Setting up and running your office is a critical component of a successful business. Administrative headaches in these areas that could have been avoided through careful planning will distract you from promoting your business and could affect your bottom line.
You may be just starting out or seeking to relocate your office because you're expanding or trying to improve your company's professional image. Whatever the reason, evaluating your business and personnel needs is an important first step. This will help you choose a geographic location, the type and size of space you need, and whether or not to utilize government incentives. The articles below offer assistance in these areas, as well as advice regarding office equipment and furnishings, saving money on office supplies and business services, accessing the Internet and utilizing other office communications, protecting and securing your office and its computers, and finally, conserving resources and understanding environmental regulations.
These articles offer solid, practical advice to help you select your office space and to protect and maintain it smoothly and efficiently.
Office Space Resources
When it comes to office space and location, you may be considering how much square footage you need, interior space design, proximity to useful resources, local amenities for you and your employees, taxes, surrounding local businesses, and government incentives. It's helpful to begin with an analysis of your business and personnel needs. Refer to the following articles for solid information on these important considerations as well as how to evaluate your business needs in this area.
- Points to Ponder: Space, Relocation, Tips on Moving - There are many things to consider when relocating your office, such as deciding how much space you need. In addition, local taxes, government incentives and other local businesses may affect your selection of a locale. Finally, when making the move, these tips on moving will help assure a smooth transition.
- Should Your Business Relocate? - When, why, and where you should relocate your business so it can continue to grow and thrive.
- Determine Where to Locate Your Business - Identify the needs of your business, your customers, and your employees and find the best location.
- Lease or Buy: Pros & Cons - Once you decide to move your home office to an external location, you must decide whether to lease or buy. Generally speaking, the biggest consideration between the two is the cash flow situation. Normally, leasing requires less money upfront; a fact that tends to appeal to folks just starting out, with perhaps less capital on hand than more established businesspeople.
- Virtual Offices and Executive Suites - Enjoy the convenience and prestige of office space and the use of comprehensive services without the long-term cost and investment.
- Office Space Resources - These are websites offering information, resources, ideas and assistance in locating the type of office space you seek, including options for virtual offices, and for locating brokers and office space suitable to your needs.
- Improve the Bottom Line with Workplace Improvements - Improve efficiency, increase productivity, and boost morale and employee satisfaction.
Equipment: Hardware and Software
Whether you place your business in your home or find external space, you will need to equip your office with computers, software and other high-tech devices. The following sections will help you simplify the process:
- Hardware & Software Hints - Helpful hints to simplify the process of outfitting your office with hardware and software.
- Selecting Office Equipment - "Helps you consider the Must Have Hardware you need to run your office."
- Laptop or Netbook? - Is a netbook right for you, or would you be better off with a traditional laptop? Like many technology questions, the answer depends on your business needs and your personal preferences.
- Choosing the Right PC - For small business owners, deciding on the right type and brand of computer is one of the first purchase decisions they'll have to make. For most businesses, personal computers are crucial tools for creating value, delivering services, storing records and performing a wide range of other mission-critical functions.
- Small Business Software - Discusses software for your business to help you with Bookkeeping, Backup, Communications and Marketing.
- Microsoft Opens Windows 7 - With its latest version of the Windows operating system, Microsoft is offering a faster OS with improved networking and security features that business owners will appreciate.
- Comparing OpenOffice.org and Microsoft Office - Companies of all sizes depend on productivity software suites that combine word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and often database applications under a shared interface.
- Internet & Communications - A primer of sorts on broadband benefits, telephone options and other communication topics so critical to running a business.
- Office Furnishings - Helps you decide how to furnish your office and set the right ambiance.
Office Supplies and Business Services
The supplies and services you use are an everyday investment. Read how to save money when you stock your office or use business services:
- Office Supplies - You use everyday are an investment. Read these tips about how to save money when you stock your office supplies closet.
- Postage, Shipping and Overnight Services - Are business-savers. You need postal and shipping services that are reliable and don't cost a fortune. Learn how to simplify mail processing and how to use these types of services in a cost-effective manner.
- Professional Printing - Will make you look good. Here are some options.
- Don't Let Suppliers Control Your Business - You need supplies, products, and services, but don't let your dependence on a supplier put your company at risk.
Your office and its equipment, computers and data are an investment and as such, they need to be properly safeguarded. The following articles explain the various components of this critical aspect and provide valuable advice.
- Safeguarding Your Office - Your physical office needs to be secured. This section offers suggestions on how to do that.
- PC Security - Protecting your office computer system and information is as important as protecting your physical space. We use computers, share files, access Intranets, and use the Internet for everything from banking and investing, to shopping and communicating with others via email or chat programs. The Internet has made computers more susceptible to security issues. You may not consider your communications "top secret," however...
- Protecting Your Passwords - Online security represents a balancing act between security and convenience, and security researchers say most users make poor choices when they create their passwords.
- Protecting Against Identity Theft - If you don't have a shredder, it's time to get one. With identity theft on the rise, for some of us, shredding personal documents is a way of life. For businesses it is the law...
- Safeguarding Against White Collar Crime - Though it's unpleasant to think about, there are additional practical safeguards to protect you and your business from dishonest employees, clients or customers.
- Going Green - How to be environmentally responsible within your business.
- Cutting Costs with Energy Efficiency - Conserving energy isn't just good environmental policy; it's great for your bottom line.
- Go Green: Being Proactive Pays Off - Complying with environmental regulations is a requirement, but it’s also good business and can help you avoid costly fines, penalties, and even short- and long-term business interruptions.
- Green IT: Reaching the Small Business Market - Most of the attention devoted to so-called “green IT initiatives” - efforts to save money and promote sustainability by encouraging more efficient use of IT and support equipment - has centered on the enterprise market.