Essentials to Invest In When Setting Up an Office
When you first start out as a small business owner, chances are that you will conduct the majority of your work from the comfort of your own home. This is a logical move. After all, when you operate from home, you significantly cut expenses and business costs and can invest your savings back into more progressive areas your company, helping it to move forward. Instead of forking out for commercial property rent, commercial energy bills, and commercial storage space, you can operate from the comfort of your own home and invest the money into product development, manufacturing, market research, or marketing campaigns instead. You also benefit from convenience.
Rather than spending extended periods of time commuting into the office, you can simply walk into your home workspace and get started with your day’s work without delay. However, this way of working can’t really last forever. As your small business starts experiencing success, acknowledgement, and consequent higher demand, you’ll find that you quickly outgrow your home office space. You will probably need to take on staff to help complete administrative work, and you can’t really accommodate for these people in your own four walls.
You will also need more storage space and are likely to want to develop a more professional and official presence in the marketplace – especially if you want to start hosting business meetings and presentations. So, when all of this occurs, you’re likely to start hunting down appropriate commercial property that your business can call home! This is a relatively difficult process in and of itself. You’ll want to set up in a notable location with easy accessibility and high footfall passing by. You also need to ensure that the space is large enough to accommodate staff. On top of that, you then need to meet all sorts of health and safety regulations.
But once you’re set up and have signed the lease, you may think all of the hard work is over. But you should know better than that! A good business person’s work is never complete. You’ll have to invest in some essentials to ensure that your office space can keep up and running! Here are a few areas to focus on when getting started!
Printing Equipment and Supplies
Nowadays, you should aim to keep your printing to a minimum. We are increasingly aware of the impact that our behaviour is having on the environment and we should consequently minimise the amount of printed material that we create on a daily basis.
This is becoming easier, as increasing amounts of the work that we do is carried out on computers, laptops, tablets, and even smartphones in the workplace. Incorporate more digital work and storage options into your workplace and encourage employees to use them, making the general work process almost paperless.
There are, however, cases where you will inevitably need to print, scan, and photocopy documents when working in an office environment. Copies of particularly important computer files can be a good idea, just in case digital copies are accidentally deleted, lost, or hacked into. So it’s still important that you have the right equipment available to do these jobs. Here are the main printing basics that you should invest in!
First, you will need to invest in a printer. This is the main piece of equipment that you will use in the printing process. Generally speaking, choosing an office printer can be relatively difficult. While you can experiment with cartridges and paper (and switch to a different supplier once supplies run dry if you are unimpressed), a printer is more of a permanent investment. There are so many different things that you need to bear in mind when choosing one model or another model that things can quickly become confusing! But not to worry. Here are a few boxes that you should be aiming to tick.
First, you want to ensure that your printer has low running costs. The overall price tag on a printer may be low, but you may then find that the ink required in it is extremely expensive. By finding a printer that can use cheaper ink, you can save yourself a small fortune each time the cartridges empty and need to be replaced.
Next, you need to focus on printing speed. This is usually measured in one of two ways. Some companies maintain the tradition route of measuring speed in “characters per minute” or “CPM”. However, nowadays, we have more control over font styles and font sizes used in our documents, so characters per minute isn’t quite so accurate in determining how fast your printer can process documents. Instead, you might want to compare printer speeds by pages per minute. This will give you a better idea of how long you will be waiting for documents. The faster, the better, as this means you and your employees will spend less time in the office waiting around for documents to be printed and more time being productive.
A final aspect of printers that you might want to consider is the paper size used by the printer. Most businesses will only require standard A4 printing on standard weight paper. But if you’re considering printing your own posters, leaflets, business cards, and other promotional material on your printer rather than outsourcing, you might want to consider options that take A3 paper and heavier paper.
When finding a printer that can deal with heavier paper or card stock, you will want to check the “GSM” it can process. GSM stands for “grams per square metre”. The more grams it can take, the heavier the paper stock it can print on.
Once you’ve purchased your printer, you can start to stock up on ink cartridges suitable for it. Many small business owners make the mistake of purchasing ink straight from the manufacturer of the printer they’ve purchased. But this isn’t the best idea when you’re trying to be savvy with money. Manufacturers tend to add a higher price tag to ink with their branding on. Instead, you should consider sourcing out discounted ink cartridges. The ink that you receive will be just as good quality, but you can make huge savings in the process.
Finally, you will need to purchase paper. This should be bought in bulk to save you money and to save you heading down the shops on a regular basis when it runs out. For general, everyday office printing, you will probably be looking for white A4 paper weighing between 80 and 120 GSM. Avoid buying brand new or virgin paper. Instead, you should source environmentally friendly, recycled options. If you do want new paper, it’s generally a good idea to look out for paper that has been awarded by the FSC, or “Forest Stewardship Council”. This let’s you know that the paper is responsibly and sustainably sourced and that the forests used for the paper are managed correctly.
Ergonomically Designed Accessories
When you are working in an office everyday, you need to prioritise your safety and wellbeing. While office jobs may not seem the most strenuous, it’s important to bear in mind that they can require repetitive movement and that they can require you to be seated in the same for extended periods throughout the day. This can create health problems in the long run, such as repetitive strain syndrome.
The good news is that there are steps that you can take in order to reduce the chances of such damage occurring to your body. Invest in ergonomically designed accessories. These are specially created to reduce the strain placed on your body by everyday office tasks. They can include specialist wrist support, foot rests, and other beneficial pieces of equipment. If you have employees working for you too, you should invest in some of this equipment for them!
A Water Fountain
We should all drink eight glasses of water on a daily basis, but many of us are not reaching this target. A lot of the time, this is because we forget to bring our water bottles out with us, or we simply cannot afford to buy water regularly throughout the day at work.
You can easily keep yourself and your employees hydrated by fitting a water fountain or water dispenser in your office. If cups are supplied, make sure that they are paper cups which can be recycled. Also try to offer both chilled and room temperature options to cater to everyone’s preferences. This will help to keep everyone hydrated, alert, and productive.
These are just a few office essentials that you should really invest in. Take time to do your research on different options available to you and then implement them into your office as soon as possible. They will really help to ensure that work is completed and that both you and your employees are content in the workplace!
Good office chairs
You’ll spend time looking at the computer monitor for more than 8 hours every day, so it would be really wise to invest in a decent office chair.
You don’t have to break the bank and buy a Herman Miller (although it will probably last you a lifetime), just about any chair with decent control options should be fine. You should look for adjustable height (usually a gas lift), good lumbar support, tilt and seat depth adjustments.
There’s a variety of designs out there, with a plethora of colour choice and materials – the most popular being the plastic mesh ones.