Business

New office supplies

By Rebecca Trumbo
Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Buying new equipment for your office doesn’t have to be a daunting task
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Setting up your new office takes planning and time. If you rush through the process, you could end up with nothing more than a mess and countless headaches. Proper forethought, however, can make the process fun and save you a lot of time and energy.

Pricing

As a general rule, when you're setting up your new office with office supplies, consider the prices first. Shop around and do your homework. Electronic equipment is expensive and costs can quickly snowball out of control. You'll need to find that fine line between paying too much and buying cheap equipment.

Quality and cost

Buy the best quality products you can afford for the large and small purchases. Paper clips that don't hold their shape, tape that doesn't hold its stick, and pens that don't write will not save you money in the long run, no matter how inexpensive they were to buy.

Adding some character

Put the personality of your business into your purchases. If your business is selling balloons or something equally fun, try multicolored supplies. If you're selling funeral packages, you might want a more sedate and serious professional look.

Computers

Get a new computer if you need one. If you try to work on a computer that doesn't perform the functions you need for your business or doesn't do them as well as you need, you'll only give yourself a headache. Computers are expensive, but so is therapy.

Phones

A good phone is a must for any office. If you work alone, you only need one or two lines (as opposed to the 12-line models), but make sure you have caller ID and a hold button. If your office is in your home, a private line might be a necessity to keep your clients from having to talk to your kids.

Faxes

Faxes sent from copy services can be expensive. If you send piles of faxes, you might want your own fax machine. You might even want a separate phone line for your fax machine, depending on your workload. Some machines multifunction - copy, print, scan and fax. These all-in-one printers take up less space than a separate machine for each task.

Electrical

Make sure your office has enough grounded outlets for your needs. Don't try to plug everything into power strips off the same outlet, or you'll overload the circuit. Along those lines, call an electrician if you have any questions about overloading your circuits or installing additional outlets.

When you've made your office purchases, do some paperwork. Keep your receipts and make lists of how each purchase was used for business. You might want to designate a certain storage cabinets to safe keep these records or any other important financial documents. These little tasks could save you serious money come tax time.

Look at your office when it's finished. Is your desk at a comfortable height? Can you reach your phone without straining? If you're not sure about proper positioning of your office supplies to keep your back and wrists safe, invest in outside help. Contact an ergonomist to check your office for you.

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