If you have started up your very own business and you’re ready to expand out of your home and into a more professional space, then you may want to start thinking about creating an office. Now, you may think that it’s pretty straight forward trying to hunt down an office space to rent or buy in your area, but a lot of the time you may find that you’re having to settle because all of your boxes aren’t being ticked. It may be a little too big, or too small, or lack other features that are important to you. So why go through the stress of trying to find what’s perfect, when you can just create it all from scratch instead?
It sounds like a lot, and it certainly isn’t something that is able to get done overnight, but with enough drive, hard work, and determination, there’s no reason you can’t build the best office for you and your business. Before you do anything though, you need to familiarise yourself with the most important areas to focus on. Of course, you won’t necessarily be doing all the dirty work – you find professionals to do that for you. But the more that you know about the process, the better and easier it will be for you.
So here are some of the most important areas you should be focusing on.
- The price range. The budget that you have will determine just how much you will be able to afford when it comes to your office. It’s not always the bigger the space, the more expensive it is. You may opt for a smaller space but it costs more because you have more expensive materials used, or specific interior design ideas that takes more time to achieve. Always take into consideration how much money you have first before you start coming up with ideas, as the worst feeling is to plan it all out into your wildest dreams, and then realising last minute you can’t afford it and have to make huge cuts resulting in sacrifices that will come back to haunt you. So keep your budget in check and don’t go outside of it until you know that you can financially. There are always options, like taking out loans, but remember you have to pay it all back, and you won’t necessarily be making that much of a profit to begin with.
- The location. Choosing the location of your office is very important. First of all, it will all come down to whether there is land to build on, and you may or may not have a lot of options here – it all just depends on the area where you’re from. If you do have choices though, you’ll want to think about where the right place to build is. You will need to think about what your office will be used for and whether the public will be entering it, or whether it’s just for you and your employees to work from. If it is only for your staff, then you don’t need to worry too much about being seen and noticed on a busy street, as you will benefit a lot more from the online marketing side of things as a pose to worrying about a storefront.
- The structure. Sure, you’re not necessarily the one that’s building this office, but you are going to be involved in an awful lot along the way, so it’s always wise to get up to speed so that if and when there are questions that need answering – you will actually understand the meaning of them. What are your walls going to be made out of? What kind of insulation do you want to be used? What materials will be used from Roof Depot? How many bathrooms do you want fitted? – And the list goes on. If you’re lucky enough to find the right kind of builders and architects, then they should be equipped and skilled enough to take care of everything, while having a confident idea of what will work best for you and your needs, as well as being able to step in and speak up if they don’t agree with something.
- The accessibility. This comes in all different forms, from the small necessities, like ensuring you have everything you need close at hand so that you aren’t having to waste time running around trying to find things. You also need to think about the importance of what accessibility you have for anyone who has a disability, like a ramp or lifts available for people that aren’t able to walk up stairs (if you have any). Just because you may not have any employees that need this for the meantime, doesn’t mean that it will stay this way. Failure to do so can be seen as a discrimination as you aren’t providing a fair playing field for all different kinds of people. The same thing goes for your fire exits too, you have to ensure they are all accessible no matter where someone may be in the office, and nothing should ever obstruct them.
- The theme. The interior of your office is just as important as the exterior, because it will become your everyday environment and if it doesn’t look pretty and attractive, then you’re not going to want to sit there every day for hours on end. So come up with a theme as this will be a lot easier to buy for that way. Do you want to go down the minimalistic road? The modern way? Or the artsy vibe? Whatever you choose, remember that you don’t want to go too overboard filling your office up with things as there is always the risk of it coming off messy or chaotic, and that’s the last thing you want when in a workspace. You all need to be able to focus and concentrate on the job at hand, not be distracted by the abstract art plastered all over the walls.
- The placement. You may think this is a minor thing that can all be changed once you’re there in the finished office, but this isn’t always the case if you’re planning on having built-in desks for example. For example, you may be sitting at a desk with your back against the window, but if you’re caught at a time where the sun is shining through, then this will be reflecting off your computer screen and you won’t be able to see anything. It will also create a shadow of your head, so you’ll be blocking your own vision as a shadow is formed. These are often problems that are found out too late, and cause more work to be done afterwards, causing you to spend even more money. So although you should be taking everything step by step, you also need to think well ahead to save you trouble later down the line.
- The employees. If you don’t already have a lot of employees, if any, then you’ll want to start thinking about hiring since you’re expanding your business. There’s no need to go overboard with this in the beginning, as you don’t want to hire too many staff and then lose more money than you have to. It’s best to start off small and then work your way up depending on how much more help you need. A lot of owners often find it hard to come to terms with bringing strangers into a business that they’ve worked so hard for as they feel overprotective, which is completely understandable. But there’s no need to spread yourself so thin when you can get help from competent people. It’s all about taking your time through the hiring process so that you’re able to find the perfect employees, and when you’re lucky enough to find them, you’ll become a tight knit family who supports one another all the way.
Now that you know which areas you need to focus on, get thinking, plotting, and planning, because the sooner you do that, the easier and even quicker the ball will start to roll. You also want to listen to help and advice when it’s given to you, because every little bit will help, and the right professionals will know a lot more about their craft than you do, so always take the tips given to you along the way. Know that times will get a little tough, and you may realise that things aren’t moving as quickly as you would have liked, but try not to get disheartened. One trait that will definitely help you along the way, is patience. So even if you do end up falling behind and aren’t meeting your targets in terms of the building or designing – it’s not the end of the world. Take a breath, evaluate the situation, then reevaluate it. Then trust in time, it will all work out the way you want it to.
Note: this post contains contributed content.