Starting your own business can truly be a challenge. There are certain things you need to acquire in order to create an effective, cost-efficient working environment. These “things,” if you will, can add up to a healthy chunk of change, but keep in mind it is an investment in your company.
The first thing you might consider for your office are a couple of cats. If you have two, they can keep each other company while you are busy running your company.
Right off the bat, one of the more pricey items you need to purchase will be your computer. This is one item you cannot afford to spend less on – find some other area in which to save. With computers, you realize very quickly these are tools that will help you make more money. And here is a truism: the better your computer (read more costly), the more money it will make for you.
Now, you might think that after you have spent all that money on your computer, you should pretty much be ready for business. Right? Wait a minute, what about software?
Software can add up as quickly as hardware. It is amazing how much you will have to pay for development costs. For example, the new Creative Suite will run about $1900, maybe more, after taxes. If your business uses other high end programs, such as a CAD design program, costs can really mount up. Don’t try to skimp in these areas by going to a third party vendor; deal directly with the software developer.
One of our associates decided to try saving money this way. Essentially, he inadvertently purchased a pirated copy of a popular program. In the end, the boot-legged software ruined his computer. Be aware developers are writing code into their programs to prevent the illicit distribution of their intellectual property. Bite the bullet, pay the price, and purchase a legitimate copy. After all, it is a business deduction.
Another business tool you will need is a printer. In fact, you may need two. Printers can be relatively inexpensive or very costly, depending on the type and make of model. Keep this in mind; it is not the printer that will prove expensive; you will soon discover the ink cartridges are the expensive component.
Before purchasing your printer, research the numbers. Check costs – determine yield per cartridge and divide the cost of the cartridge by the total number pages to determine the printing cost per page. You might be surprised at how expensive the cheaper ink jet printers are compared to the nicer, more expensive laser printers.
Another necessary office tool is a scanner. This is important for many reasons. One of the best uses for a scanner is keeping track of receipts.
It goes without saying you will need a good telephone system. You should consider a landline and fax line. Cell phones are a must, also. Try to find a reliable service provider. You may also want to consider smart phones with an unlimited data account. You would be surprised at the versatility of the new phones. For instance, I wrote this entire essay on my phone.
Another possibly pricey expenditure is office furniture. Again, be careful and avoid the temptation to go cheap – you may find yourself sitting quite a bit longer than you may have anticipated while running the show.
Well, that is about it, unless you want to invest in a good laser pointer.
Laser pointers are useful in driving the cats crazy when necessary.
© J. Clark 2010