by Lizzie Pertwee
Setting up an office is exciting and daunting in equal measures, especially if it’s your first time at the helm of a business. Like virtually all start-ups, you’re bound to find that money’s tight, meaning it’s crucial to be savvy in your approach. Splashing too much cash on your working environment can prove to be disastrous for the success of your enterprise.
Consider your Home.
Firstly, decide whether you need to rent office space or, if you have the space to work from home, set up your computer desks and other resources there instead. If it’s just you, or you and one or two business partners or employees, your property might be a great starting point. Working from home is one of the most effective ways to minimize spending.
However, you must have enough square footage, and the environment needs to be professional. Make sure you install a separate business phone line rather than relying on your home line. Also, make the effort to get good quality furniture that’s fit for purpose.
Try a Serviced Space.
If your home won’t cut it, it’s time to look elsewhere and, for start-ups in particular, serviced offices can be ideal. These premises tend to be available on short-term leases and enable you to up or down-size quickly if you need to. This flexibility can be a huge advantage to fledgling businesses. The other great thing about these premises is the fact that they come complete with furniture, equipment and resources such as meeting rooms and reception services. The expense of these extras is factored into your rent. While this may mean paying a little more each month, it means you won’t incur large start-up costs.
Only Take What You Need.
It’s easy to get carried away when you’re setting up an office. A spacious environment in a premium part of town complete with brand new, expensive furniture may seem like a dream come true, but in fact setups like this can quickly turn into a financial nightmare.
Modesty is definitely a virtue for the budding entrepreneur. Make sure you only take as much square footage as you really need, and it may pay off to opt for a less pricey location. Also, it might be worthwhile looking for used office furniture, and there are plenty of great deals to be found on new desks, chairs and other items online too.
Do the Math.
Regardless of whether you’re planning to work from home or elsewhere, make sure you do the math before setting up your office. Drawing up a detailed budget and sticking to this will help you to avoid a whole series of potential problems and nasty surprises further down the line.
Starting up a business entails costs, of course, but if you plan carefully where you set up your office and how you equip it, you can make substantial savings. Then you can put the money you save into making your business even more profitable!
[Image credit: Sean MacEntee, used under Creative Commons license]
Lizzie Pertwee is an independent business advisor. She’s also a big fan of the cinema. Her favorite director is Woody Allen.