How to Choose the Right Equipment for a New Business
By Eve Anderson, Date published: 2021-01-01
The right equipment in a new business can boost employee productivity, ensure safety in the workplace, and maximise employee engagement. It encourages creative thinking, innovation, and faster business growth.
However, with so many tech solutions and vendors, finding the right equipment for your startup can be challenging. Precisely because of that, you need to plan your investments strategically.
These simple tips will help you get the most out of your equipment purchases.
Consider Safety Standards and Regulations
Safety in the workplace should be any company’s top priority. When they feel safe, employees will focus better on their tasks and be more satisfied.
Consider whether the tools meet your industry’s safety standards and regulations. For example, the Occupational and Safety Hazards Association (OSHA) sets strict guidelines to improve workplace security.
They emphasise that employers need to identify potential hazards in the workplace and mitigate risks by safeguarding machinery. According to OSHA, it is vital to conduct regular equipment inspections.
Create a health and safety policy.
- Invest in employee personal protective equipment, such as hard hats, eye and face protection, protective gloves, special purpose shoes, etc.
- Everyone using new equipment should receive adequate training. It ensures health and safety in the workplace.
- Make first-aid training mandatory for all staff members. Hire professional instructors and use realistic CPR manikin to improve employees’ learning curve and course engagement.
Specify your Business Needs
Every business is different. Consider your company’s specific needs, goals, and values when purchasing equipment.
For starters, set clear objectives that will help you invest in the tech solutions you need. Some of your goals could be:
- Automating repetitive tasks to boost business efficiency
- Improving sales
- Boosting customer support
- Increasing workplace productivity
Now, with so many IT solutions and suppliers, purchasing the right equipment can be overwhelming. Consider connecting with an experienced tech consultant. They will help you assess your needs. Based on multiple factors, such as employee usage, current resources, and business capacity, they will perform a cost-benefit analysis for you and help you choose the right equipment.
Create a Technology Roadmap
Rather than purchasing equipment separately, consider your company’s overall needs and goals. That is why you should create a technology roadmap. That is a visual document that helps you create a plan for your IT initiatives.
An IT roadmap outlines what technology solutions you should purchase, why you need them, and where you should implement them. Based on your current business needs, you can set clearer priorities and strategise the implementation of new technologies.
When creating a technology roadmap, consult your IT, business operations, project management, legal, and finance teams.
A technology roadmap should include your:
- Goals – what you are planning to achieve with the desired tech solutions
- New system capabilities – how technologies will improve specific operations
- Release plans – they are well defined and strictly scheduled
- Training – the guidance for your internal team on how to use tech solutions
- Risk factors – internal and external factors that may prevent your company from achieving the goals you have set
Shop Around for Suppliers
Now that you have specified your goals and problems, it is time to identify the software types you need and vendors that provide them. You can start your research on software review platforms like Capterra, PC Mag, or G2 Crowd, where you can find lists of various software solutions, feature comparisons, read customer reviews, etc. Based on these insights, you can narrow down your supplier list.
The credibility of tech vendors is crucial. Google them to find out what customers say about them. You can find relevant peer reviews on Google, social networks, and business directories. You should also seek personal recommendations from other businesses in your niche to understand what products work for them.
Finally, get quotes from multiple vendors. Try to get as many discounts as possible so you can stay within the predetermined budget.
Decide whether You will Purchase or Lease Equipment
One of the most common problems startups face when investing in business equipment is the lack of finances. Based on your budget and current business needs, you need to decide whether you will purchase or lease equipment.
- Purchasing equipment
Purchasing equipment provides your startup with many benefits.
First, new tools also require less maintenance and allow employees to complete their tasks faster. That increases the overall workplace satisfaction and engagement.
Second, once you complete the transaction, the equipment is yours. Your IT team can install, maintain, and update it whenever and however they want, without waiting for a third-party vendor.
Finally, you get equipment loans that are tailored to small businesses and startups. Some of the most reliable equipment financing providers are Lendio, SmartBiz, Crest Capital, and Bank of America.
- Renting equipment
Renting equipment may be a good starting point for new businesses operating with limited resources since it makes your expenses lower.
However, remember that you do not own the equipment. That limits your business processes. For example, only a third-party vendor can maintain and update the equipment. You cannot make any changes unless the supplier approves them.
Over to You
Purchasing business equipment can be stressful, especially for cash-strapped startups. However, it is a long-term investment. Therefore, plan it carefully. Start by setting clear goals and expectations. Then, carry out in-depth research to find the right tools and suppliers. Only that way will you be able to move forward with a strategic plan.
How do you purchase business equipment?
Eve Anderson is a marketing specialist turned blogger. Interested in sports and exciting travel destinations. Love to share content that can inform people.
This article does not constitute legal advice.
The opinions expressed in the column above represent the author’s own.