Opening Your First Office: A Checklist
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Opening your first office is an exciting feat. Make no mistake, this is a milestone in your business’s history. More than likely this will be included on the “History” page of your website.
While opening your office is an exciting feet, it is also a challenging feat. There are probably a handful of steps you hadn’t already considered. We’re going to start off by assuming you’ve already determined that you are in fact getting an office space and not working from home. We’re also going to assume you have found your office space and are all set to move in.
Now that we’ve got those major areas out of the way, let’s dive into a checklist of things you’ll need for your office.
If your business doesn’t use the internet, we’re impressed and frankly a little concerned. This will be one of the checklist items that you’ll want to take care of immediately. Have you tried managing your entire business from an iPhone with 4G yet? It’s not easy. Getting your internet nailed down will actually help with procuring many of the following items on the checklist.
Phone System/Phone Provider
A phone system and provider are somewhat optional. For most companies, making and taking calls is part of everyday business. You can get away with using your cell phone for a while but you’ll want to have a main company line, if only for listing purposes.
Time to start taking care of the big ticket items. A quality printer will be a requirement for most companies. They are becoming less used overall, however there will definitely be times when you need something printed such as a report or presentation handouts.
While we don’t condone the use of fax machines, they still come in handy. Some of your vendors or clients may expect you to have one. If you’re pressed for cash, there are some substitutes to a fax machine you can use.
When it comes to office furniture, only purchase what you need. There is no sense in wasting money on supplying enough furniture for a company of one hundred when you are only at ten employees.
Feel free to get creative with the furniture and choose based on your company’s image and your own tastes. You’re going to have this furniture for a long time, so make sure you can live with it.
Office computers will be one of the biggest investments you make into your office. Supplying company computers is not cheap and you’ll definitely want to do your homework. Consider things like Mac vs.PC and desktop vs. laptop. A design heavy company might want to go with Macs while an big data company might go with PC’s. Desktops are great for larger amounts of storage and stationary employees but your salespeople might benefit from a laptop if they travel a considerable amount.
Office supplies are another essential component when starting up your own office. Printer ink, paper, pens, pencils, notepads, post-it notes, folders, staplers, staples, tape, rubber bands, and paper clips are all common office supplies that you’ll want to purchase.
If your office has a kitchen, you’ll need to outfit it with various kitchenware. Utensils, plates, bowls, glasses, coffee mugs, toaster, microwave, and a refrigerator are all pretty standard for office kitchens.
Another office staple is toiletries. Napkins, hand soap, dish detergent, cleaning fluid, tissue, and toilet paper are typical supplies that your office will need.
Providing your office employees with complimentary snacks, food, and beverages is completely optional but highly recommended. At the bare minimum there should be coffee available for your employees.
One aspect of an office that often gets overlooked is the cleaning situation. You might be able to get by with taking out the trash yourself but do you really want to be cleaning out the bathrooms and cleaning office floors?
Hiring an office cleaning service takes this work out of your hands. It is a business expense but a worthwhile one at that. After all, any time you spend cleaning your office, is time not spent on managing your business. Time is money. Use it wisely.
Business owners leasing their space might have this section covered. However, if you own your office building or are located in a stand-alone building, you might be responsible for the landscaping yourself. Again, you need to identify the cost of hiring a service to handle your landscaping or do it yourself.
Electricians, plumbers, and HVAC specialists might be provided if you’re leasing your office space. However, if you own your office space you will need to have a service for each of these on standby. Make sure you do you research and determine who you are going to call in advance, before something actually does break.
This checklist should give you a great starting point when it comes to opening your first office. Best of luck to you and your company!
Andrew Fujii is a marketing professional with expertise in digital/web and content marketing. He is also a copywriter for multiple agencies producing copy for blogs, articles, websites, product packaging, mobile apps, and more.
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