Offices are used by millions of businesses around the world. Whether they are the central hub of administration or the whole business is run out of it, they are useful beyond measure. But if you are setting up yo\ur own business that is run out of an office there are certain things you need to bear in mind. Things that you must take into account at all times to ensure that your office runs at the highest levels.
Setting up an office space
Setting up any kind of business can be daunting. However, setting up a business from your home is way easier than setting up an office to support whatever business you want to run. It could be business to business applications, development, travel, the options are limitless. But it doesn’t matter what business you want to run if the office isn’t right it won’t work.
Usually, people open offices when they already have a business up and running. They start it from their home, or somewhere smaller, then it grows and they need to expand. It is a dangerous and delicate time in your business and you need to step with care or risk major issues developing that can threaten your whole business.
Running a business vs. running an office
Remember, you are going from running a business to running an office that runs a business. There are slight differences. In the first instance, you need to settle on a location for your business. This is really important so don’t skip the step. Be careful and logical, being sure you do your best to find what is right for you. You may be on a budget, and looking for the cheaper locations are fine but bear in mind this comes at a cost.
Check out the parking for a start. Is there accessible parking? And not everyone parks. Instead, some people use public transport, is the office close to certain links like bus stops and train stations? You should take this on board.
You also need to look at the building itself. Has it got potential for you to grow? Is the building structurally sound? You may need a builders survey to find out. Are the connection good? Such as phone line and internet signal? How much is the rent and do you think it is fair. Sometimes you can haggle.
If you are purchasing the property outright you need to ensure it is stable. Don’t make mistakes at this stage. Some offices are great and ready to move into, being self furnished. Others will need a lick of paint and some work. It depends on your money you are willing to spend and your needs. It also depends on the time you have to spend on the project.
Now you have your office you need to think about the equipment that goes inside it. There is probably more than you think and as long as you don’t need to do any major rewiring on the property the costs should not become extravagant. First you need to install your phone systems.
There are some services such as this polycom phone service provider which can see your phone systems be great. Remember, you want to give a professional appearance while also going for something functional. Depending on your office and business you may need a phone on each and every desk. If this is the case ensure the connections are available.
Depending on the furnishing options you may need to buy the desks too. Consider getting height adjustable desks from HADO as they allow you and your employees to feel comfortable when at their desk. Remember to buy in bulk, it’ll keep the costs down. The same applies to the chairs you’ll be using. The chairs should be premium.
When it comes to recruiting people you want to make sure they stay productive. Sitting them on great feeling chairs is a way to do this. They won’t suffer from back and shoulder problems, meaning they won’t go off sick and when they are in work they will be able to work to their fullest capacity.
The computing systems are what will cost you the most. It could be logical to employ a business analyst at this point. They cost money too, yet they can save you money buy helping you buy exactly what you need.
You could end up buying too much without one. Or indeed, missing out on some key software that could make your job far easier than it is currently. Remember to compare the analysts too, some are better than others but still charge less, especially if they work freelance and not for themselves.
The computers need to be functional and powerful. In an office they will all be hooked up to a central server which will ensure they are all networked. If you were looking to save some money you could consider forgoing the server for a cloud based server.
They make a huge difference, and you will pay monthly for it instead of a lump sum. Cloud computing has surged forward in recent years. It will help productivity too. You and your team will be able to access the key business files at any point they choose.
It is especially useful if you are having to visit client sites out of office. It is more secure, meaning hackers and viruses have less of an impact and it also protects you from acts of god which could mean key data loss. It saves space in your office too.
You need to ensure the computers are powerful enough to run the software you need. Your business analyst will help you here but if you don’t use one consult the people you are buying the software from. Again, buy in bulk for the better deals.
Now you are hooked up you need power. Your internet and phone provider should be bundled, this way you get a better deal. Try to haggle and get the best price. You can compare key providers to get the better deals. Swap each year, they usually offer you a great price for the first year which then goes up soon after.
Swapping averts this. You will do the same with electricity. Your bills may be quite high due to the amount you are using so tell your provider you are a business and see what you can do. It may even be worth installing solar panels on the roof, it is a great investment, and it makes your business look good because you are being aware of the environment.
So, now your have your equipment, power, premises and utilities you can turn your mind to recruitment. It can be really nerve wracking when you pull in your first load of recruits. After all, you worked really hard on this business and now you need to entrust it to others.
However, it is a great thing as it shows growth. If you get the recruitment right it makes a huge difference to your company as you are benefiting from the expertise of others and can take on more work. Because of this it is vital you get the right people into the office. They need to have the right experience and qualifications and also fit in with you in terms of their attitude.
In the first instance you need to set a criteria. This stops everyone applying and ensures only a small amount of people apply who fit the criteria. You may want people with experience, or only people educated to a certain level. This is fine. State what you want and then when the applications come in they’ll be already kind of the people you want.
Next come the interviews. You need people who have experience in the office environment. These are either people who can use the software you will use or who have other things to add. At this point you do not want to be bringing people in with no experience. That can come later.
Right now you need people who will help your business grow. So although you will be paying more in wages you will be getting the right input as a result. Set questions that explore these issues so that you can get to the bottom of who would be best for your business. People who have worked in your industry are a big plus as they already have a working knowledge.
You can set other terms of assessments too, like role play exercises or tests to gauge a candidate. You must vet them. People lie all the time. Check out their references and run their qualifications past the awarding body.
Try to do the interview with someone else. You may be in business on your own, if this is the case ask a friend. Find someone who has done interviews before. Two opinions are better than one and they can pick up on something where you may miss it.