As a new business owner, you need to complete a variety of tasks before you can get your company off the ground. Having the correct equipment and gear is essential to building early momentum within your business when starting.
It can be easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of business equipment and technology seemingly available everywhere. Sessing out which equipment or tools your business needs can be a daunting task for a new business owner.
New Business Equipment Checklist
While the equipment you require will depend somewhat on the type of business you run, I have put together this “catch-all” checklist to help any new business owner get started. Here is my essential equipment checklist for any new startup business!
Internet and WiFi
No matter how big your business is or where it is based, you will need to have a secure internet connection and high-speed WiFi to be successful. Most internet providers actually offer business-class internet that boasts higher download and upload speeds and more secure connections.
If you are going to be operating your business at home, it will still be wise to get business-class internet over residential internet. Having business-class internet at home will allow you to have high download and upload speeds (typically over 1 Gbps), symmetrical connection, a static IP address, and a dedicated internet line all of your own. All of these features will allow you to download larger files, host larger websites, and allow for seamless meeting and video conferencing.
On top of using business-class internet, it would be wise to invest in a commercial-grade firewall. Firewalls are network security measures that protect your connected network from outside threats and attacks. It would be wise to learn more about the types of firewalls before picking one for your business.
Having a fast and secure internet connection will be extremely important as you set up your business.
Maintaining a comfortable yet productive work environment is essential for any business. Some essentials that every business should have are:
- Desks & Chairs – Seeing that you will likely be spending a lot of time sitting at your desk, you should want to have a comfortable desk and chair that promotes productivity. When choosing a desk, think both about design and comfortability. Studies have shown that sitting for long periods can be detrimental to your health in several ways. Think about getting a hybrid standing desk that allows you to sit or stand throughout the day. In the same vein, choosing an ergonomic chair will be important for your posture and productivity.
- Multi-Function Printer – Everyone who has worked in an office environment likely has encountered a less-than-ideal printer. When you need to print, copy, or send something having a functioning printer seems obvious, but many offices still struggle to maintain working equipment. Investing in a commercial printer will decrease downtime that you may encounter with a lesser printer. Commercial printers will also come with field-service technical support in case you come across any issues.
- Filing Cabinets – You will need somewhere safe to store all the valuable documents about your business. Getting a few filing cabinets will give you ample space to organize all of your financial documents. Starting as organized as possible will only help as your business grows.
- Decorative Accents – Although this area is intended for work, you should add some decorative pieces to the room to give it some character. Studies have shown that incorporating soft spaces and areas to hang out can actually promote productivity.
Getting the right furniture for your office will only help your business during its infancy stages. The initial sticker shock of purchasing all of this equipment may be overwhelming. Just know that most furniture outlets will offer financing through their site. If you plan on purchasing gear from multiple vendors, something like a personal loan for your business may be more worthwhile for you. Remember, if you have other equipment costs, you can use the funds from a loan to help purchase whatever you need. If you decide to go with a loan for your furniture costs, it may be wise to wait and calculate all your business expenses before applying for the loan.
Whatever route you choose, know that getting the right furniture right away will set your business up for future success.
Work Phone and Computer
Having a split between your personal and business life will be extremely important on your path to becoming a successful business owner. To separate your life, I recommend that you get both a work phone and a work computer used only for business purposes.
First, selecting a secondary phone to use for business will be important. It may seem silly or unnecessary to do this now, especially if your business is starting small, but as the business grows, you will be thankful that you did it early on. Having a business phone will allow you to separate your personal and business conversations easily. A secondary number will also make your business look more professional than one with a personal phone number attached. When selecting your business phone, make sure you pick one with an operating system that you understand is compatible with whatever computer you plan to use. In other words, if you get an iPhone, get an Apple computer to go with it.
The computer you choose will be more specific to the type of business you lead. For more creative businesses, you may want a hybrid computer that has touchscreen capabilities. Designers and engineers may want something more robust that can handle 3D imaging. Whatever the case may be, make sure to do your research when selecting a specific computer.
The computer is one of the most important tools you will use daily to manage everything across your business. Investing in the right one will help you immensely early on.
If you happen to have a team of employees with you on this startup journey, consider putting some of the money you have saved up into a technology budget for the team. Employees should receive the same laptops across the company, so having money built up to facilitate the purchase of each laptop and any additional accessories that they may require would be a good investment.
Having this direct split in the technology you use every day will allow you to be more productive and secure at work.
B2B software is becoming increasingly important for businesses large and small in the modern age. The B2B software space is extremely oversaturated, and it can be difficult to know which ones are necessary for your business. Some key areas of the business that you will likely want software tools for are:
- Accounting Software – Your business’s day-to-day and long-term finances should be handled with the utmost care and caution. Just starting, you will likely be handling most of the business accounting tasks alone. For this reason, I recommend that you use cloud accounting software to make the job easier and more efficient. Cloud accounting software allows you to track daily transactions and set financial projections that are trackable.
- Point of Sale Software – Whether you have a physical storefront or just an eShop, you need to have POS software to facilitate payments and purchases. As a merchant, you will want to research what POS system works the best for your setup. Certain systems are more tech-heavy, while others can be bare-bones. Also, note that each company will have different fees and taxes on you, the merchant, so pay extra attention to the fine details of each contract.
- HR Software – This one will be dependent on how large you want the business to be. If you plan on keeping it small, then you likely can pass on HR software. If you want to have a decent amount of employees in the future, then having software to assist with hiring, payroll, timecards, benefits, and more will be helpful. Consider pairing HR software with a dedicated HR consultant to ensure that the culture of your business is healthy and productive.
The costs of these software offerings will vary from platform to platform. In the beginning, we really recommend at least using an accounting platform to help you. Other tools such as creative tools, marketing tools, and less important offerings can be incorporated into the business down the road. In the beginning, establishing a base for the pillars of your business will be the most important.
There you have it! While there certainly are more business tools to explore, this should get your operation at least up and running. It can feel overwhelming right now, but setting aside one area to address and tackling each task one at a time can help snowball your efforts! Do this for a bit, and before you know it, you’ll have everything you need to start your business officially.
Once your business is up and running, do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about marketing or branding your business! I’m an expert in the Digital Marketing field and would happily help you build your online presence through social media and other digital marketing efforts.
Feel free to contact me with any questions – I look forward to helping you on your entrepreneurial journey!