How To Set Up an Office For a Small Business

Posted on November 24, 2023 | Updated on November 24, 2023

Setting up an office for your small business is an exciting but also daunting undertaking. If done properly, it can help increase productivity and reduce common headaches. Here is a quick guide on how to set up an office with seven easy steps companies can follow.

1. Make a List of What Your Business Office Will Need

As with anything, the first step is to start with planning. While your first instinct might be to look at different locations, it is better to have a solid idea of what your office will require. For this reason, it is better to start with a list.

This step is about thinking what the workspace should consist of and is also useful for creating a budget that fits the company’s needs. Writing everything down will make it easier to determine what components are essential and which ones you can skip.

Remember to consider other factors, such as the building’s security and third-party services — cleaner or janitor. Here is a quick list of what a basic office could consist of:

  • Workstation equipment: These are all the different equipment that make up a workstation, such as computers, printers, scanners and projectors. Determine whether the business will use laptops or desktops for company operations. For many organizations, it makes sense to go with laptops since several businesses have adopted a hybrid working model — office and remote.
  • Work furniture: Determine the type of work furniture the business office will use. This includes objects such as chairs, conference tables and desks.
  • Connectivity: Internet speed is an essential factor. Think about what internet connection will work for the company. In some cases, this could also influence the ideal office location.
  • Company applications: The business tools the company will utilize, such as payroll or sales software. Determine what applications the business office will require.
  • Office supplies: The workspace will need a few office supplies. For example, printing paper, notepads, pens and staplers.
  • Communications: The type of phone service the office will use.
  • Storage systems: Where the company will store important documents. Does the workspace require an inventory room or will a few filling cabinets do the trick?

2. Choosing the Office Space

After you have planned everything the business office will need, it is time to choose the location. At this step, it is better to take your time and carefully consider the company’s needs.

A good practice is to look at what the company’s current workplace lacks or factors that create challenges for workers and customers. For example, the office might not have enough restrooms or clients struggle to find parking.

Here are a few factors to pay attention to:

  • Size of the company: This is an important factor to consider. If the space is too small, it can cause staff to feel boxed in, which could affect productivity levels. In addition, the company does not want to pay more for a larger office space if a smaller area would work perfectly.
  • Location: Choose a place that is easily accessible for clients and employees. Remember to look at the internet infrastructure the building offers.
  • Parking: Pay close attention to the parking available at the location. Some people might choose to take their business elsewhere if it proves challenging to find a parking spot. It is also worth looking at the public transportation in the area to know what options employees will have.
  • Price: The next factor to keep in mind is the price. This comes down to the budget the business has set. Remember to look at additional fees such as parking and building levies.

3. Selecting The Office Layout

Choosing the proper office layout is probably one of the most critical steps in learning how to set up an office. It is essential to think about the employees who will use the space daily. Consider where frequently used objects will go.

It will need to be nearby but not too close so that it makes the space feel cluttered or caged in. Take your time choosing the layout of the staff’s working stations. Next, consider whether some employees will need a private office.

Remember to take into account break and meeting rooms. If the company will have regular walk-ins, decide how the space should feel when the client walks in. If you expect a few clients to come in simultaneously, the area should provide the feeling of being bigger and open.

This step takes careful planning to ensure the office design the company has chosen captures the look and feel the business wants. Remember to keep natural lighting in mind as well. If you plan to put employee workstations in an area containing a lot of sunlight, take screen glare into account.

4. Furnishing the Office

Next up is the fun part, decorating the workspace. This step is where the company buys all the necessary equipment they will need and designs employee workstations. Purchase the type of computers the company decided on with a few additional supplies.

Another thing to note is that workstation equipment can be expensive, especially for larger companies. If the business has a smaller budget, looking at second-hand options might make more sense.

Remember to keep the comfort of staff in mind as well. If the chairs the business has chosen offer poor lumber support, it could influence staff’s productivity. Consider all these factors before purchasing office furniture.

5. Install Internet Connectivity

After the office has been furnished, it is time to equip the company with internet. Almost all businesses today require the internet. Plan to have everything set up weeks before the organization needs to open.

The type of connectivity speed the company should choose is critical. It comes down to the business size and budget. It is better to go with a faster and more stable speed since a dip in connectivity could potentially result in a loss of revenue.

6. Install Communication Systems

The next step is to install communication systems. The company can choose between a voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) installation or a regular landline. Both options have their benefits.

VoIP allows the company to make calls over their internet connection but does require a stronger line, which could affect the budget.

If the company experiences frequent power outages or has lower internet speed, going with a landline installation might make more sense. Another option to consider is providing staff with company phones. The business should invest in a strong communication system that offers a reliable way of communicating with clients.

7. Install Security

The last step in how to set up an office is to look at the security the workplace will have. Pay attention to company location. If the area is considered safe, the business can get away with installing fewer security features.

Most companies decide to go with a security camera and an alarm. Consider all areas where someone could break in and how that area can become more secure. If it is a larger-sized business, they might need to look into hiring a security guard.

How To Set Up an Office For Success

The process of how to set up an office comes down to what the organization requires. Carefully consider what the company needs are and decide what components are genuinely needed. With a holistic and planned-out approach, companies can effectively build an office that sets them up for success.

About The Author

Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her exploring the outdoors with her husband and dog in their RV, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or curled up with a good book with her cats Gem and Cali.

You can find more of Eleanor's work at

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