A Guest Post by
Remember when you moved into your first apartment and you realized that toilet paper didnât magically appear anymore? Thatâs what itâs like when you set up your first physical office as an entrepreneur.
If youâre ready to move from your kitchen table to some real corporate space, here are some basic tips that will smooth the transition.
- Consider creative space sharing – there are incubators, shared spaces, and professional suites that come pre-furnished and ready to go. For a fee, some will include a receptionist or admin support. Regus.com is one company that provides meeting rooms and pre-configured offices around the world. You donât necessarily have to start from scratch.
- Bring-your-own computer policy – you may not have to make a capital outlay for computer equipment these days. Many employees prefer using their own laptop, and it facilitates occasionally working from home. Additional considerations include:
- Look at providing larger screens or keyboards as peripherals at the office; laptops are not great for ergonomics in extended use.
- Establish a written policy of how you will handle data storage and transfer, especially when an employee leaves the company.
- Consider what sort of upgrade or maintenance you will offer for employees who bring their own device.
- You might not need an expensive phone system – similar to the computer scenario above, many companies are allowing employees to use their own smartphones for business calls, with a virtual phone system. Services like Google Voice and Grasshopper allow you to have a business telephone number thatâs portable across devices.
- Costco (or Samâs Club) is your friend – paper clips, coffee filters, beverages, paper, pens, snacks, all these things can be bought in bulk. They will even deliver.
- Legal signage – once you have employees, you need to ensure that youâve posted the required Federal and State signage (which varies according to location and type of business). This will include safety information, workers comp, and minimum wage requirements (see examples here: http://www.laborlawcenter.com/c-3-state-only-labor-law-posters.aspx?gclid=CPbt_Pa3160CFcuP7Qod2i4jlA)
- Decor – if youâll be receiving clients at your new location, be sure to set up a welcoming entry with a couple of chairs and a small table for coffee. This can be overlooked as you focus on your employee work environment, and you want to create a nice first impression for visitors. This is also a good place to display a little personality!
Moving from the virtual office to a âbricks and mortarâ office space can be challenging, but itâs also fun. Roll up your sleeves, keep the pointers above in mind, and create a space that inspires you and your team.
Author’s Bio: Rosemary OâNeill is an insightful spirit who works for social strata — a top ten company to work for on the Internet . Check out their blog. You can find her on Google+ and on Twitter as @rhogroupee
Thank you, Rosemary!
ME “Liz” Strauss