Essential Office Equipment
Checklists are always a good thing to have when you are an entrepreneur starting up an office. One of the reasons that checklists are helpful is because they remind you how important each element of an office can be. When you see everything you need to start a business mapped out on a list, it makes you appreciate just how difficult opening a business can be.
When you talk about essential office equipment to getting a start-up off the ground, you need to include everything that an office requires. The decision as to whether you will lease or buy the equipment can come after you have decided exactly what kind of office equipment is essential to the successful operation of your new business.
The newer laser printers are relatively inexpensive and can be set up to work on a wireless network. That means that anyone who is tied into the network will be able to access the printer. Since you should be planning on utilizing wireless networking for your new office, having a printer that can tie into the network is extremely convenient and cost effective.
An all-in-one machine is an office machine that prints, scans, copies, and sends faxes. If you were working by yourself, then one of these machines would be all you would really need. But an office with a few people in it should have a separate printer to keep productivity high.
The fax and scanning functions of an all-in-one should suffice for your office since faxing is something that is slowly disappearing. Copying on a laser all-in-one is relatively easy and there are models that allow you to copy with the press of a single button.
Keep in mind that an all-in-one is convenient for one person, but it may not be as productive for an office. You can try an all-in-one to see if it fits your needs for scanning, faxing, and copying. But be open to the possibility that you may have to invest in separate copiers and scanners to maintain optimum productivity.
The drop in laser printer pricing has made copiers for small offices much more affordable. If it is at all possible, you should try to buy a copier that will take the same toner as your laser printer to cut down on consumables costs.
You will need a document scanner for your new start-up office. A scanner will pay for itself in the savings you will realize by using email instead of paying for postage on standard mail for hard copy documents. You can get a single scanner for the entire office, or you can create a couple of scanner stations to prevent a big line from forming.
Every small office needs a break room area as a place for employees to be able to just get away from work for a few minutes. Some employees also prefer to eat lunch in the office, but they don't want to eat at their desks.
Your break room will need a microwave oven and a coffee maker. If you do not provide your employees with a coffee machine, then they will start petitions about getting a coffee machine until one shows up in the break room. If you provide the coffee machine, then the employees will work out a way to get the coffee, cups, and filters they need to use the machine.
Another essential piece of equipment for the break room is a refrigerator. This will need to be a full-size refrigerator, but it does not need to be anything fancy. As long as it keeps lunches cold, then it will be just fine for your needs.
Laptop prices have dropped to the point where you could issue your field staff laptops and not have to worry about getting separate desktop machines for them when they are in the office. Your desktops for the office personnel can be basic machines that are inexpensive but effective.
You can invest in a server and start a network, or you can look into subscribing to cloud computing and eliminate the need for a network. Cloud computing is how many of today's start-ups are able to provide networking services without the high cost of an IT department.
You can attach your phone network to your high-speed Internet service and save a great deal of money. All of your phone service features would be accessible online, and the only equipment you would need would be a phone router and the phones.
When you get your start-up company going, you want to be sure that you have all of the office equipment you need to be successful. Create a list of the essential office equipment you will need and then set out to get the best deals available.