Setting up a new business office is an exciting moment in a business owner’s life. However, moving into a space that your business can call home is a rewarding opportunity that comes with its own set of challenges. To tackle this task head-on, create a plan to make sure that the transition into your new office runs smoothly. Take some time to create a new business-office checklist that details all the items you need to set up your new space, so that it’s equipped for the first day of business.
Find an office space to rent or buy. Select a location that’s large enough to fit your staff and any additional staff should your business expand. Consider space that includes a reception area, meeting room, a kitchen, a break room for employees and most importantly, a large work area that can fit desks and office equipment.
Use spreadsheet software to create your new business office checklist. Add the following columns: "to do," "responsible party," "projected cost," "actual cost," "due date" and "status." Bold each column title or make it a color other than black. Under the "to do" section, list the items you need for your new office and things that need to be done before the office opens. Create the following sub-categories under the “to-do” column: "preparation," "equipment," "furniture," "office supplies," "safety" and "miscellaneous." Make them bold so they stand out. Leave space after each sub-category so you can add specific tasks as needed. Once you have a spreadsheet for your list, you can begin adding pertinent details.
Under "preparation," include tasks such as hiring movers; notifying staff of the office location and move-in date; sending change of address cards to clients and vendors; registering the business with local directories and the Yellow Pages; hiring a cleaning crew; and calling to set up utilities such as gas and electric, high-speed internet and phone services.
Under the "equipment" category, add tasks having to do with selecting and purchasing computers, printers, fax machines, photocopiers, paper shredders, external hard drives, scanners, surge protectors, coffee machines, microwaves and refrigerators (if they aren’t included with the space). Add any machines or special electronics, equipment or supplies you need to run your specific business. The items you list will vary depending on the type of business you run.
List the items you need to furnish your new business office under the "furniture" sub-category. Include items like desks, chairs, filing and storage systems, couches, waste baskets, bulletin boards and lamps. Make a list of office supplies and include them under the appropriate sub-category. Include items like tape, computer paper, staplers and staples, pens and pencils, file trays, desk calendars, letter holders, highlighters and folders. Under the "safety category," include items like fire extinguishers, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and first aid kits. List the quantity you need to purchase for each item.
Delegate tasks among yourself and your staff. Include their names in the “responsible party” section of the spreadsheet. Enter your projected costs for each item and update with the actual costs once an item is purchased or completed.
Get insurance for your business.
Create a system for backing up all computer files daily or weekly. Work with staff to make sure that everyone knows and follows this procedure.