Photo Courtesy: David Martyn Hunt
There are many reasons why people go into business for themselves. Some like the idea of escaping the desk job, some just don’t want to be answerable to someone else, and for others it might be their only option after a spell of unemployment in a struggling job market.
Whatever your reasons, it can be an exciting time. There’s lots to think about like budgets, strategy, finding your first leads and much more. One of the first things you’ll need to think about is preparing your workspace; be that a home office or rented premises, there are quite a few things you’ll need to take into consideration to ensure your new working environment is comfortable, efficient and effective.
If you’re working from home, do not give in to temptation and work from your bed with the laptop on a breakfast table! Choose a quiet room where you don’t usually spend much time. You will be more efficient working in a place you don’t associate with relaxation. Come to associate your work space with working, and you’ll soon get yourself in the right frame of mind for a day’s work at home.
You can set up a work space anywhere, but in the long term it’s best to have a reasonable sized room where you can fit a desk and chair, a filing cabinet and maybe even a bookshelf or two. Most rented office spaces will be adequately sized, but at home you might have to clear out the spare room!
Think too about the positioning of your monitor or laptop – will there be glare on the screen, or will the sun be in your eyes in the afternoon?
You need to be online, no two ways about it. So your work area is going to need to be able to connect to the internet. Many ISPs have a clause in their user agreement that says you can’t use their home broadband offering for business purposes, so you’re going to want to check out business broadband packages.
If you’re in a room without a phone socket you could get a cordless phone for calls and a wireless router to get online; but be warned – cordless phones can interfere with the stability of a wireless router’s broadcast, so try to keep your handset away from your computer’s receiving ariel.
It might be wiser to have a look at some business phone systems and have one installed in your home office. This would have the added benefit of a separate number, meaning calls from business contacts won’t be answered by your spouse or children.
Location, Location, Location
If you decide to rent a premises rather than work from your home, think about location. The rent may be cheapest on the other side of town, but what about petrol costs and accessibility? If your clients will be visiting your office, think about the respectability of the location. Is the rent cheap because the area is dodgy and nobody in a business suit would feel safe there after dark?
Choosing a working space when you go self employed is a big decision. You have to consider all kinds of things; not only the above but also electricity bills, council tax rates (in the UK), parking costs and heating costs.
It can be a lot to think about, but hopefully this has given you somewhere to start with planning your new business office. Good luck!
Catherine Halsey works for a marketing company servicing a variety of clients. This blog post contains links to one of those clients.
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I work online and have separate room in my home where I can work quietly and efficiently.