Small Business Start-Up Checklist – Work Premises

You must first decide whether your business will need to have a physical presence somewhere or will it exist only in cyberspace. For the majority of small business start-ups today it is unnecessary and counter-intuitive to pay for office space when it is easier and far less expensive for you to work from home instead. Regardless of where you decide to base your workplace, this checklist will be useful.  

Things to remember:  

  • Office Space – Whether you are working from home or in an office, it is important to feel as if you have enough space to get your work done comfortably. A poorly designed workspace will hamper your productivity and stop you from performing to your potential. Think carefully about the design of your office and experiment with different layouts in diagram form. The best offices are often ergonomically designed to create a streamlined workflow. If you opt for premises outside your home, choosing the best location will be a big decision to make. Consider your needs at work both now and in the future.
  • Home-working – It is important to separate the work space in your house from the living space if possible. Noise may be an issue if you have pets or small children so make sure you can close off the workspace if you need to make phone-calls or avoid distraction. If you do not have space for a home office, consider some form of collective shared workspace with other individuals that you may know who do not need a large office to themselves.
  • Office Equipment – Make a list of all the office equipment needed in order to ensure you will have all the tools to be successful. Although it may be tempting to buy cheap equipment when you first start out, you may end up spending more in the long-term if it is unreliable. Having said this, it is easy to overspend when equipping your office so try to allocate an acceptable budget in the beginning and stick to it. Make sure your equipment is insured to protect against damage and theft as this will reduce downtime if something goes wrong.
  • Production Space – If you intend to produce a physical product yourself then consider the space you will need to do this. Some businesses will need both an office and an additional space – for example, if you are running a gardening business you will need somewhere to deal with paperwork and have a secure location for your tools.
  • Production Equipment – The same rules apply for production equipment in that you must weigh the cost against the benefits of the money you will spend. If purchasing a new machine will significantly increase your production then you can justify the expense. Maintenance of production equipment is even more crucial than your office equipment because it will effectively close down your business until the problem is sorted, whereas if office equipment fails you can probably keep working.
  • Daily Tasks – It is helpful to have a list of the workplace procedures that must take place at the end of the day such as cleaning tools, backing up hard drives or locking doors and windows. These are small things that can easily be forgotten but could make you lose work or even invalidate your insurance.
  • Suppliers – You will likely need to have some form of supplier relationship, even if it is just with your Internet Service Provider and website host. You may also require stationary supplies or even parts if you assemble a product yourself. Compile a list of potential suppliers through research and narrow them down – you will likely be able to find reviews online. Once you decide on the best supplier for you, keep the details of the best alternatives in case you are disappointed by your current supplier or they go out of business.

For the previous stages of this checklist look here  

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