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Equipment and Machinery

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Equipment and machinery

Equipment to consider when doing your business plan.

 Note that the content on this page is many years old. Although some of it may be useful, a newer version of this topic can be found on this page (click here)

In order to keep your start up costs down, try and keep your equipment to a minimum. Items commonly needed by most new businesses are:

  • Telephone and line
  • Fax machine
  • Cell phone
  • Personal computer (don't forget software costs)
  • Printer
  • Furniture (desk and chair)

Sometimes the following may also be a requirement:

  • Photocopier or scanner
  • Digital camera
  • Car
  • Delivery van
  • Manufacturing machine (for the product you intend to make)

Second hand and borrowed goods are often a good idea. This will ensure that you minimise your exposure should the business not succeed and it will also mean that you have more capital available to give the business a longer time in which to reach profitability. A word or warning though - make sure this equipment works. You don’t want to be left with second hand machine that keeps breaking down and costs you a fortune in repairs and down time.

Equipment and machinery

Investing in some items that will make your life easier.

Your new business has now been operating for a few months and you will have become a bit more aware of what equipment you really need. In the office you might have found that you are forever having to pop down to the local shopping centre to get photocopies done and perhaps it would now be wise to own one of your own to save time and costs in the long run. Maybe after chatting to your customers you've found a possible gap in the market and a new manufacturing machine would be able to provide the flexibility and quality that no one else has. Whatever the case, at least now you have some work experience and can determine what your priority requirements are.

A word of caution. It may still be too early to buy the top of the range equipment. You need to still be careful of your situation, even though you may have had one or two profitable months, the world of small business is notoriously turbulent and times can change suddenly. Do not extend yourself too much, keep your purchases to well thought out decisions where you consider the cost of buying to the cost of not buying. It must be a business decision not a perk or gift for yourself, these will hopefully come later.

A common office device that is now available in most major stores is the four in one copier-printer-fax-scanner machine. Is this suitable for the small business? The downside of these machines is that if it breaks down or gets stolen, you are without ALL of those facilities. For a medium to big business this can be a major headache and cause serious backlogs, but for the small business, we believe you could cope without too many hassles for a few days while it gets repaired or replaced. A friendly neighbour or friend could help you out with any urgent requirements and there is still always the postnet or photocopier shop at a nearby shopping centre. The advantage of these devices is that you get all four functions at a far reduced price then buying the four separate machines. You may sacrifice some speed and some of the functions, but for a small business they'll do just fine.

Equipment and machinery

Keeping up with modern technology.


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