Moving into your first office as a small business is a big deal, whether you’re just opening or you’re moving out of a home office. It means you’ve expanded, you’re bringing on new employees, and you need a space where you can conduct business meetings and bring clients. Don’t be daunted by the task ahead of you. This is an exciting time and as long as you have a plan, you should be able to create a great office space and still stick to your budget.
#1 Create a Floor Plan
Your floor plan will depend on factors like the square footage of your new office space, the number of employees you have now and the number you plan to have in several years, and the kind of work you do. Will private spaces and cubicles be more conducive to the kind of work you do in your office or do you need to prioritize collaborative group work? Once you know your goals, you can find floor plan templates online that will help you envision how you should arrange office furniture. You need a layout that reflects your organizational structure and that can help save you money by buying less furniture.
In the great debate of open environments vs. privacy, talk to your employees about what they want and keep in mind the work you do. For most small businesses, private offices will prove too expensive.
#2 Decide on Office Furniture
Once you have a layout, you can decide what kind of desks, office chairs and other furniture you need to outfit your office. You’ll have to be careful balancing affordability with style. If you plan on using your office to greet clients or if you want to make a good impression on prospective talent, you will need good-looking office furniture. From a cost-perspective, look for durability.
#3 Shop Around
Going online is a great way to find cheap deals on office furniture. The one concern with buying office furniture online is shipping costs, which can be expensive. But thanks to the increasingly competitive online furniture industry, any order large enough to furnish a small business office should come with free shipping.
#4 Get Better Deals on Communication Equipment
Setting up phone lines for an office can quickly get expensive. Some businesses are deciding to save money by using VoIP connections instead, although going that route means you need to do your due diligence when it comes to finding a quality solution. Jitter, latency, and poor internet connections are all issues that could negatively impact your phone lines.
#5 Talk to Your Employees
A happy workplace is often a more productive one. Talk to them about what they’d like to see or, more importantly, what they really don’t want to see. Giving employees some say in their office surroundings will make them feel more valued and in control of their working environments. If they didn’t want more control over their workplace (and work), they probably wouldn’t have taken jobs with a startup.
You don’t have to break the bank preparing your first office. Plan ahead, shop for deals, and talk to your employees to find the best plan of action.