As a start-up business, you need to have the right working environment in place to make your business more efficient and ready to grow. Start out with the right space from the beginning to make sure you have everything you need.
Start with the basics, and buy furniture and equipment, or look for serviced offices that already have everything you need.
For most offices, you will need a desk with an adjustable chair for each person. Make sure both are ergonomic. If you’re on a tight budget, you can visit auctions or look out for sales by office clearance companies to find second-hand, very affordable furniture.
Check what is included in your office, and then go through office supply catalogues to see what else you will need.
Plan Your Layout
Arrange your office in such a way that time doesn’t need to be wasted walking around. Put the employees who work together close together, and keep the most used files and equipment in easy reach.
If you will have visitors, think about what you might need for them. Do you need a receptionist to greet people? Do you need meeting rooms?
Make sure you have enough telephone lines and extensions. Shop around for a supplier to save money. If you will be working from home, think about adding a dedicated business line.
There are a few different ways to get the communications equipment that you’ll need. Most equipment can be bought, rented, or leased, or you can find suppliers online. Shop around for the best prices.
Make sure you are easily contactable, so your customers and clients can always get in touch with you when they need to. Being available is essential for start-ups. Think about what you will need to use to make sure you can always be reached. Most customers and suppliers will expect to reach you by email. A mobile phone will keep you contactable at all times, so get a business mobile. Set up call waiting alerts, so you will know if someone is trying to reach you while you’re on another call. Get call diversion too so you can redirect incoming calls to the best person to handle them. Some callers might not like leaving messages, so you try to answer every call.
The cost of buying all your office equipment will soon be offset by the time that you can save with an efficient office. For most start-up businesses, computer equipment will be able to pay for itself within the first year. Choose the right software which will make you more accurate and productive, and reduce the amount of time you need to spend on repetitive tasks. Accounts software is a good example of this. Any hardware needs to be reliable and fast, so you don’t struggle with downtime.
If you need a photocopier, make sure you buy one that will suit the amount of copying you expect to need to do. A lot of small businesses do well with an all-in-one printer for everyday copying needs. You can use photocopy shops for larger amounts of copies.