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Ready to start your business? Here’s a list of all the basic business equipment you’ll need to hit the ground running.
If you’re ready to start your business, you’re probably excited about executing your creative ideas and seeing your hard work pay off. However, to start on the right foot, it’s important to consider some of the basic business equipment you’ll need and the recurring expenses these materials will cost you.
Items considered business equipment—at least for tax purposes—are ones your business will use for more than a year that typically cost over $200. This can include anything from computers, printers, and company vehicles, to a pet groomer’s shears or a coffee shop’s espresso machine.
For a rundown of some of the essential items you should consider buying to start, operate, and grow your business, check out the list below. We also include some time- and money-saving ideas like free small business software and rental options to help you stick to your budget.
The pandemic only accelerated the digitalization of small businesses, but even without COVID-19, being able to manage your business from your phone or computer can save you lots of money and time. Invest in a good desktop computer or laptop that meets the storage needs of your business.
If you provide services like landscaping, home repair, auto detailing, and beauty treatments among others, taking good photos of client work to share on your website and social media is a must. Purchase a smartphone with a quality camera and save money on professional photography or an expensive camera.
Pro-Tip: Quickly set up a business phone number that directs calls to your personal phone using Google Voice. This is a great option for those who are starting a home business and don’t want to spend money on a business phone.
Next, you’ll want to set up a computer network, internet, and choose a phone provider if applicable. Depending on where you live, certain providers may offer a stronger signal or more affordable packages. Consider the number of devices you’ll be connecting to choose the most reliable option for your business—things like computers, laptops, pads, printers, mobile phones, etc.
Pro-Tip: A computer network will also allow you and employees to communicate with any essential devices needed to run your business. If you’re hiring employees and plan on working in the same building, use a LAN (local area network). For remote teams or in different offices, set up a WAN (wide-area network).
Even if you’re a digital guru and cringe at the idea of paper, having a printer may come in handy. If you provide services like photography, design, or general contracting, a multifunction printer will help you provide clients with printed photographs, design proofs, or construction plans. If you ship products, you’ll also need a printer for promotional flyers and packing slips.
No one likes unorganized desk drawers with mounds of old paper files. However, throwing away certain files can put both your personal and customers’ information at risk. Fortunately, a shredder is an affordable piece of equipment that can help keep your work area tidy and avoid sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands.
Pro-Tip: If you’re anticipating heavy use of a copier or printer, look into leasing one. Leasing can help you save money upfront and oftentimes, leasing companies include maintenance with their rentals.
Speaking of sensitive information, you’ll also want to set up a robust security system. Whether your business runs primarily online or you operate from a brick and mortar, having cybersecurity protection is critical. Look for software that meets the security needs of your business including protecting sensitive employee information and customer data
Install cameras and motion detectors if you sell or ship products from a storefront or your home—these can help reduce loss and improve quality control.
Pro-Tip: If you’re hiring employees, have a plan to discuss cybersecurity best practices. Help them avoid phishing emails and encourage them to change their home WiFi passwords regularly to avoid giving cybercriminals an opportunity to lurk.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may need a company vehicle from the start. A branded company car to deliver orders, transport construction materials, or complete your mobile pet grooming services, will not only make your company look professional but can also help with local promotion.
Pro-Tip: Don’t forget to deduct the expenses of your company vehicle when you file your taxes. If you use your car for both business and personal use, be sure to split those expenses. To calculate, you can add up the actual expenses or use the standard mileage rate which was 57.5 cents per mile for 2020.
For more tax information on company vehicles, click here.
To ship products from your home or business, you’ll need software and equipment to send and keep track of your inventory. This includes things like scanners, a weight scale, label printer, packing tape gun, and shears.
You also want to budget for any specialty solutions and tools needed for your particular business. This can be lawnmowers for your landscaping business, hair tools for your beauty salon, or vacuum cleaners for your auto detailing shop. For any expensive equipment, consider leasing those items to start or applying to a small business loan.
Last but certainly not least is finding the right software to build an efficient and successful business. Ideally, you want a platform that allows you to automate all of your business’s administrative tasks. Look for a tool that allows you to build and edit your website, update your online listings, process payments, manage bookings, communicate with customers, and generate reviews with little time and effort.
Jumping around from platform to platform to manage different areas of your business can be time-consuming and lead to miscommunication. Fortunately most software, including GoSite, offer free accounts or trials to help you get acquainted with their features. Before committing to a tool, give the ones you're interested in a go to find the right fit.
Pro-Tip: Be sure to think about your goals and where you’d like to see your business in a few years before choosing a software. Ask yourself whether this tool is flexible enough to meet your long-term business needs.
With this list of equipment, you’ll have the basics to get started. If you’re ready to try out an all-in-one solution to get booked, paid, and reviewed by your happy customers, sign up for GoSite!