Business Premises and Supplies in China
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What are the primary considerations for establishing a North America sales and business development presence?
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Offices and Supplies in China
Before you begin searching for an office in China, you should decide what type of property will facilitate your business needs.
There are numerous reasons why a business will choose a serviced office when starting a business in China, but perhaps the most important is flexibility. The problem with conventional leases is that a company is then tied to a particular office, and no-one wants their business needs jeopardised by obligation. During the lifetime of a lease, the requirements of a company are subject to change, and adjustments aren't often possible without incurring big fees, delays and unwanted administration problems.
A serviced office in China gives a company the freedom to expand or downsize itself as business dictates, allowing for instantaneous use and no long-term obligations. In the fixed price, this form of office accommodation often provides all inclusive servicing too. This can include furnishings, maintenance, staffed reception, and office equipment.
It is a traditional way to accommodate your business and is arguably the most cost-effective. Small and start-up businesses, in particular, benefit greatly. It enables them to set-up quickly, affordably, and with no long-term commitment (use can be as little as week-by-week or month-by-month). It is sometimes possible to move into your new office with 24-hours.
Another invaluable aspect of the service is ongoing IT support in China, especially for those companies without in-house techies. The amount of support will vary from each serviced office, but a little research will help you find the right package.
All together, a serviced office is a very attractive alternative to leasing, offering the realistic flexibility a twenty-first century business requires, as well as affordable and transparent costs.
Leasing is another traditional method of acquiring office space in China. If your office needs to house many employees and you're sure that the business will be comfortable in an office for the duration of a lease, then it may be the best option. It is best to seek advice, because it is a big commitment, and does not allow for flexibility; it restrains spontaneous business plans, such as downsizing or expansion, and does not cater for sudden financial requirements.
Leasing also gives you a chance to customise your office space, and ergonomically enhance it for the benefit of employees. You also have more flexibility in choosing a suitable location for your company, which can further solidify your reputation as a company, especially if it is based in a renowned industry area.
Virtual office is a term used to describe shared office services in China, which typically includes a business address, telecommunication services, and meeting facilities. Virtual offices usually benefit companies wanting a low-risk alternative to leasing a traditional office; testing a new product or service; downsizing from an old, traditional office space; wanting a reputable business address, or one that complies with government regulation; needing ongoing support, such as answering services.
To establish a virtual office in China, all participants must have an internet-ready computer or laptop, which meets software needs and has access to the necessary professional/industry requirements.
Another benefit to the virtual office is setting an individual schedule, which may not seem good at first, but many workers have stated that productivity has increased once they had adapted.
All businesses need to use office supplies and equipment. There are hundreds of different types, from small items like pens and paper to large long-term items like computers, furniture and safety equipment. The majority of these are fundamental to daily business operations. Effective management of office supplies can save money, as well as help to keep it running smoothly.
There are a few ways to obtain office supplies, but the most common methods are from retail outlets, online outlets, mail order, or even through a purchasing company. If you can't find a reliable supplier overseas, many companies will be happy to deliver internationally. This may be a perfectly viable option until you find something more locally suited to your company. Many companies will be happy to help you make suitable choices, especially in relation to ergonomics.
You will find many local shops that can help you in China. Buying your office supplies from a shop means that you can physically see what you are buying before you buy it. Retailers commonly sell equipment at a standard price as they are aimed at smaller businesses and individual customers. However, some stores can offer bulk or business discounts.
Recently, the number of online office supply firms has increased remarkably. There are many office supply firms that sell specifically via online and telephone orders. Online retailers are invariably cheaper than shops. However, if you are uncertain about an item you are buying, there is no way of actually physically examining it. You will only have the retailer's description and photographs to go by.
Many firms let you to buy office supplies by mail order or telephone. A lot of them will have catalogues that show you all of the products they sell. Mail order costs are invariably less expensive than shops. However, like online buying, if you are uncertain about an item, there is no way of actually examining it apart from the retailer's description and photographs provided.
These companies are third-parties that buy supplies on behalf of your company. As opposed to manually ordering equipment from an office supplier, you inform the purchasers what you need and they will acquire and charge you for the service.
This can save a lot of time, and it also means you can receive regular invoices. You can also get feedback on the amount of supplies you are using, and the company can recommend alternatives or bulk buys that can save you money. Also, the advice they offer can be invaluable if you are purchasing something which you are unfamiliar with.
This can prove a little more expensive because of service charges, but, in the long run, you will be saving money and time on bulk-buy discounts, etc. Below is a quick check list to refer to:
- Paper clips
- Elastic bands
- Stamps pads
- Writing pads
- Post-It notes
- Message pads
- Printing paper
- Copy paper
- Fax Paper
- Graph paper
- Flip sheets
- File folders
- Pockets folders
- File labels
- Index dividers
- Letter envelopes
- Padded envelopes
- Shipping paper
- Shipping labels
- Bubble wrap
- Sealing tape
- Ink cartridges
- CD ROMs
- Time tracking supplies
Time / Scheduling supplies:
- Refills for planner
- Time sheets
- Scheduling board
- To-do lists
- Price tags
- Name badges
Organisations that can assist with Business Premises and Supplies
I already have business in China, but my operation is very large and I need to keep track of the information.