The U.S. Census Bureau reports there are 543,000 new businesses started every month. A vast majority of these are single-employee ventures. But there are also those that christen a new office space and prepare to fill it with all the necessary people and equipment to turn a profit.
Those echoes you hear in that empty office are the sounds of opportunity. Now it’s just a matter finding the right furnishings and tools to create the type of work environment that breeds long-term success. The best part is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money doing so.
One of the best-kept of secrets of the corporate world is the Government Liquidation (GL) website. It is the official auction and sales hub for surplus and used assets the Pentagon either no longer needs or has too much of. GL houses this equipment in several warehouses on various military bases in the U.S.
New business owners with empty office space can purchase, among other things, computers, desks, cubicles, chairs and printers in bulk at a fraction of the price they’d pay a retailer. Simply register your company with the website and it instantly gives you access to its entire inventory. One caveat is that you may have to pick the items up yourself from a warehouse that is far away from your office. You may also want to find someone in the area to inspect the equipment before purchasing.
Network and Software
The first matter of business to address with your computer network is the choice of an in-house server or cloud-based services. The previous gives you complete control of your data and network because the server is physically on the premises. They are also very expensive and will require you to cool the room so the system doesn’t overheat. Scalability, lower costs and easy set-up are the advantages of the cloud.
There is no right or wrong direction to go. But a 2013 study by Colmar Brunton, an international marketing agency based in Australia, found that only 16 percent of small business used cloud services. The study also found the businesses that do embrace the cloud were 106 percent more likely to see revenue increases from 2012 to 2013.
Finally review different software for pipeline management and sales forecasting. Again, this will ultimately come down to personal preference. Read objective reviews of all software you may be considering and ask other business managers what they use for suggestions.
Brand Your Workspace
Especially if your office or workspace is also a retail environment or reception area for customers, you will want to brand your work area with your own color scheme and imagery. With wide format graphics, banners, and removable murals for walls, windows and flooring, the cost of creating a unique, branded workspace is within every budget. These products are removable, repositionable, durable and fade resistant. You can inspire your staff or clientele with a visually stunning workspace with just a few well-chosen and affordable graphics.
Some office buildings have cafeterias with cooks who make fresh food for employees. That option can be expensive, so the alternative is vending machines. Aramark and Vending Solutions are two of the more common names for soda and snack machines. Health-conscious business owners can check out HealthyVending.com and FreshVending.com for machines stocked with fruits, smoothies and other things that do the body good.
Strive to buy your print locally! A community printer will understand communication and design, with a special emphasis on your local market. They should be able to provide you with the latest information, inspiration, technical advice, and innovative ideas for communicating your message through print, design and typography, signage, apparel, variable data printing and direct mail, integrated marketing and environmental responsible printing. If they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER!