Starting up an office to support your business will require office furniture and equipment.
Purchasing office equipment, such as furniture, computers, software, printers, fax machines and network equipment will most likely be your largest startup expense. If you plan carefully, you will be able to control your office equipment expenditures by only buying the essential equipment you really need.
The following is a list of the most essential office equipment that you will most likely need…
Business Telephone System
Perhaps the primary means you will use for communicating with customers and suppliers will be the telephone. Understanding what services, features, and options are available will help you purchase the right size phone system for the right price for your business.
Technology has advanced dramatically over the last few years, and broadband is much faster and a lot more stable, which means you can keep costs to a minimum with a cloud based phone system.
Computers and Software
Information is the lifeblood of any successful organisation today. The key to leveraging information to your advantage is purchasing and implementing the right computers and software for your business.
To keep costs to a minimum it’s worth considering buying refurbished equipment from a supplier with a good reputation, that will provide with a warranty or with some kind of support agreement.
Microsoft also offer a cost-effective suite of software applications through the cloud, called 365. You can either pay monthly or annual (extra discount) and the licence will cover multiple devices.
You will also want to have systems in place for backing up your business data. There are many cloud based services available, such as Dropbox, Google Drive & One-Drive, which will save you having to invest in secure and reliable on-site backup equipment.
Network and Broadband
If information is the lifeblood of your business, then networks are the veins and arteries that channel that information through to your computer devices…
A network is what connects your computer equipment together, allows you to share files and run applications. But for this, you will need either Ethernet cabling or a wireless network setup, a business quality router, and possible switches (depending on the complexity and number of uses). You also may require an office based or cloud based server (again this depends on the complexity and number of uses in your organisation).
In conjunction with this, you will need a fast and stable broadband solution, which will allow you send and receive emails (including large files), search on the internet, download large files across the internet, Skype call, do your social media marketing, update your website, run your Microsoft 365 applications, back up your data to the cloud, run your cloud server and allow your cloud telephone system to make and receive crystal clear calls.
Printing, scanning & copying equipment
This day and age information is organised, manipulated and moved electronically, but people still love paper and printing things out, and for the medium term, this is unlikely to change. So, it’s vitally important that you invest in a multi-function device that suits the size and needs of your business.
This could be an inkjet based device for the self-employed or small office environment, or a refurbished photocopier for the small to medium cash conscious organisation, right up to latest most cost-effective photocopier technology for organisations who have a need for high volume printing.
Don’t get lost in the world of online shopping or showroom visiting until you really understand your requirements. The main considerations you should be asking yourself should be things like:
“How many employees do you have in your team and will you grow in the next 5 years, is a shared agile working area (hot desks) an option, do your employees need private or quiet areas away from their desk, how much storage does each team member and the company need, do you require a visitor welcome area and/or reception desk?”
Just as quickly as we generate paper we must destroy it…
Your business is responsible for the information it possesses. It may be an employee’s personal information, a customer list, a client’s sensitive materials or a confidential memo. Information that you’re responsible for that gets into the wrong hands can be devastating to your company and your clients.
Shredders come in all shapes and sizes with many different functions, so it’s important to consider all the options available, before you make a purchase.
Documents, product samples, catalogs, invoices and statements are just a few examples of items that may be posted from your organisation.
The proper postage solution, such as a franking machine, some scales and postage software can save your organisation valuable time and lots of money.