Hey everyone, it’s John here! After Robin¬†blogged last entry, I have decided to share somethings that I learned while helping my uncle in his business for the past 3 weeks during my summer break. My uncle works in the food supply industry for almost 25 years, more years than I’m alive in this world.

However, something unfortunate happen in the company, and he has to be retrenched. I’m not sure if it is about the weak economy, or business decisions within the company. It may seem like a really bad news, but my uncle take it in his stride, and decided to come out to do business on his own. And yes, he used the sum of money he received from the company and his savings, to set up a food delivery business!

I’m not sure why he will want to stay in the food industry, but I guess he is really experienced in business in his field, and I’m sure he will do well!

So when I join his company for a short few weeks to learn the ropes of setting up a business, he handed me some task to handle, such as setting up the office, which is what I will share with you here. So, for any friends who would like to set up their company office next time, hope this short guide will educate you.

My uncle’s office is based in Singapore, so it makes perfect sense to get a system furniture setup from Singapore. So what I have done, is to go online to search for office furniture setup companies. This is different from companies which sell furnitures. (This is a really important lesson that I learned, only when I’m in this role).

Yes, I can buy furnitures from popular stores like IKEA, but what my uncle wants, is furniture design, which mean an expert will give you a plan how your office furniture will lay out, the number of tables and office chairs you have, and other equipment that will put your office space into good use. This is different from going to IKEA, buy a few chairs and tables, and place them in your office.

Next, I enquire for multiple system furniture quotes. You want to know how much the setup cost, and if your budget allows you to go for it. Because this is a huge purchase, it is important to get a few quotations from a few companies before going ahead. For me, I will have to present the quotes to my uncle too, before deciding on the furniture company.

So you have all these, what’s next?

I have to evaluate all the quotations on my end, and explain them to my uncle. One thing, my uncle may not be that highly educated (like us with college degrees), but I can say he is a street-smart guy, who has seen enough of the world. He has enough experience in the business world in making good decisions. Hence, when I explain my evaluation to him, I have to make it clear how different each quotation is.

What kind of setup is the best?

An open concept where people can communicate easily?

A modern style office for le boss (my uncle)?

Or a simple one that he can just do his work (plus an ergonomic office chair to support his back and posture?)

Last thing, no matter how great the design is, you have to decide if the system office furniture suits your needs and wants. That is the most important buying decision you can make for your office set up.

As of now, I have already sent my quotations and evaluations for my uncle to decide. He should be confident to go for one that I advise him to. So in these 3 weeks I’m with him, the learning value is tremendously. My college break is ending soon, but if possible, I will definitely come back to work with him, to learn (and of course to earn!)

I’ll be back with more updates!