Buy, Borrow or Barter: Top Tips for Getting the Supplies and Equipment Necessary for Your Startup
Starting up your own business is nearly always a difficult undertaking. Because of the expenses involved, you’ll have to make a few difficult decisions regarding your largest purchases.
There’s a good chance you will need various supplies and items of equipment to get your startup off the ground, and some of these may be expensive.
Here are some tips to ensure you get your supplies and equipment sorted out in the most efficient way for your new business.
Make a List of Everything You Need
The first stage is to know exactly what you need to buy in order to start your business, so write a list of all the absolutely essential items first.
These are the things that you will not be able to run your business without, and they may include specialist items of equipment as well as computers and furniture.
Then list down the other things that will be useful but which you could survive without. A coffee machine, for example, may be nice but it is not absolutely essential!
Once you have this list, you’ll know what you need and you can start looking into your purchasing options.
Compare Prices on Equipment
Next up, start researching the equipment by visiting websites and stores and looking at all the options. Not only will you find different variations of the same equipment from various providers, but you will probably find the same equipment at different prices depending on where you look.
This is the stage where you should decide exactly what you want to buy. For example, you know you want a computer, but which one? Choose a model, then compare that model in different stores to ensure you are not spending more than you need to.
Create a spreadsheet and list down the items. Once you’ve found various prices for each item you need, add up the costs and compare your overall expenses.
Compare Buying New vs Used
Before you go out and buy all of your equipment and supplies new, make sure you look into the possibility of buying used items as well. This can sometimes make sense, but sometimes it won’t be the right option.
While used equipment can lead to huge initial savings, if you end up repairing the equipment regularly then it might not turn out to be such a great investment after all.
For example, if you need a hobby laser for your startup, this is something you will probably rely on. You don’t want to buy something that might break down on you, and the disruption to your business won’t be worth it, so it might be worth buying one new instead.
Then again, your budget simply might not stretch to buying new items. If you do buy used, just make sure you are very careful about what you buy. Check over the items and ensure they are still of a high standard to avoid having to buy them again a few months or years down the road.
What About Leasing?
Leasing is another option that you might want to consider for your expensive equipment. If you need a smart new vehicle, for example, leasing could be a good option.
Leasing has a number of benefits. For a start, you will always have the latest equipment that is in full working order, and you can update your equipment to ensure you are competitive. You’ll also never have to suffer from using outdated equipment, and the up-front costs are lower.
It can be easier to budget when leasing, and the equipment is tax deductible. You also don’t have to worry about maintenance costs.
However, over time leasing can work out as more expensive. That might not worry you when you are just starting out, and it can be a good option because after a few years your startup should be growing and earning more money. You also won’t have any equity because you do not own the equipment.
Borrow Rather than Buy
Yet another option is to borrow equipment and supplies rather than buy them outright. This can obviously save you a lot of money, but it’s not always feasible. Still, always look into the possibility if it arises because when you’re just starting out it could help to get you going.
Get Your Business Up and Running
These are a few ideas to consider when you get your startup off the ground. It can be tough to get started, so make sure you consider all of your options to make savings where you can, and this will make it easier to get your business off to a good start.
Isaac Wood is a small business consultant who loves to help startups. You can find his articles on many business and startup websites.