Even the best concept for a small business won’t go anywhere if the IT supporting it isn’t right. This includes the software you’re using, and more importantly, the hardware it’s running on. But how much hardware does your small business need to invest in? Of course, the specifics of what you need will be different depending on what your business does, but there are a few IT staples that every business needs in order to operate.
The most basic piece of kit any business needs is a computer or laptop. Again, the specifics of the models and makes will depend on what needs your business has, so It’s important to make sure you’re buying the right things. For example, if you are doing a lot of graphic design or video work, Apple is still at the top of the range. You also need to remember to buy a laptop or desktop that is fit for business use, and not a standard personal model that you can get off the shelf at a supermarket. You also need to consider if you want to run a virtual desktop system, in which case you will need a drastically different type of machine. This is why you need to do a little research and talk to an expert before you shell out for any form of computer.
If you’re running a personal computer, all of your data will be stored locally on the machine, or maybe on Google Drive or other cloud services if you’re particularly backup savvy. But for businesses, you need to think about how much data you will be storing and how much traffic your systems will be handling. Business servers are perfect for this because they are dedicated systems that can be scaled to suit your needs. But for small businesses, servers can be cost prohibitive, so many will opt to rent server space from a hosting provider, like us.
If you’re going to be conducting cash or credit card transactions, or operating a retail outlet in any way, you may also need a Point-of-Sale (or POS) system with cash registers. Many POS systems can now integrate with the computer network you’re using, and each offers a different level of service, interface and performance. Among those offering state of the art POS systems are HP and Dell, along with several independent suppliers. So to figure out what’s right for you, you need to try a few out and decide which will work for you.
Of course, you will need some way for customers and prospects to communicate with you, and for businesses a mobile phone just isn’t enough. You can opt for a standard landline connection, but these can get expensive and aren’t always the most reliable. Instead, we are seeing more businesses opt for a hosted VoIP (voice over IP) system that runs directly off the internet connection, making them easier and cheaper to use. They also have a lot more functionality than a standard phone – they can transfer calls to your mobile automatically if you’re out of the office, record calls and be deployed quickly and easily if you need more lines or handsets.
Of course, this isn’t a completely comprehensive list, but for a small business this covers all of the basics you will need. Luckily, most of this hardware can be bought or rented at low rates from professional suppliers. At All Your Computers, we can supply businesses of any size with the hardware they need to run smoothly and efficiently, without going over budget. Whether that’s new monitors for your computers or some rented server space, we can help. If you would like to find out more, get in touch with us today for your free consultation.