What Office Equipment Do You Need for Your Small Business?
Whether you’re planning on starting your own small business or are already running one – having the most essential office supplies and equipment at your disposal is crucial for your day-to-day operations.
Every office has its own unique needs, so it’s impossible to make a list of all the office equipment and basic office supplies you’re ever going to need.
However, regardless of your field, there is various office equipment that you can’t go without in the modern business landscape. And in this article, we will list every single one that we believe is absolutely crucial.
Then, we will list other essential office supplies such as a filing cabinet to store documents, a coffee maker for free coffee before the shift, fax machines, business cards, and others.
Let’s take a look at our office equipment list.
Essential Office Equipment for Small Businesses
If you’re setting up an office for your small business, here are some of the most important pieces of equipment you need to get for the office.
Internet Modem & Router
In this day and age, everything is done online. And with remote working becoming more and more popular, having access to the internet is essential for the modern-day workplace.
If some of your staff work remotely from their home office, having a solid internet connection will make work and business communication much smoother.
Even if you have 100% of the workforce in your office, you still need an internet connection to keep production steady. And to supply your office with an internet connection, you need a modem.
The term modem is pretty outdated, as you can trace the roots of the word back to analogue phone lines. Nevertheless, an internet modem is what connects your office to the internet. Usually, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will lease your office a modem when you set up a connection.
However, you can also buy your own modem online so that your office has a dedicated modem for your internet connection. However, keep in mind that not all ISPs support third-party devices, which is something you need to check before choosing to buy your own modem.
Additionally, having all the computers connected to the internet through wires can be a hassle. On top of that, some people work on their smartphones, which can’t connect to the internet via traditional LAN Ethernet cables. In this case, you need a WiFi router so you aren’t relying on wires to establish a connection to the internet.
When buying a router, make sure to buy one for an office. That way, the router can assign a different IP address to each connected device, which is essential for other pieces of equipment such as wireless printers.
Routers have uses in the office that go further than just helping to establish a strong WiFi connection. It’s integral for VoIP systems, for setting up VPN’s, and other connectivity functions that are essential for the modern workplace.
Communication is key in any workplace. And when setting up an office for your small business, you need an efficient way to communicate with your coworkers and staff. One of the best ways to do this is to set up an official communication system for your business.
This is crucial for many offices with multiple rooms, as it can make it much easier to communicate with each other. On top of that, giving everyone a mobile phone that they can use for work-related calls can also streamline the process and make work much more efficient.
UPS stands for Uninterrupted Power Supply. This is basically a tool that can supply power to your office without interruption. These devices are mostly used for Modems and Routers since these tools require minimal power.
If you use a UPS for your modems and routers, you can maintain an internet connection in your office even with a power interruption. If the modem and router are the only things plugged into the UPS, it can supply your office with internet for a whole day before running out of power.
This isn’t exactly a piece of equipment you’ll use every day, but in the event of power interruptions, it can make a huge difference and help to keep your business running.
On top of that, a UPS can keep your modem and router safe from power surges, allowing them to last much longer.
Computers are on every small business’s office hardware list. Every modern-day office has computers. It’s virtually impossible to sustain a business without one.
And while you can ask your staff to bring their laptops to work, that’s not sustainable for them and for you as a business owner.
The benefits of having computers at the office – besides the staff having to carry one less item to work, you’ll have complete access to everything that happens on these computers.
That means you can monitor your staff’s activity, what they are working on, what they are browsing, and more.
Besides that, it’s much safer from a security standpoint to work using a desktop computer connected to the same network at the office. That’s an excellent way to reduce the potential for hackers to gain access to important and confidential information.
Regardless of the field of your business, you’re probably going to have to print documents. On top of printing, you might even have to copy and scan certain important documents which means that you’re going to need a multifunction printer.
Ideally, your office printer should be able to scan, print, and copy documents. That way, there’s one piece of equipment that the entire office can rely on for multiple purposes.
And if you really want to improve efficiency, you might want to invest in a wireless printer. With these printers, all the computers and devices in the workplace will be connected to the printer over the internet.
That way, your staff doesn’t have to bring their computers or laptops to the printer whenever something needs printing. This is a small detail, but it can make a huge difference in the modern workplace.
On top of printing, copying, and scanning documents, you’ll also probably have to get rid of some important documents. Paper can fill up the trash can really quick, and if the documents have sensitive information on them, it probably isn’t advisable to through them in the trash without a second thought.
So, it’s always recommended to invest in a paper shredder for your office to cut paper. That way, when you have too much paper all over the place, you can get rid of whatever paper you or your employees no longer need.
The reason it’s important to stock up on headsets in your office is to prevent the workspace from becoming loud.
Whether your employees are on phone calls with clients, in a meeting with remote-working staff members, or even just listening to music while working, it’s important that the office remains quiet and peaceful.
