Finding the right equipment for your startup
When it comes to starting a business, of any kind, the equipment that you buy is crucial. In those early days, you might try to limit the number of people that you employ, saving money by doing things yourself. You might try to work out of a home office, or from a smaller than ideal premises to cut costs. But, you can’t manage without the equipment that you need to do your job well.
What you need, of course, will depend on what you do. As a publisher, you might only need a computer, and perhaps a printer. To run a store, you might need manufacturing equipment if you produce your own products. You might need a 3/4” Hexagon Nipple Stainless Steel for tubing, or pumps for water. If you want to open an eatery, you’ll need ovens, coffee machines, and tableware. There’s no standardised list, which can make it harder to get it right. But there are some things that you should consider before you start shopping.
Write a list of what you need
Sit down and think about your business. What equipment, tools, machinery, and supplies do you need day to day? Try to include absolutely everything from paper clips to large machines.
Prioritise your needs
In the early days, you might be keen to cut costs if money is tight. You certainly won’t want to spend more than you can afford, or buy things recklessly without thought. So, take a look at that master list of everything that you need and start dividing it up. At the top, should be the things that you need right now. Those things that you can’t possibly do without. Prioritise your needs, and get the rest later.
Do your research before you shop
When it comes to shopping, there is rarely just one option. There are plenty of choices. Different brands, sizes, models, and makes. Different ages and various added features. Before you rush out and shop, think about what you need from your equipment and do your research. Look at reviews and recommendations online and make sure you know what things do before you commit to a purchase.
Look at second-hand options
Second-hand can be an excellent option for a new business. But, only if you do it well. Look for other companies in your area that are closing down. They may be keen to get rid of their equipment, which might not be too old or worn. Before making a second-hand purchase, make sure it’s reliable and unlikely to need expensive repairs too quickly.
Rentals can be another good option when you are just starting out. Long-term, you should always aim to buy when you can. But, in the early days, renting gives you a chance to save money and get a feel for what you need, before you commit to a considerable expense.
Think of the future
Before every purchase you make, especially the costly ones, think of the future. Will it last? Will it do that job long-term? Will it save you time or make your life easier? Don’t buy anything without giving it through.