Setting up an office isn’t as hard as it is made out to be! Or is it? On the face of it, you think it couldn’t be much of a trouble because all you need to do is get hold of decent space, set up some furniture and workstations and get your guys in.

But when you actually get around organizing it, you find it requires meticulous planning and budgeting to create just the right kind of set up required for your business.

Let’s look at some essential points to keep in mind while setting up a new office for your small business.

1. Why get a new office? Be very sure of the reason why you want to set up a new small office because it does entail a fair amount of investment.

•Is it because your small business is now on a growth trajectory and needs a larger space than what you have at present?

•Is it because the current location is not suitable for your small business, even if it is on a low scale?

•Is it because you want to employ some new small office design ideas and create a better work atmosphere in your business and the current location can’t accommodate that?

Make a checklist of the reasons why you must invest in a new small office for your business.

2. Choose the location – This is a very important step. Locating an IT business in a manufacturing hub or setting up a garments business in a location dominated by industrial goods is not going to prove beneficial.

Research well on the kind of location best suited for your business, and talk to real estate agents or property management firms for the best options available for buying, leasing or renting a small office.

3. Work out the finances – Setting up a new office doesn’t necessarily mean making an investment that eats into your reserves. Work out a definite budget and stick to it.

When you are looking for an office space for a fast growing business, it is always safer to rent and lease than buying a property, as you can later scale it up.

Remember the rent and insurance of the office space you choose must also fit into your budget.

Make sure the office space matches up to the city’s building standards. For example, if you are setting up a small business in Atlanta, with a small office space, contact the Building Inspections department in the city to find out about building codes for a commercial building.

4. Inspect the office space closely – Remember you are going to spend a greater part of your day here and so are your employees. Before you decide on a small office space, check out the following:

a.The space should be adequate to accommodate your current employees comfortably and have enough extra space to adjust some more work stations, in case you need to expand. In short, choose with an eye on the future.

b.The rooms should be airy and comfortable, and the office building should be decent and appealing, in case you have clients over.

c.Check for parking space, power outlets, phone jacks, and the flexibility of installing your workstations the way you would require.

d.Inspect the condition of the stairs, restrooms, elevators and fire escape.

5. Use the space optimally – If you are renting out an office space that allows you to plan the interiors yourself, you can draw up the layout to use the office space optimally.

Keep the following in mind when designing the interiors:

a.If you don’t need a receptionist or secretary, do not earmark space for them. And if you do need them, allot space wisely as they don’t require much space.

b.If you have a battery of sales personnel who are out on fieldwork most of the time, do not plan out expansive spaces for their work stations. A long extended table along a wall can do fine.

c.If you are running a service firm that needs a number of workstations, you can install long tables extending out from the wall. Put up a small partition on each table along its length so that work stations can be placed back to back without the employees disturbing each other.

d.If you have multiple computers, set up a network server so that you and your employees can share, disseminate and store information and data.

e.Buy office furniture, filing cabinets and other office supplies prudently. Do not splurge on expensive stuff when more affordable and good quality office supplies are available.

f.As the CEO, plan your own work area in a way that is accessible to your employees and yet has its own privacy. The area should be tastefully done up as you would be meeting your clients and possibly other CEOs who visit your office on business.

6. Get some tips at a CEO Conference - Get some good ideas on how to choose and develop your small business office space from your fellow CEOs in a CEO Peer Group or CEO association. Conferring with other CEOs will fetch you some hands on tips on setting up a small office successfully.

Author's Bio: 

Tom Bordon is a freelance writer who writes about business management, strategy planning, exit planning, CEO conferences and other entrepreneurial challenges. His articles focus on guiding CEOs, COOs on how to manage their businesses better and benefit from advice and tips gained from CEO peers at CEO association or CEO club.