Are you relocating to a new city to start a business? If so, one of the first things you’ll have to think about (after securing accommodation) is an office space – whether you’re launching a tech startup or a consulting business.
Once you’ve decided on the location itself, you’re going to have to think about size, design, layout, whether you’ll need a reception space or not, and how you can use the space to market your business. Here’s a quick start guide to get those creative juices flowing:
Make the space practical
First things first, you’ll need to think about what the office space is being used for. If it’s a reception area, then you’ll need to have a large desk facing the front entrance and seating for anyone waiting to be seen. If it’s just an office for you to work in, then place the desk near a source of natural light, but where you can still see people who come in the door. If it’s mostly for storage of files or inventory, you don’t need to worry about windows or seating, but you will need a large wall to put up sturdy storage shelves.
Make the space feel welcoming
If you’re a freelance writer/programmer/designer who does all their business online, then you can decorate your office space however you see fit. But if clients will be visiting, or your office is open to the general public, then you’ll want to add elements like comfortable seating, green plants (no fakes please), and maybe even free WiFi or a TV running 24 hour news. If appropriate, you might want to offer magazines, a water cooler, or a bowl of candies – even better if they’re personalised with your logo – especially if it’s the kind of business where people may have to wait a while before being seen.
Make the space a promotional tool
You may not be “in the money” right from the start, but you can dress up your office space to give the impression of success and professionalism. Frame any certificates, degrees or diplomas and display them prominently. Create branded company material – business cards, leaflets, pens, brochures and offer them to clients and customers. Have your logo mounted on a wall and highlight with spotlights. And lastly, don’t be afraid to have family photos on your desk – it will make you more approachable and can often be a great opportunity to chat with potential business contacts who see them.
These few small things make such a difference, and will have you well on your way to cracking the local market and gaining the trust of your new clients. First impressions last, so make an effort now and enjoy the payoff later!