When you decide to start your own business, you might envision creating art for businesses or publishing that novel. You might even want to create a unique storefront and interact with your patrons. Either way, you’ll find that you’ll be doing significantly more administrative and marketing work than you first thought. All behind the scenes things that will come up and sock you in the teeth when you least expect it. For those times, you need a workspace to situate yourself and keep all those distractions at bay. Here’s a quick rundown of how to get started finding the best workspace for you.
Make a Plan
If you already have a plan in mind, you can skip this, but I think that it’s a good idea to go over it anyway. Knowing what you’re planning for your business is critical before you know what kind of space to look for. Are you looking for something remote? Close by? Away from any kind of distraction? Are you on a budget? How much space will you need? A desk? An entire office? All of these things can significantly contribute to what you should look for in your workspace.
Location is Key
If you work from home, this is especially important. You’ve heard me talk about converting my master bedroom closet into a small workspace. It’s a tiny space, but it suits me just fine, and it’s separate from almost every other area in the house. Because I have a dedicated workspace, when I sit down at my desk, I know that it’s time to get busy. Keep in mind your work style when you select a location in your home and what kinds of situations will be happening. Don’t put yourself in a space that will deter you from getting any actual work done.
If you are looking at an office space outside of your home, you’ll want to take a look around your area to see what the rent will be for different areas and sizes as a first step. Eliminate from your list anything that doesn’t fit your budget or your established criteria. If you need a storefront, you can always convert a section into an office space if necessary. For those who need something on a budget, you might consider office sharing as an option. Be creative and don’t turn down an opportunity just because on the surface it doesn’t seem to fit. Take the time to be critical of every option.
Organization at its finest
Once you’ve found the perfect spot to park yourself to get some work done, it’s time to decide on how you will organize your workspace. Make a list of everything that you use daily, frequently, on occasion, and rarely. From where you sit, you should try to situate your most frequently used items close to you and your seldom used items farthest away. But this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. Go with what feels best to you.
Don’t forget to organize your computer, if you use one. Nothing kills more time than hunting for a file that got lost into the abyss of your computer. It’s all about efficiency and intuitiveness. Look around online, and you’ll find plenty of examples of a digital system based around your chosen field. Use that as a guide and work to find something that suits you the best.
To decorate or not to decorate?
I’m a minimalist, so I chose to have only a few things covering my wall. I track my work on a board hanging up on my wall so that I can always see it. There’s a chalkboard sign that I use to jot down different motivational quotes from time to time. Not much else. I’ve seen some office spaces that have beautiful art arrangements or plants. Things to motivate and inspire. It’s up to you. If you do decide to decorate though, create a budget for yourself. There’s no need to prioritize aesthetics over function.
Keeping it Clean
This is always the hardest step, but most people can’t function in a messing place. I used to think that I could only work in chaos, but reflection shows more that it makes me cranky and upset. Then it makes me feel guilty because I end up spending all of my working hours cleaning. An organized workspace reflects your workflow. Ideas come faster, things make more sense, and sitting down to get to work doesn’t involve 30 minutes of scrambling to find everything that you need. Set aside time when you’re done for the day to put away whatever mess that you dragged out before move on.
No matter the market you’re walking into, finding the right workspace can count for more than just your setting. It can help to boost your creativity and efficiency. Don’t hold yourself to finding the “perfect” space, because waiting will only make the journey exceedingly longer to reach your goals. Focus on finding a workspace that reflects your workflow and style. Now get to work!