When you are just setting out to open your own business, there will be plenty of important decisions to make. Where will you locate the business? What kind of financing is available? How can you gain a competitive edge in your industry?
Then there are the more pedestrian questions, such as what office equipment do I need? Getting the right office furniture might not make or break your business, but it’s still important for your comfort and productivity.
Most businesses need the following office equipment in their daily operations:
- Desks and chairs. Again, you don’t have to shop for the most expensive items, but do be mindful of how comfortable those chairs will be on employees who may be sitting for most of the day.
- Tables and bookcases.In the old days, tables and bookcases weighed a ton, but you can now find lightweight items, which makes moving them around the office a breeze.
- Telephone system. Carefully consider your specific needs before purchasing a telephone system. If you are confused by the many systems that are available, ask other business associates what they are using, and if they are happy with their purchases.
- Computer equipment. PCs, printers, scanners, and monitors, are all important parts of your business. Research what is available, and shop wisely.
- Copiers. Before spending money on a copier, see if you can get away with a multifunction printer, or MFP. These machines can print, fax, and copy, all for about the same price as a cheap photocopier. However, if you will be making thousands of copies per month, then you’ll probably need to lease or buy a good-quality copier.
- Fax machines. Because so many PCs have fax features these days, many businesses are doing away with fax machines. But it never hurts to have a small, basic model on hand just in case the computer fax doesn’t meet all of your needs.
Most startups (and many established businesses) are constantly on the lookout for ways to save money. So before you go out and spend top dollar and all-new, designer office equipment, check out your used office-equipment options.
Don’t forget to check the classified ads of your local newspaper; sometimes you will find some great bargains. Look into auction houses as well; many times they will have an entire office to sell.
Some of the benefits to purchasing used office equipment include:
- Saving money. This one’s obvious. Buying used saves lots of money compared to the cost of buying everything brand new.
- Saving time. If you have ever ordered new office equipment in the past, then you know it can take weeks — or even months — to fill your order. Odds are you can find a used office furniture or equipment outlet in your town and have everything you need in a few days or less.
- Saving the environment. By saving a used wooden desk from heading to the landfill, you are helping to protect the environment.
Of course, the list of office equipment that your company needs will probably be longer than the one above, but it should give you an idea of what you’ll need to set up a basic office.