Besides a clean and healthy environment, you must have a set of basic equipment in your place of business. Every business organization, regardless of its size or nature of operations, needs furniture, office stationery, common supplies, and computers. But, there are other types of equipment as well that are just as important.
Here in this post, we will discuss the top seven ‘basic but important’ office equipment every business should have.
1. Business Telephone
Even as businesses today use instant messengers (IMs), email services, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools, and smartphones for communicating with customers and vendors, a business telephone is still important.
A modern-day business telephone offers a wide range of features that an old-school telephone system or smartphone does not.
Not just medium and large scale companies but small businesses also rely on business telephones because such systems offer:
- Lower cost-per-call
- Service mobility
- Ability to forward calls to any device (your personal phone number, for instance)
- Ability to monitor calls for training and review purposes
- Ability to hold hassle-free conference calls
- Ability to add new extensions when required
2. Business Network Equipment
Typically, a business ecosystem comprises of people both within and outside an organization. These people, including employees, customers, vendors, and suppliers need to exchange data and communicate frequently.
Business owners need a robust system in place to ensure smooth data transfer and communication amongst not just people but various devices as well. These devices may include workstations, fax machines, VoIP systems, printers, servers, etc.
Depending upon the size of the business and requirements at hand, one or multiple network routers, network switches, network servers (for VPNs, database management, file sharing, shared calendars, etc.) and firewalls may be required.
A new business organization, even when they are just bootstrapping, should consider investing in network equipment that can meet their needs for the next three to four years. A managed network provider can further enhance the effectiveness of such resources.
3. Printer and Cartridges
For most businesses, a multi-function printer (MFP) is an essential office item. Even if you use cloud storage services to maintain digital archives, you’d still need to print documents on some occasions. An MFP can print, copy, scan, and fax documents.
Modern-day inkjet and laser printers can produce high-quality output at a cost comparable to what you will pay if you outsource a printing job. You need not worry about having to spend too much on purchasing printer cartridges. Another cost-saving tip is to use a printer monitoring tool to manage your printing jobs. It gives you the status of your printers at one glance.
With affordable HP inkjet and toner cartridges, for instance, you can save on printing costs while printing marketing materials such as flyers, posters, etc. or business correspondence in house.
MFPs that use high-capacity printer cartridges can print several thousand pages. If you need to print more than a few hundred pages each month, consider stocking up on printer cartridges in advance to avoid business disruption in the future. The good news is that most sellers offer discounts when you buy multipacks.
4. Lighting Equipment
An office should be equipped with proper lighting systems in order to create a cozy and productive work environment.
Business owners should make sure the lighting is fixed in a manner so as to minimize shadows and visibility hindrances in the workplace.
Businesses need to consider the initial acquisition cost, the running cost, and the shelf life of a lighting system.
Most offices today have computers and laptops. But, you can hardly use them for team meetings, brainstorming sessions, and training programs. It’s time-consuming and impractical. Having a projector allows you to show PowerPoint presentations to a group of employees with great ease.
Business owners can invest in a projector that can be easily moved from one place to the other. This way, different teams can use a projector for various purposes; having a dedicated conference room is not necessary.
A projector can also be used during events, exhibitions, and workshops organized for potential customers, vendors, suppliers, etc. outside the business premises.
In case you cannot afford a projector right away, consider buying a whiteboard.
6. Power Backup
Power outages can lead to costly business interruptions. Ask yourself – can you serve your customers or clients during the time your business establishment does not have power? Will your employees be able to do productive work on such occasions?
Even if power outages come around less frequently in an area where you operate, it is still important to consider the potential business impact of such interruptions.
Business owners can invest in power generators or invertors. In case your business depends on computers, IT networks, etc., having a UPS (Uniform Power Supply) is a must.
7. Storage Equipment
A business needs both physical and digital storage equipment.
Physical storage equipment may include storage folders. Labeled folders can be used to organize documents to save time in the long run. A year or two from now, you may have hundreds of documents including invoices, bills, letters, reports, etc. With organized storage, retrieving a document when necessary will take less than a minute.
Digital storage equipment can include external hard drives, USB flash drives, etc. You can store digital copies of various files on these storage devices. These devices can also be used to quickly exchange data amongst employees in an office.
Do keep in mind that having local storage devices is not a substitute for cloud storage services. A copy of the most important documents should always be stored on the cloud.
An author of Namaste UI, published several articles focused on blogging, business, web design & development, e-commerce, finance, health, lifestyle, marketing, social media, SEO, travel.
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