to combine those things when writing. She spends her spare time doing fitness and traveling.

 

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