Setting up your office is one of the most exciting and time-consuming parts of starting up a new business. What you’ll need – and sometimes more importantly – what you won’t need in order to get your organization up and off the ground is one of the first big decisions you’ll have to make. This week, we’ll talk about some of the essentials – and the not-so essentials – of what you’ll need to give your business the best jumpstart possible.
Buy equipment that fits your needs – Especially when you’re starting off, you’re working with somewhat limited resources. As such, you shouldn’t be going out and buying the best high-volume, high quality printer or copier out there. In many cases, it just makes more sense to rent it and get a smaller all-in-one machine to start. Also, be realistic. Think about where your max threshold will be and buy down to the unit before it. You can always upgrade. Be realistic about what you are now, with an eye of what you’re looking to be in the future.
Think bulk – Don’t buy chairs from here, a printer there or a telephone service here. Many places – ours included – can do many things for one, lump sum. And as we’re sure you’re aware – the more you buy in one place, the less each piece costs you. So if you’re looking at an office supplier and you know you can grab some monitors, printers and copiers – AND you see that they do telephone services, too – try and bundle it all together. Very few services are set it stone and chances are, you’ll be able to negotiate a great rate that works for everyone.
Don’t cheap out on phones- I know everyone talks about having cell phones and that you can trim some costs here and there – and truth be told – for small startups that have one or two employees, that’s fine. But by the time you’re buying an office, the chances are that that’s not the case. When you own a business, you’ll have lots of people vying for your time – and your ears. If all they have is your cell phone and email, that’s the only way they can get in contact with your business. Giving them a place to reach out – and potentially have the phone picked up by someone else – increases the likelihood of your getting their business. Being as available as possible is important.
Document management – While success is measured by dollars and cents in the business world, the currency that creates currency is information. The better an organization organizes, uses and manages it – is what separates the companies that are successful and the ones that end up failing. Whether it’s online archiving, protecting or distributing that information – having a system in place early on – and getting you into a habit of using it, can create a tremendous advantage for a small business.
Network infrastructure is an investment, not an expense – If a heart is what keeps a person alive by pumping blood and distributing nutrients, then your computer networking should be treated the same way for your business. It’s the heart of your business and the lifeblood of any successful organization today. Don’t go cheap on security. Don’t go cheap on the ways your organization will face and communicate with the world. You exercise and eat right to take care of your heart. Do the same with your network infrastructure to take care of your business.