Setting up your own business can be an exciting time. Of the many decisions that you need to make – from staff size to logos – one important item is the equipment that you purchase for your office. The right equipment can help boost you abilities and your productivity, while the wrong equipment can turn into a liability. In order to make sure that you have the correct equipment in your office, here are some different factors to consider.

Unless you are running a business that goes back in time, you are most likely going to need a computer system. The first step in getting the right computer system is to assess the needs of your business. Do you do a lot of design work? Do you have secure information that needs to be guarded? Is the fanciest program you need Microsoft Word? The needs of your business will have a huge impact on the type, brand, and price range of your computer equipment. If you are planning a high tech operation, you will need the computer equipment that can both keep up with your vision and give you room to grow and expand. If all you need is a place to write the occasional memo, then you will not need a system with all the latest technology. If you are unsure of what level of computer equipment you will need, or what brands of computers are best suited to the work that you will be doing, consult an IT professional.

Part of the computer equipment includes the accessories, such as printers, scanners, copiers, and fax machines. Again, make sure that you pick equipment that will suit your needs and avoid spending money on gadgets that you will not use. When buying accessories, it is imperative that all of your computer equipment is compatible. The last thing you want to do is spend your money on a fancy printer only to learn that it cannot connect to your computer.

The third part of your computer purchasing is your software. There are lots of different software options for all the different aspects of your business, including accounting, databases, sales, etc. To help you make the best decision, contact the manufacturer for a demo version or a free trial. This is important, as it allows you to test the software, making sure that not only can it perform the functions your business needs, but is not full of unnecessary or unwanted programs. You never want to pay for things that will go unused. You also want to make sure that the software comes both with a 24-hour support line and a money back guarantee. If the company does not provide these three options, then you should look elsewhere.

In our next few articles we’ll take a closer look at the things you should consider for each specific type of equipment, helping you to make informed, smart decisions.