Office equipment you need when starting a business
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Deciding to go and establish your own business can be an exhilarating experience, but there’s also a lot riding on your performance as well. Yet if you're to stand to any chance of success, appreciating what the core capital requirements are when starting up is crucial for developing the right foundations of your business. This includes identifying and acquiring suitable office equipment, which could be an issue if you’ve got a limited budget. However, by listing exactly your business needs and comparing prices, you can tear down this obstacle and find a way to succeed.
What office equipment do I need?
Naturally, this is going to depend on the sector and type of business you’re establishing, but by thoroughly researching your market and understanding your customers, you’ll be in a stronger position to list what types of equipment are essential to your ability to start trading. Yet in terms of general office equipment, this usually includes:
Office furniture is something that you can’t afford to neglect, especially when it comes to the comfort and well being of your customers and staff. Besides, a comfortable and well-laid-out of office is great for raising morale, boosting productivity and welcoming clients. As such, you may need to install enough desks, sofas, shelves, filing cabinets and other equipment to suit the size of your operation and employee count. But something that you shouldn't scrimp on is office chairs that can be adjusted to the user’s individual preferences (e.g. adjustable arms, back, and headrest). In fact, providing safe/comfortable seating and informing staff on how to adjust their seats to the correct position for them is also a legal requirement that either you or a member of your HR team needs to address.
Computers and/or Laptops
Making sure that you and your team have access to a computer terminal and/or laptop is no doubt going to be vital to your business’ ability to operate. After all, they provide the means to carry out complex tasks, store valuable data and share important information with your team in an instant, to name just a few. However, although the price of a single laptop is fairly nominal (if seeking an older model), acquiring them in bulk can easily become a strain on your finances. But you can get around this by encouraging your team to bring their own devices to work. Or, if you can’t afford to buy them outright just yet, you could rent laptops for the time being. However, providers often charge interest daily, so choosing this route might not be suitable as a long-term solution.
Printers and photocopying machines
Another aspect of establishing your business’ working environment is having a printer and photocopying machine access. At this stage in your development, you don’t need something that’s big and bulky. Anything that can scan, copy and print high-quality images and text clearly will be enough. But before buying, always check the specifications of the device(s) you’re considering and how much the ink cartridges will cost to replace/refill to avoid replacing them quickly.
When running a business, you’re, no doubt, going to amass a number of physical documents which you’ll need to use and reuse on a daily basis so, in order to do that, the most effective method of protection is often to laminate them. Therefore, to keep your running costs as low as possible, you may want to consider purchasing a laminator instead of repeatedly paying for someone outside your business to do it for you.
If you know you'll need to hold a lot of meetings, rather than having your team crowd around your computer/laptop, you can engage them with powerpoint presentations on a large screen by acquiring a projector.
Another aspect of looking after the wellbeing of your team is making sure that the workspace is well-lit. If there’s not enough light, this can lead to eye strain and affect employees' eyesight, but if it’s too bright and/or placed in an inappropriate location (e.g. above the user’s monitor) it can increase the risk of headaches which will, in turn, affect productivity. Therefore, as well as purchasing suitable lighting, you also need to invest time and, potentially, money on the layout of your office too.
Reliable Phone line and Internet Connection
If you’re to communicate with your customers and team effectively, whilst also carrying out a host of other important tasks, making sure that your business has a reliable phone line and an appropriate broadband connection is vital too.
Is office equipment an expense or asset?
This depends on the type of asset and the role it has in your business. If you’re discussing office equipment such as a computer or printer, they’ll be considered to be an asset because they enable you to bring in an income. However, equipment such as chairs and sofas will be considered as an expense since they don’t generate an income and, were you to sell it, you’d usually do so at a loss. But if you’re not sure, you can consult your accountant for further advice.
Can I deduct office equipment?
If the office equipment plays a vital role in your business activities, you can usually reclaim the VAT that you paid when purchasing them on a quarterly basis by filing a tax return. For example, a laptop would be included because it enables to you complete tasks which are essential to your ability to operate, as would new printers used for producing documents or, potentially, a sofa which would be used for hosting clients. As such, the rule of thumb in this matter is that if it plays a role in your business, it may be deductible. However, for greater clarity, seek the advice on your business’ accountant.
Need help gaining access to office equipment for your business?
Starting up is usually the most difficult phase to overcome, namely because of the various expenses that are often involved. But if you’ve got a tight a budget and are finding it a struggle to make any meaningful progress, there are plenty of funding opportunities available that could help. So although traditional financial institutions may not be able to assist on account of your limited trading history, you could instead apply for: Grants, Crowdfunding, Venture Capital, Angel Investment or Peer-to-Peer Lending.
Plus thanks to the rising prominence of the Alternative Finance industry, you may also be able to benefit from having access to a new generation of lenders and business finance solutions, such as Merchant Cash Advance, Overdraft Replacement and Asset Refinance. But with each of these product working in different ways, sourcing a suitable agreement that can offer the means to acquire vital office equipment isn’t always straightforward. However, that’s where speaking to a qualified business finance professional could help.
How can I acquire office equipment for my new business?
Having a great idea is simply the first step. For it to mean anything, you must be able to support capital requirements such as office equipment, which might be an issue if you lack the necessary funds. But rather than let this deter you or deplete your personal savings, you may want to consider exploring other funding opportunities that are available as well. Thanks to the Alternative Finance industry, businesses of all shapes and sizes are finding the means they need to support their development. All you need to do is source an finance agreement that’s appropriate for your business’ needs and current financial situation, which is where we can help.
At Rangewell, we’re an Access to Finance specialist who’s mapped over 400 lenders to offer you an overview of more than 23,000 business finance products. Our services are free to use and we’ll also guide you through the application process. So if you’re looking to acquire to acquire office equipment and support the development of your business, apply for New Business Finance today or find out more with Rangewell.