Small offices/home offices come in an array of shapes and sizes covering a variety of businesses. There are as many ways to set up your office space as there are small business ideas. Each office is unique to the entrepreneur and should be, it is one of the perks of working for yourself. However, there are a few basic items every office needs to run efficiently.
This is the most important requirement on the list. Your office space doesnít need to be elaborate, either a corner of the room or a room all to itself will work. You do need to have office space that is only used for office work. If you try to use your kitchen table vital forms and/or tools can get misplaced or left undone. Keep a nice, organized, clean space with everything you need close at hand.
Separate Phone Line
It is best to have a number with a professional voice mail message. Many small businesses skip this one, but it will help to keep business demands from entering into your personal time. Also, there are times throughout the day when it isnít convenient to have a business conversation. Most people today own cell phones and hesitate to have two of them, but it is liberating to know when you go out to do personal business that you can leave the work phone behind.
Separate Bank Account
This is another must have. It is very simple to get a separate business account. If you feel you are not sure you want to set up an account straight out of the gate, get a prepaid card. The point is to keep your business money separate from your household money. This will help you determine how successful you are and where you need to change your procedures and at tax time it will also make things easier for yourself or your accountant.
Your filing system should be something that is easy to maintain. It doesnít matter if it is electronic or hardcopy but it is imperative you have one. Increasing numbers of SO/HO are going paperless with scanners and smart phone apps making it very convenient. Again at tax time a well maintained filing system will make things easier. Also, you donít want a customer to call about an order or service and you have nothing to refer back to answer their questions. Having an efficient filing system will give you confidence and an understanding about how your business is doing.
Basic Office Equipment
Depending on your type of business this can vary, but it still vital to running an efficient office. There are may be pieces of office equipment you may need to buy before setting up your office and some items you may already have.
Forms (Order, Contracts, Receipts, etc)
Having the proper equipment will make life easier for entrepreneurs. Staying organized and focused is easier when you have the tools to do your job. Make yourself a checklist and keep at it until you have everything on your list and experience for yourself how efficient your workflow becomes.