What equipment do you need to get started?
The bare necessities.
You will probably need; a telephone, desk, computer, printer
and perhaps a fax to get a business 'in motion' and for general,
When getting quotes from telecommunication companies with regards to installing business telephone lines, remember to ask if a deposit is required for start-ups. If so, ask how much per line. BT has been known to quote an installation fee of about £80 per line - which sounds reasonable. They may, then, call you back a day after your 'initial set-up call' to tell you that they require an additional deposit of, perhaps, £300 per line before any work is done. So, if you are budgeting for 3 lines, be aware that you could find that your set-up costs increase by nearly a thousand pounds above your original estimates. This can be frustrating if you, now, require extra time to raise more funds and, in between times, have signed a lease for an office or ordered an expensive phone system based on a certain number of lines.
If a deposit is potentially required, you will be more inclined to limit the number of lines required to start-up and add additional ones once you have a longer track record as a BT customer. Your organisation's credit rating is used to determine whether or not BT require a deposit.
Don't forget that you can use virtual office
services that may reduce line-rental charges and staffing costs.
Independent advice on telecoms and the internet for businesses
is available at www.telecomsadvice.org.uk
Bluebox Communications offer new and 2nd user telephone systems,
and much more.
It is worth mentioning that there are a number 'online telecoms
companies' that offer call-forwarding, auto-answering and online-fax
services free of charge.
A YAC Number ( www.yac.com
) , for example, is a free service which gives you 'One Number'
for all your incoming phone calls, faxes and voicemail.
This is handy :
if you are running a small business from home and wish
to seperate your work from leisure.
if you can't justify buying a fax machine.
if you are waiting to move into offices - and need some
temporary office telecoms.
if BT have run out of telephone lines in your neck-of-the-woods.
Buying a fax.
If you do decide to buy a fax, remember to find one that allows
you to turn-off those annoying 'automatic report' print outs.
You'll save a substantial amount on ink and paper!
Many faxes double-up as a printer / scanner / copier or telephone
/ ansa machine - so it's possible to achieve some savings on
other equipment when making your purchase.
How much do they cost?
some 'faxes for sale' on Amazon.co.uk to get a rough guide on
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Computers and software for business.
Though not essential, most businesses would benefit from at
least one computer. They can be a useful tool to help write
letters, promotional material, design stationery, run customer
databases and manage your accounts etc.. They can also cause
pain and frustration when they don't work. So, always make sure
you have your important information in hard-copy format! (Information
on how to computerise your accounts.)
Buying a Computer
These days, a low-spec PC will be more than capable of running
all the general business-admin tasks that you may need to do.
The big retailers
The big retailers, like PC
World, offer some great 'PC Packages' which are extremely
hard to argue with. Buying from a local store also gives you
some assurance that when problems occur - you don't have to
travel too far to moan on a face-to-face basis.
You will probably save money on the cost of the operating system
- (it's cheaper if you buy it with the PC) - and may
get other useful equipment (like a printer or scanner) bundled
into the deal.
Building your own
If you already have some experience, own some working PC parts
or can't find a package to suit, you may be able to build a
better PC Package at less cost:
about the latest offerings on the PC market.
2. Buy all the bits online - at dabs.com
3. Build it yourself - adding software to taste.
Remember - on top of the hardware, you will need to pay for
an operating system (e.g software like Microsoft Windows) and
some other software, like Microsoft Office, which will make
your PC useful. So, if you are comparing prices of a 'self-built
PC' to a retailers 'PC Package Deal' - make sure you compare
See our business software store.
Getting the right office furniture is very important. Having good furniture benefits your health, working practices and can even reduce the cost of employing and retaining staff. Who likes to work in a horrible environment?
Have you 'gone Swedish' yet?
See our list of furniture suppliers or browse the office equipment free-ads.
This is a general guide and so we can't discuss every bit
of equipment that you will need to run your business. You might
find something in our free-ads
Asset finance - hire purchase and leasing
See our information on business finance or our list of finance brokers for more information about asset finance.
Detailed information on using finance to aquire capital equipment
for your business is available in the DTI booklet: Asset
Finance: Hire Purchase and Leasing
(Order it at : www.dti.gov.uk
: URN 02/745 )
Don't go mad!
There are a million and one things that you could spend your
money on while you are starting a business. Although there are
certain essential pieces of equipment that you may need, there will be luxuries that you can get by without. Careful planning is important. As time goes by
your needs may change radically and you could discover that an
expensive purchase can soon become redundant.
As your business grows, remember to loosen up a little on the spending in correlation with the performance of the business. Thus, ensuring that your staff are rewarded with a better working environment and up-to-date equipment. There's nothing more demoralising than having a stingy boss who would prefer to keep the cash rather than buy a bit of kit that would make a job a million times easier to do.
Business equipment Free Ads.
To help you get the equipment that you need, without breaking
the bank, we have recently set up a 'business equipment free
You can browse through the
adverts or place a 'business equipment wanted' advert
all for FREE!!