Whether they’re setting up home offices or starting full-scale businesses, new business owners need to give some serious consideration to their offices. It’s tempting to assume that all that’s really necessary is a desk, a computer, and a good pen. In reality, though, this just isn’t the case.
Modern offices should feature supplies chosen carefully to improve worker productivity and make it easier to get things done. New business owners can read on to find an in-depth look at ten of the most essential items they’ll need. As long as they follow these simple guidelines and purchase their equipment and materials from a reliable supplier like FilmsourceInc, they will be in good shape.
The Right Computers
There are few, if any, modern businesses that can operate without sufficient computer power. Choosing the right computers is largely a matter of understanding the business’s unique needs and working to accommodate them. While someone who is self-employed and working from a home office can usually get away with purchasing a solid desktop computer and saving some money, business owners who have multiple employees might want to consider laptops.
The Right Furniture
A small home office will still need a sturdy desk, a comfortable office chair, and at least one chair for guests if any part of the business requires client or contractor consultations. Full-scale offices will require everything from desks and chairs to office partitions and conference room furniture. When selecting furniture, it might be wise to consider factors like ergonomics to ensure maximum comfort and versatility.
Printer and Copier
Even a relatively small office should still have a printer and copier. Even if they don’t expect to be working much with paper documents, most business owners will eventually find that they have reason to be copying receipts, printing contracts, or producing other types of documents. A high-quality printer and copier for consumer use are musts, although most business owners find that purchasing a commercial printer is worth the money.
Document Processing Equipment
Professionalism is key when it comes to attracting new customers or clients to just about any small business. Make a point of having the right equipment on hand to process documents, including paper cutters, binding systems, and finishing equipment. It will make producing professional-quality documents easier if business owners and their employees don’t have to waste time looking for supplies.
An Adequate Reserve of Supplies
Don’t just buy a pen and a pad of paper and call it a day. Even those who are self-employed or have just a few employees can still benefit from buying office supplies in bulk. After all, there are few things more stressful than rushing around throwing together a last-minute presentation before a meeting with a client only to find that there are no report covers or binding supplies left from the last order.
Remember all the basics. Pens, notepads, printer paper, ink, and post-it notes all make it to the top of most business owners’ lists. Many offices can also benefit from at least a small whiteboard and some dry erase markers, as these make it easier to brainstorm, and a calendar for each room or cubicle. While it’s true that these tasks can be accomplished using computers or even phones, collaborating with other employees is easier when everyone can access the information.
Get organized early and stay that way with filing cabinets, hanging folders, and plenty of labels. Make a point of planning for the future and purchase more filing equipment than seems necessary, rather than less, as having the right equipment is important to ensuring ongoing organization and efficiency.
It’s a good idea to keep both electronic and physical copies of important documents. Just make sure to treat any documents that contain sensitive client or employee data with adequate care and purchase locking filing cabinets for any sensitive documents. It’s also a good idea to pick up a high-quality paper shredder to ensure confidentiality.
Headphones or Headsets
Any office that has multiple employees should provide headphones or headsets. High-quality headsets allow employees to take phone calls without having to stop what they’re doing to hold a physical phone, making it easier to work on projects with long-distance clients or check information. Headsets come in both wired and wireless varieties and are compatible with both PCs and Macs.
Those who are kitting out offices for small businesses with multiple employees might want to consider outfitting at least one small area of their offices for use as a lounge during breaks. It doesn’t have to be an official break room. Just dedicating one portion of the office space to comfy chairs, a coffee machine, and table where employees can gather during lunch or breaks to discuss their days can go a long way toward improving their productivity and satisfaction.
Plenty of Power
Evaluate the space’s available electrical outlets. Make sure that it can safely accommodate enough computers, lighting, equipment, and other electronic devices. Purchase surge protectors for every outlet and consider a backup power supply or, at the very least, setting up all systems to back up data automatically to protect against outages.
Now that all the basics have been covered, take a moment to consider personal touches. Put up a few pictures of the people or places that are most motivating. Those who are preparing to work with new employees should make a point of allowing them to personalize their spaces at least in a minimalist way, as it will help them feel more committed to the company and keep them inspired.
The Bottom Line
While it’s true that every office is a little different, most business owners’ basic needs will be largely the same. They’ll need enough equipment, supplies, and furniture to accommodate each employee comfortably at his or her workstation, a way to stay organized, and a few little touches to give the office more character and make employees and clients alike feel more welcome. As long as they purchase their equipment through a reliable supplier, business owners only have to invest in most of these items once so spend the extra money now if necessary instead of buying cheap supplies.