No matter what type of business you would like to start, you will need to invest in some hardware and software that will help you run the business.
Some of this hardware and software will help you manage your business better, while some of it will help you stay organised. If you know everything you need to start and run your business, you will be in a better position to plan and budget for it. Below, we will look at some of the hardware and software you need when starting a business.
A Desktop or Laptop Computer
These days, it is almost impossible to run a business without a desktop or laptop computer. A computer can help you run the software you need to run your business, including accounting, email, calendar and other types of software.
When shopping for a computer, try to find one that is powerful enough to handle basic office tasks and go one or two steps above that. If you think you will be working from home or if your business needs you to work outside the office, get a laptop computer. In addition to their portability, many laptops are much more powerful than their desktop counterparts, which is particularly important as many individuals are working from home right now, so you can enjoy a powerful machine anywhere in the house.
A Card Reader
If you’re in a service business, then a card reader isn’t important, but for many retailers it is essential. Once you start getting paid customers, you should have a way of accepting payments. Cheques are hardly used anymore, and many people don’t like the hassle of online banking payments. A card reader is one of the best ways to do this. The good news is that it is now easy to get one. All you have to do is reach out to a card machine provider and see what options they have. When choosing a card reader, you might have to consider the fees as well as the types of credit cards they support.
Further, you have to consider how much time it takes for them to complete the transactions. Because you need cash flowing through your business as soon as possible, you should consider a reputable company like UTP Merchant Services. They complete the funding process-money in your bank account of a transaction in hours as opposed to the few days other providers take to complete transactions. They also have lots of different card readers, which lets you choose one that best suits your business. If you do not know which card reader is best for your business, you can find more information here on the different readers they have available.
An External Hard Drive
The exchange of information and documents happens in various ways in an office setting. You might send this information via email or other electronic means, but if it is very sensitive data, you might need to use an external hard drive. An external hard drive is also an excellent option if you would not like to store sensitive documents or information on your own server or on a cloud backup.
A Networking Solution
This is a major investment, so you are allowed to start small and scale up as your business grows. An office networking solution is not only about connecting to the internet but also ensuring all the computers and printers in the office can talk to each other. If your staff remotely, then this doesn’t apply, but for office-based staff you need to make sure that everything connects. You can run a small LAN that connects all computers to the internet without opting for expensive solutions.
Your networking solutions should ideally provide a wireless network. A wireless router can work really well here, where it can provide a high-speed internet connection to all your phones or computers.
Your networking solution should also include a server or a Cloud-based storage solution. If you choose a physical server, this will support your database (where you save clients’ information), file storage solutions and email software. There are several server solutions available, but if those solutions are too expensive for you, there are lots of good, cheap options available online.
Email and Word Processing Software
A business survives on communication. You need a robust email solution, such as Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Outlook, Zoho Mail, AOL, iCloud, and others, that can handle all your business needs. In addition to helping you send and receive emails, your email solution can also include a calendar, a task manager, and reminder functions. All these are important to keep you organised.
Whichever processing solution you use will allow you to type and edit documents and, in some cases, allow you to send emails. If you can, find one that can open and edit PDF files as you might receive some documents in that format.
A Robust Operating System
Experts recommend that you get Windows 10 Pro installed as your operating system of choice. This is because it is easy to use and has a healthy ecosystem of software and applications. When you use Windows 10 Pro, you get an operating system that is compatible with your email and word processing software, and that has support should you run into any issues.
A High-Quality Printer
Ideally life is easier if you have a high-quality printer. You might need the printer to print out documents, promotional materials, or things you need to sign. If you can afford it, try to get one with additional functionality like faxing or document scanning.
If you want to get your business up and running as fast as possible, you need the right hardware and software. If you cannot afford any expensive hardware or software, shop around for cheaper alternatives and upgrade as your business grows.