Getting Your Office Ready for the First Day

startup office ready

There are more than 6 million businesses in the U.S. that have employees, according to the latest U.S. Census data. If you are ready to hire staff and open a new office, make sure you are ready with the right legal requirements, adequate facilities, and equipment and tools to keep your staff productive.

The Budget Mistake

The first challenge you have to overcome is spending too much or too little on your new office. Make a list of the minimum you need to do business and add to that. You may have a lot of “wish list” items that don’t make sense to have available on day one.

Do you really need boxes of designer pens engraved with your company information to give out to clients on the first day? Your goal on office opening is to have a direction that grows the business. Then you can add perks like company golf shirts and coffee cups.

Focus on Productivity

Your staff needs someplace comfortable to work in while at the office. If you have a very mobile team, they need someplace to camp out when in the office, but not necessarily a permanent space. Do they need phones or are you a bring your own device (BYOD) environment? ZDNet says 60 percent of companies will implement a BYOD policy by the end of the year. This could be an opportunity to reduce your overhead of office equipment when opening your office.

Office Equipment That Works

The capabilities of cloud computing mean you need very little technology to get started. Affordable data storage plans and applications from customer management to invoicing are available in the cloud. You don’t need large servers or banks of hard drives to kick off your office.

When you have a sense of your operations after a few weeks, you’ll know when you need more hardware onsite. If you are doing government contracts or Sarbanes-Oxley regulated work, you may need your own servers and storage to manage sensitive information. The less equipment you start out with, the less technical support personnel you’ll need access to.

Go Overboard on Communication

Distribute a schedule to your employees before they come on the first day. When is the building open? What are the hours of the office? Who will open and close the office? You’ll make adjustments in the first few days you’re open. But you want to make sure the office doesn’t remain unlocked after the last person is out the door for the weekend.

There are also mandatory notices you’ll need to post to be in compliance with state and federal laws such as anti-discrimination and labor law posters, jobs for hire notices, and payroll notices.

If you employ Spanish-speaking staff, you may need to post notices in both English and Spanish. Check the state and federal laws related to your industry for the specifics. These notices should be included in the employee handbook, but some are required to be posted in a prominent place where employees can see them.

Start on Visibility Early

Begin your PR efforts early to get the word out you’re opening a new business. Create some anticipation in your customers. Plan a grand-opening event and hint at it a couple of months before. Start your social media campaigns about the same time. Put out press releases, and ask people to tell their friends about you. Your opening day should be an event that motivates your employees and stimulates interest in potential customers.