Guide to Setting up Your Home Office

Establishing your own home business has its own set of challenges but it can be an exciting prospect for the most part. Setting up a where you take care of most of your business is critical. A quality office space will help you to treat your home business as a real business.

Setting up an office in the home that makes working convenient and efficient has several essential components that you need to incorporate into it. It is often said that location, location, location is the key to buying real estate and the same can be said for setting up a home office. Since you will be spending a maximum amount of your time each day in your office space, make sure it is a place you are comfortable.

A key Question answering the location question is in which part of the house do you set up your home office? Consider the year-round conditions of that particular area in the house. Make sure that it provides a convenient place for you to attend to business and work essentials. Find a quiet place in the house. Setting up your home office away from areas that offer a lot of distraction will help you increase productivity. This is always an important consideration but critical if you have young children at home.

After you have identified the area of your home to set aside for your office you may want to draw a space plan, and add essential office furniture to it, to make sure everything fits. A quality computer friendly desk and comfortable chair are an absolute necessity, as well as a file cabinet. The file cabinet may require locks if you have sensitive material and other people have access to the area where it is located.  Do you need a table and chairs for meetings, or a display area is another design question?

Office equipment is yet another component in your home office. You will need to identify what equipment you need to have in your home office for your particular type of business. This equipment can include computers (either laptop or desktop), printers, scanners, fax machine, and a copier. Proximity to internet and phone access is also a consideration. Included in office equipment expenses would be industry specific business software packages.

In selecting a computer make a list of the top 5 tasks you will be using the computer for before you go shopping and share that list with your salesperson. This will enable the salesperson to match memory, processor, and graphics cards, among other things to your needs. When selecting a printer ask yourself the following questions.

  • Do I need to print photos?
  • Do I need a copier?
  • Do I need a scanner?
  • Will I need a wireless connection?
  • Will I need to print forms that have multiple parts?

Communication tools such as internet, telephone and independent fax machine line are essential questions you must have answers to. Another communication decision you will need to make is if you will need a separate phone line dedicated for business use, which is separate from your home line. What hours will you be operating your business, is an important question which the answer to it will determine if you can utilize space in your home that is used for other activities during hours you are not working.? This “flex space” use can double or triple your office space in certain circumstances.

If you be meeting business associates in your home office, you need to plan space for it now.

In this modern world, business professionals utilize email communication for a more efficient communication system. Email is a necessity to the modern business. There are many options in the marketplace. I personally recommend you utilize Gmail, Google’s email product. Gmail works well with smart phones has a fantastic calendar program that you can access from anywhere there is internet access.

Other business essentials like a quality website, and being active on social media platforms, are tasks you may be able to do yourself. Memberships or affiliations with local organizations like the Chamber of Commerce are also a must.

The information included in this article is a great start for most home business endeavors. There are additional points that will be critical to a specific business that you will need additional research to uncover. I wish you good luck in your new venture.

 

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