You are a small business owner and can’t decide whether you should work in a home-based office or from an external premise. Where your office is situated is important to the success of your small business. Without a functional workspace, you won’t be efficient in your work tasks.
Working out of a home-based office is not for every small business owner, but it is important to consider what it takes to set up an office so you can get your business off the ground. We have rounded up a checklist of essential tasks required if you decide to move your small business out into external premises.
Home Office Or Rental/Lease Office?
If you are just starting up, a home-based office is the most cost-effective choice. But is your home the best location for your small business? Can you conduct business from your home under local council regulations? And are you getting a good work-life balance?
If your business has expanded with the addition of another employee or two, and you have clients who you would prefer to meet at a business premise you will need to rent or buy space. When you start looking you might wish to consider the need for a meeting room, reception space, parking and handicap access.
A more cost-effective solution could be sharing commercial space. Consider co-working spaces with similar start-up companies where shared facilities include meeting rooms and reception space. There are virtual office centres which have fees included to give you access to an office address, phone answering services and meeting room use.
Obviously, cost per square metre changes from suburb to suburb. Be sure to check the utilities such as the kitchen, restrooms, parking, proximity to public transport and access to broadband internet. Consider whether the office is accessible for your employees and clients.
Office Furniture And Workstations
No matter what kind of small business you have, a well-designed, stylish and professional looking office will impress your clients and employees. Consider giving your business a significant lift by using an office fitouts company, which can ultimately enhance the success of your company.
If costs are an issue, consider leasing as much office equipment as you can. Computers, copiers, scanners and a phone system may be included in an all-in-one option. Not only will leasing reduce your costs but optimise space as well. Alternatively, check newspapers for businesses closing down as they may be selling furniture and electrical equipment second-hand.
If you and your employees visit clients and potentials outside of the office, and if you do a lot of off-site tasks such as demonstrations, roadshows or exhibitions, laptops might be ideal for you. You can create your own desktop experience with a docking station when you are in the office.
But beware that laptops are generally more expensive than desktop computers and not as easy to upgrade or fix when there is an issue. So, if you do not require laptops, desktop computers might be more affordable.
One very important thing not to overlook when you have an office is insurance. If you have a commercial lease you will be required to take out insurance. Research a policy that suits you best and covers contents, burglary, money and public and products liability. It is also worth knowing if you do decide to run your small business from home that your home office equipment isn’t necessarily covered under your home and contents policy.
At the end of the day, only you can decide if working in external premises is right for your small business. Along with contemplating the tasks outlined here, you should also consider the type of work you do, whether you will have access to all the equipment you need to do your job and the number employees you have or will have, if any. After analysing these factors, you will be able to make a decision that is right for you and your business.