Are you thinking about starting a small business? Congratulations. There are many important steps to take to get started. Purchasing the right equipment could set the tone for success. Learn about some of the basics that can sustain your business.
So many choices are on the market for office equipment. Where do you begin? A multi-function printer that can copy, scan, and fax is essential for your small business, providing four elements in one machine. It’s a digital world, but paper is not extinct yet. This machine gives you the ability to send and receive documents to help your business run efficiently. Even if you plan to use paper as little as possible, many clients and vendors will still be using it. Your physical signature might be required on certain documents. A multi-function printer allows you to print the document, sign it, scan it, and then e-mail it or fax it to the intended recipient. And you can even make a copy of it for additional uses.
What is the size of your small business? Do you have a staff of ten or less? The answers would determine if you need PCs, laptops, or mobile devices. [pullquote]Regardless, buying a software suite is vital to operating a business.[/pullquote] A software suite is two or more applications in one package. The most popular one is Microsoft Office for those with a Windows operating system. It has Microsoft Word, Excel, and more. For Apple products, there is iWork, which has Pages, Numbers, and more. Most computers have a standard starter software package, but you could easily outgrow its limited abilities.
Again, paper is still a big part of day-to-day operations. With that comes the unfortunate, common practice of identity theft. You can buy a paper shredder to eliminate the compromise of your sensitive business information. Depending on the size of your business, you might need a large commercial shredder rather than a small compact one. Shredding confidential information protects you and your clients. Many small business owners use a shredding service on a monthly basis. They can shred your documents on-site or haul them off-site and shred them. There are the hard drive and media shredding services also.
As your business grows, so will your documentation. In addition to the paperwork required to start a business, there is paperwork necessary to maintain it. New hire paperwork and tax information for your employees should be kept on file. There are a number of taxes that you must submit and keep a record of as well. The Internal Revenue Service requires that your small business keep a record of income tax returns for three to seven years or indefinitely, depending on the circumstance. Where will you store all of this documentation? Many small businesses rent a warehouse space to keep all of their paper records. This space can also hold large and seasonal inventory, rarely used office equipment and miscellaneous items. Consider renting a manlift to readily access old employee files and tax documents that you need.
Don’t forget to refer to your budget on operating expenses. Spend wisely as you start out, so you can be prepared for unforeseen costs.
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