How to Set up an Office. When starting a new business or changing office locations, setting up the office is a critical step. Your office is where you keep all of your important papers and where you interact with clients. Setting up an organized office allows you to spend more time focusing on your business and less time worrying about office issues.
Search for available office properties in your desired location. Contact local real estate agents and property management companies that own office buildings in the area to find out what is available for rent, lease or to own. If you are starting a business, renting or leasing an office space is a more practical approach.
View available properties. Check that the properties have sufficient space for your business. If you are going to be meeting clients in the office, the building needs to be appealing and have parking adjacent to the building. Check the spaces for plenty of power outlets and phone jacks. Inspect the restrooms to see if they can accommodate your needs.
Choose a location. Your location needs to be up to the city's building standards. Contact the Building Inspections department in your city to find out about building codes for a commercial building. The rent and insurance at the location you pick must fall into your budget. Remember that you can move your business at a later date if finances allow. Many businesses began in small offices and move to larger, nicer spaces later on.
Decide exactly how many people need to work in the office and how much space they need to do their jobs well. If you have one person doing all of the accounting, they need a larger office with plenty of filling cabinets to accommodate the paperwork. Receptionist and secretaries require less room. If you have multiple sales personnel that work out of the office, they can share office space with desks placed back-to-back, or in corners of the room.
Set up all utilities and Internet access for your office. If you have multiple computers, organize a network server so you can share information with others in the office.
Buy office equipment and furniture. If you are on a tight budget, there are used office furniture stores in many large cities. Stores such as Office Depot and Wal-Mart have a wide selection of cheaper desks and filing cabinets. Buy multiple-line phones for each desk, if needed. Office chairs may be purchased used or new. Purchase computers for all employees that need them. If you have sales people who come in and out of the office, purchase one computer for them to share. You also need a network printer and filing cabinets for all employees to use.
Purchase office supplies. Companies like Office Depot and Office Max give credit accounts to small businesses. The accounts offer discounts and the ability to purchase online with next-day shipping. Buy plenty of pens, note pads, printer paper, paper clips, staplers, staples and other office supplies you need.
Xerox offers free printers for businesses that print a set amount of pages each month, if the company agrees to purchase printer ink from them for one year.