Wednesday, April 23, 2008

When Planning Your Small Business Office Space, What Do You REALLY Need to Make it Work?

Photo credit (Mitchell Haaseth / NBC Universal)
If you’re starting a new business, you’ll need a place to work. Whether you have decided to work from home or to lease a space, you’ll need to plan ahead to stay organized with your new business.

The three essential pieces you’ll need to run your new office are:

Let’s face it; you’ll need one in this day and age to effectively manage a business. Do they even sell typewriters anymore? Your computer will be the hub for many of your business dealings. You should set up a computer station that’s ergonomically correct and comfortable for you. You’ll also need:

  • An Internet connection
  • Back up hardware
  • A combination printer/scanner/fax machine
  • Software to manage your finances (I’ve discussed this in other posts, it’s important that you keep track of your business expenses from the beginning.) If you don’t start off keeping accurate records, you may get too busy to enter the information later. You’ll need to account for every dollar come tax time and you don’t want to fall short on your record keeping and get penalized as a result.
Whether you choose to go with a local number or to have an 800 number, it’s essential that your potential clients and vendors can reach you. Nowadays there are online "800 number" services that allow you to maintain a professional appearance without all of the expensive phone equipment of days gone by. No longer do we need “phone rooms” with miles of wiring to keep communications up. You can have your business line forward right to your cell phone when you’re out in the field making connections.

Whether you are working out of your home office, or leasing space; your customers will have more confidence if you have an address. Especially if you have an online business, you should always have a physical address posted. Some small business owners choose to go with a P.O. Box to start off and allow for growth. It can be a smart idea if you expect rapid growth of your small business. You don’t want to spend hundreds on your company printed materials only to have them be obsolete a few months down the road because your business took off and you need a new space.

Obviously you'll need additional items for your business, but these three essentials are key to getting started. When you're just starting out money is tight, make sure that you research every aspect of any item you are considering purchasing so that you don't regret your decision later.

You can do it!


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