The logo has been created. The money has been set aside for expenses. The customers or clients are ready to work with you. There’s only one problem: the small office space. But with a few tips, having a small office can work to your advantage.
Purchase Comfortable Chairs
The only thing more uncomfortable than a small office is to have bad posture in a cramped office. Whether the office is big enough for one chair or two, make sure all desk chairs are comfortable enough to spend long hours in. Not only is this important for posture, a cozy chair is necessary to avoid computer vision syndrome.
Monitor Everyday Work Equipment
Some work equipment is needed for consistent use. Other work equipment may have been useful in a bigger office or only necessary a few times a month or annually. If there’s work equipment that doesn’t have to cramp a small office, invest in a storage unit in Dayton or your particular locale.
Do you have a fax machine but your multi-printer already includes a fax option? It’s not necessary to get rid of a perfectly good machine just in case one of them breaks, but there’s no point in having two sitting right next to each other. Same goes for old record-keeping files, extra office furniture and bulk supplies.
Know When to Have a Business Lunch
Maybe there’s a client that you want to have an in-person interview with and make them lunch. (This is especially important for catering businesses.) Or, maybe you and your administrative assistant have no problem sitting at your small conference table for a late-night brainstorm dinner. But know when to have a business lunch outside of the office. Self-employment tax will account for both in-office lunches and out-of-office lunches.
If a client does not feel comfortable in your small office – even if it’s just for a cup of coffee – that can distract her from the point of the meeting: business. No matter the location of the meal, keep copies of food and drink receipts (including groceries) for tax records.
Invest in a Scanner
In bigger offices or multi-room offices, it’s normal to have big file cabinets. But in a tight office space, file cabinets taking up space is counterproductive, especially with business owners who have a computer sitting right in front of them. Hire a temporary worker, assign an administrative assistant or take on the task yourself of scanning documents that you need regular access to.
Don’t stop at saving them to a computer. Save them to discs and/or USB flash drives, too, in case of a computer crash. The paper files, if still needed, can go into the same storage unit as the rest of the occasional office equipment as a backup. Ditch the file cabinets altogether if possible.
Use Your Walls for Shelves
Just as you may hang a family photo on a living room wall, the same can be done in the office. Wall bookshelves or hanging bookshelves are just as sufficient for books and take up less floor room. Make sure the shelves can hold the weight of your books. Also, make sure that the books, binders and folders you may need are worth keeping on the shelves. If not, it may be time to either donate old books to charity or revisit the storage unit again.
With technology being as advanced as it is today, small offices aren’t as much of a problem because paper doesn’t take up the same amount of space as it used to. There’s no reason to make your office feel like a broom closet when there are so many options to create room in a small space.
From the wall to the floor, from outside to inside, and from digital to print documents, you know what’s best to make your office run sufficiently. Just make sure you can stretch out, too.