From the Ground Up: Opening a New Office

Starting a new business is hectic enough. Trying to put all the pieces together for the opening of a brand new office can be a huge headache. It’s easy to overlook something as simple as staples or tissue paper. While it might seem like we, as humans, have technologically surpassed the need for sundries like sticky notes and paperclips, the quick answer is: we have not. You’re going to need this stuff. And the costs are going to add up quick. Unless it’s a home office, where basically all of it tax-deductible, you’re going to want to start scouring for the best prices online, in office-supply stores and catalogs – and hold onto those receipts – your set-up is probably in line for a few tax deductions, too.

Is the pen still mightier?

The paper and pen are not yet extinct. Sure, it’s wise and cutting-edge to attempt to scale back the high cost of the analog written word in favor of handing out a round of iPads to your employees, but that’s not always feasible. Computer/photocopier paper, legal and note pads, Post-It notes, letterhead stationery, plus envelopes and stamps are critical in the daily flow of pretty much any line of business. Pens, pencils and markers (dry erase, permanent, high-lighters) are messier than their digital counterpoints, but yes, people still use them.

High-tech basics & Macgyver fundamentals.

To name-check the resourceful 1980’s crime-fighter: small odds and ends like staples, paperclips, tape, rubber-bands and push pins almost seem obsolete, but come in handy when you least expect it. On the other hand, rudimentary technology such as computers, printers (plus ink and toner cartridges), copiers, a phone system and computer software cannot be omitted from any office, though it’s much harder to transform them into a life-saving Rube-Goldberg device.

“Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to work we go…”

Taking care of your employees is a cornerstone of any successful business. While you’re likely not offering, say, a Segway-polo break room or a corporate Olympic-sized swimming pool, a few creature comforts can be considered essentials. A coffee machine is an excellent start (and maybe some sugar ’n cream?), with a refrigerator and microwave handy, if possible. Give them a little extra room for personal effects with a set of storage lockers to keep items safe and uncluttered. Oh, and for the nostalgia lover, don’t forget the “Hang in There” cat poster and potted fern. Ugh, I jest.

Get it together; keep it together.

Organizational tools quickly become the most important trappings of a smoothly-running office. File folders (make sure they match the cabinet system), labels, dividers, binders, three-hole punches and paper shredders might seem antiquated, but again, paper still exists in the digitized world. Calendars, day or month planners, dry erase and bulletin boards help keep tasks in line and duties in front of your workforce.

Checkbox: other.

It’s the little things that are easiest to forget. A first aid kit, fire extinguisher and flashlight are seldom-used necessities veering into legal requirements. Or perhaps the big items are easier to overlook: desks and chairs, lighting elements and bulbs, filling cabinets and shelving. Don’t forget wastebaskets, garbage bags and the requisite paper supplies: facial and toilet tissue, paper towels. Alarm and fire systems should already be in place in basically any building, but hey, it’s always wise to think safety first.


James Anderson blogs about all things business and education related – that is, when he’s not busy planning steelhead fishing excursions. While the pen and paper are quickly becoming relics, you’re just lucky he didn’t mention his archaic proclivity towards typewriters…

Similar Posts:

What do our fans think?

Leave A Response


* Denotes Required Field