Tag Archives: office

3 strategies for buying equipment for business

Managing a business is difficult, due to having to balance a range of issues. For one thing, we need to be able to manage how we spend money on equipment we consider important. By understanding this, we can make better financial decisions, thus helping our business.

Buy or lease

In order to offer our services or products, we will require equipment. The issue is that this can be incredibly expensive. The ideal is that we manage to make enough profit from our products in order to, basically, earn back any money we make in our expenses. But sometimes, we’re not yet in the position where we earn enough to make this ideal into reality.

Yet this still doesn’t negate the fact that we need to use equipment. This brings up the question of whether we should rent or buy equipment. First we must know what we need: computers, printers, networking appliances and so on. All of these fit into our understanding of equipment. Second, we then to decide which should be purchased or rented.

As Entrepreneur highlights, deciding this can be difficult. Each offers advantages and disadvantages. Leasing, for example, automatically means using the latest equipment, predictable expenses and allows us to keep up with competitors. But there are disadvantages, such as paying more in the long run. Purchasing makes it ours, though it also means paying more upfront and also maintenance costs.

Borrowing and lending

We should also be considering equipment finance. This allows us to both acquire the necessary equipment but also pay a manageable monthly expense. We know precisely how much we are spending, because we’ve negotiated a borrowing policy.

We could also get help from friends and family, as a personal loan, to acquire the equipment with finances – or perhaps borrow the equipment itself.

Crowdfunding

These days we should recognise that the landscape has changed. This means we get money in ways not possible before. One powerful example of this is crowdfunding, which let’s us acquire funds from individual investors to create the product they want. While these are not as large amounts as you would get from massive donors or investors, individual crowdfunding donors can eventually add up to a lot. We need effective marketing, however, to gain the interest of people who might not have heard of us before.

Plenty of businesses have managed to find success via Kickstarter, for example. But even more have found failure, due to being too ambitious or having terrible marketing. Having this under control is essential if we take the crowdfunding route.

How to make your home an ideal office

Most of us like the idea of working from home. Some of us have worked to create businesses that operate out our property. Of course, unlike offices, homes are built with comfort and catering to families in mind, not work production and staff. Yet, that should not stop us considering how we can make the spaces we live in more compatible.

Everything is connected

The most obvious reason why working from home has become an option is due to the nature of being connected online. Thanks to the internet, we can communicate instantly with anyone, anywhere in the world. Data can be immediately obtained, information gathered and used. We must then make sure we have all the necessary requirements to have high speed internet access.

As Small Business Chronicle notes:

“Switching to high-speed Internet will cost more money, but you should see your employees being able to work more efficiently and respond to customer inquiries.”

Since we’re operating a business – whether as individuals or an entire office – it’s essential we choose internet options which are uncapped, rather than focused on unnecessarily fast speed. We do not want to find ourselves in a situation without internet because we forgot to pay.

Improve the home

We may need to either obtain a better home or improve our current one to accommodate the new focus on business. But that doesn’t come cheap. We should help negotiate our budget and finances properly. It’s wise to use tools like home loan calculators or consult our financial experts to have an overview of where we stand. From there, we can dip into our budget to make the best decisions regarding the direction we should take.

We need space after all, and our homes may need to make way for that – or we need to change the homes we operate from.

Discipline

One key reason why many are concerned about working from home is whether the staff member will be able to get the work done. Too often there’s an assumption that working from home will mean slow or late work. Yet, this is constantly disproved – many freelancers and contractors live their entire lives working remotely. Deadlines must be met. Apathy is incredibly detrimental to everyone. As Business Insurance notes:

“Apathy is the killer of motivation, a detriment to quality, and a catalyst for poor customer service. But worst of all, apathy is contagious.”

The point being, don’t hire apathetic workers rather than dismiss working from home altogether.

Apathy should be viewed as a hole letting water in. If it’s not plugged, it will take down the entire ship. Others will see a lazy staff member continue to get paid for late assignments and will begin slowing their hard work.  

Don’t be apathetic and don’t allow staff to be apathetic either. This, indeed, is a key danger of working remotely but can and must be stopped in any context.

(Image credit: David Mulder / Flickr)