Setting Up Your Office
Part 10 of Acey Gaspard’s Guide to Starting a Small Business
Take the Time to Set Your office Up Correctly. Setting up your office takes a lot of consideration. Taking the time to plan will definitely help you get off to a good start.
Options to Consider
Where will your office be located? Do you need to rent office space, or can you start your business from home? For a home office, you can get the space from the basement, garage, an extra bedroom, a spare room, the attic, or any suitable area you can use. Naturally, the office space where you set up depends on the type of business you have. If you have a walk-in kind of business, you won’t want to have clients coming up to your attic.
Your next concern is interruptions. Can you work from home without being interrupted by other family members? Other disruptions include friends dropping by, or other things you usually do at home, like housework, gardening, or here’s a popular one; taking naps during business hours. You might be tempted to take breaks or sneak in your favorite TV show. You have to be strict and know what you can and can’t do before you consider working from home.
If you feel that you won’t be able to work effectively from home, renting office space is better suited for you. If you want to rent office space and money is tight, you can share office space with an established business. In some areas, you may rent office space that allows you to share business essentials such as phones, faxes, and even secretarial services.
Today’s market has a vast selection of photocopiers, computers, and all the necessities to run your business. To begin, make a list of the office equipment needed to run your business. In the startup phase, you must keep the features to a minimum. You won’t need all the bells and whistles.
On the other hand, you don’t want to purchase equipment that won’t do the job effectively. You have to decide upon a balance here. Also, keep in mind that because of emerging technology, business equipment becomes obsolete very quickly. You could pay $3,000 for an item now that may be worth only $800 in a couple of years. In regards to the depreciation of equipment; purchase the best solution for the job and nothing more.
Another issue with office equipment is deciding whether it’s better to purchase or to lease. You may want to run it by your accountant to find out what’s best for your situation.
Your office furniture does not become obsolete as quickly as your office equipment. It should last you for years. The furniture you purchase or lease must be right for you.
For example, your desk has to be right for you. You may want a desk with many drawers, a hutch, and shelving space, or you may want a simple desk. This is a matter of preference. My point is that the desk has to feel right for you because if you’re uncomfortable with your desk, then, at a subconscious level, you won’t perform at your best.
Setting up your office takes effort and planning. You can get help from someone good at design. Also, remember that you need a lot of space for storage to stay organized!
Depending on your location and the type of business you’re operating, there are specific regulations for the physical setup of your office.
For example, if you’re running a website design business from your home office and your clients are all online, you have fewer regulations than you would if you had people coming into your office. Check with your local municipality.
Another vital issue regarding regulations is insurance. Check with your insurance agent to ensure that you’re adequately insured. In some cases, failure to report your home office will result in voiding your home insurance.
That’s The Basics
Well, that’s it for the basic setup of your office. Make your office pleasant and comfortable for you, and you’ll enjoy working there and being more productive and happy.
Action Steps to Have the Best Physical Setup for Your office
- Determine if you need to rent space for your business or if a home office will do.
- When establishing a home office, evaluate whether it provides the best and most productive environment for you (e.g., no interruptions).
- To find office space for rent or lease, check your local Classified Ads.
- When opting to rent space, find out how you can do this cost-effectively (e.g., co-renting space, sharing office facilities, etc.)
Important Points to Have the Best Physical Setup for Your office
- Even if you can set up a home office, consider if it is the best place for your business.
- For office equipment, go for equipment that gets the job done; no more, no less.
- For office furniture, choose what best suits you.
- Don’t forget to check regulations in your area before you set up your home office.
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