It’s an exciting time when you’re starting your new business, there’s also a whole heap of things to think about. For example, what’s it going to be called? Who are your customers going to be? And how are you going to build up the business over those all-important first months? But, once you’ve sorted all of these big questions out, that’s only just the beginning. It’s then time to start thinking about the everyday practicalities like business premises and furniture – and the technology that you’re going to need as the tools of the trade.
While there are 101 things you may think you’ll need, here we’re going to strip it down to the bare essentials that will get you up and running, as well as give you few tips about what to think about when you’re making those all-important choices.
Obviously, you’ll need a computer for any new business, and more than one if you’re also going to be employing staff. But what kind you choose is going to depend on a number of factors.
Essentially, the first thing to consider is whether you’re going to be mainly office-based or out on the road. If the former’s the case then a desktop PC is the most practical, as well as the most economical option. But if you’re going to be traveling a laptop is more logical. But be aware that a top of the range business laptop could cost you up to $2,500 while an equivalent desktop PC would be considerably more affordable. Then there’s the question of whether you’re going to go for a Mac or a PC. The former are generally more stylish and are favored by designers and other creatives, but they come at premium prices. So, again, a PC would be the more thrifty alternative. As for the hardware potential, a PC can be as good as a Mac, for a fraction of the price. You may need to build your own, picking from different brands for each component, though.
As important as making the right choice of computer is ensuring that all your equipment is fully insured. And, while you are arranging cover for hardware, consider your overall insurance approach as well. For instance, general liability insurance coverage from Next Insurance provides coverage against damages to third parties as you go about your work. Without it, if any kind of accident occurred that was your fault, or resulted as the action of any employees, you could find yourself and your business liable for paying the damages that are claimed.
A dedicated smartphone
Once you’ve sorted out your computing needs, it’s time to take a look at your communication ones too. A smartphone of some kind is the only way to go as you want to be in touch and check emails at all times, as well as being able to send and receive images and other files.
You’ll find plenty of online reviews and advice about choosing the best smartphone for your needs, and there are a number of things to take into account. The first of these is what size of display screen will be best. If you hope to be reading lots of documents when you’re on the move then bigger is better, but smaller phones are more convenient to carry around with you. Another consideration is battery life. If you’re likely to be away from the office for extended periods then choose a device that can go on for long periods without the need for recharging. One range that covers both with most of its models is Xiaomi’s Mi series, with phablet size and impressive battery lives reported for most models.
A card reader
If yours is a business that is going to take payments directly from customers, then a card reader is the final must-have. These can be relative cheap to buy – no more than around $60 – and can link to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Again, you’ll find help in how to choose one online but make sure that you pick one that is EMV approved, which is a sign of enhanced security for the device. A popular brand we’ve seen many choose in recent years is iZettle, whose card readers are low in energy consumption and easily connect to your tablet or smartphone.
Hopefully, this has given you a few pointers about equipping yourself for business. And one final piece of advice is to spend as much as you can reasonably afford on all of these items. Buying sub-par equipment because it’s cheaper can frequently cause issues that could disrupt your operation.