This will benefit how your employees work in terms of doing their daily tasks in an effective manner.
For this purpose, it’s best to get proper headsets for all staff members.
Now, these don’t have to be premium headphones for music production, since they aren’t supposed to be listening to music the whole day anyway. Instead, you should get basic headsets that feel comfortable and have a microphone, that way they can use them for two-way communication.
Headsets are especially important if you’re using VoIP systems. This is because some of them come with software that runs on laptops, but to use it to its full potential, you’ll need to have proper headsets with microphones to allow smooth communication.
Chances are that you’re going to have a lot of presentations and meetings in the workplace. This could be business proposals, project proposals, or even fun slide shows for team building activities.
And for these presentations, you’re going to need a projector. A projector is a great investment for your office as it allows everyone to present their work so the whole office can see.
If you can’t invest in a projector, an alternative can be a large screen where employees can plug in their computers for presentations. Either way, it’s very important to have a place to display work-related material on a large screen – be it a projector or a large TV.
Note: Besides the above, many businesses can also benefit from word processing software.
Other Essential Office Supplies You Should Invest in Too:
Aside from the standard technical equipment, below are other bits and pieces such as stationery supplies that you need to invest in to make your and your employees’ working environment a whole lot easier, pleasant, and more enjoyable – provided you have plenty of office space to work with:
- Sticky notes
- Coffee machines
- Fax machine
- Paper clips
- Rubber bands – keep
- A desk for every employee
- Printer paper
- General office furniture
- Writing desks
- Voip phones
- Cleaning supplies
- File folders
- Filing cabinets
- Bulletin board
- Writing boards
Tips for Building a Functional Office
Here are some other things to remember when stocking up on equipment to keep your office functional and relevant for a long time coming.
Think of the Future
When buying office equipment, it’s always important to make sure that you buy quality office equipment that will last for a long time. So, even if it might cost you a bit more, it might be better to buy premium office equipment with sophisticated features than a budget option that might fail a few years down the line.
That way, you can future-proof your business.
Remember, the world is constantly evolving and technology is improving faster than ever before. If you choose equipment that will be obsolete in the near future, you’re going to be left with equipment that’s been left behind, which can have severe consequences when it comes to the productivity and efficiency levels of your staff.
Nowadays, flexible working seems to be the future. With new work models comes new equipment, and it’s always important for your business to stay ahead of the curve. So, when buying office equipment, make sure to buy those that are built to last you a long time, which will reduce the need of replacing your IT and equipment later on.
Hire IT Support
IT support is crucial in keeping everything running smoothly. The core responsibilities of an IT support specialist are to help with maintenance, improvement, and monitoring of everything in your office as far as technology is concerned,
In the UK, nearly every small business makes use of IT support specialists – be it over the internet or in person. At ITE Services, we provide remote IT support that can help your small business reduce their costs when it comes to maintenance, upgrading, cloud solutions, and even security.
Consider the Cloud
Another thing you might want to consider is utilizing the cloud to its full potential for extra storage space for digital files. The cloud is simply a word used to define digital storage solutions on the internet where users can save, share, and access files that are related to work. For example, you can use cloud storage for your business’ files.
That way, each worker can access the files online without the need for an external hard drive, making it easier to work as a team. On top of that, the cloud is very secure and as long as you make sure to utilize the best practices when it comes to security, you’ll be safe from hacks and security breaches.
Don’t Be Afraid to Invest
It’s very important to remember that when you buy equipment for your office, it’s an investment into the future.
So, while you don’t have to bust the bank for equipment, don’t be afraid to spend a little extra on office furniture and equipment that’s higher quality or comes with more robust features. Each business has its own means and needs, so it’s important to stay within those when shopping for office equipment.
When buying office equipment, there’s nothing wrong with opting for budget options, but keep in mind that investing in better equipment might save you money in the long run by reducing maintenance, repair, and replacement costs.
No modern office is complete without the pieces of equipment we suggested above. Office equipment is designed to make your day-to-day operations smoother and make life easier for you and your staff. And while each business has its own unique needs, there are some pieces of equipment that are essential for small businesses and you simply can’t go without them.
For example, law firms would require a whole lot of paper clips, legal pads, presentable office furniture, and a paper shredder to shred confidential documents compared to a digital marketing agency or other digital businesses.
We made sure to include all the essentials in our list above. So, if you’re building an office for your small business, all that’s left to do is start finding the right equipment for your office. And once you purchase all the essentials on the list, you have the freedom to choose whatever extra equipment you might need to further improve productivity and efficiency at the office.
One thing that is important to remember is that having office equipment alone is not enough. You also need to think about having the right IT support at your disposal in case you run into issues or need advice on settings particular pieces of technology up.
If you wish to find out more about how an IT specialist can help your small business, contact ITE Services and one of our friendly staff will be happy to help.