One of the first things that seems to excite budding entrepreneurs is a trip to the office supply store to get startup equipment.Ã‚Â Many make the mistake of killing their bottom line with overhead during this process.
Many factors Ã‚Â in today’s world are making entrepreneurship cheaper.Ã‚Â With a dorm-based student business, you’re way ahead of those who must pay for space.Ã‚Â Obviously you won’t get by as cheaply on office supplies as you are on office space, but you still won’t have to break the bank.
Your laptop and smartphone will carry you a long way in getting your business done (especially as you rattle through emails between classes), but you will still need a few other items to be successful in a dorm-based business.Ã‚Â Here’s a quick rundown.
Digital Scales Show The Weigh
Can you tell the difference between one pound, eight ounces and one pound, eleven ounces?Ã‚Â Not without a scale.Ã‚Â You positively must have a scale for weighing outgoing mail and parcels.
But do us a favor and don’t weigh your shipments in the chemistry lab, okay?Ã‚Â Good shipping scales are surprisingly affordable, and they will quickly pay for themselves in saved postage.Ã‚Â After all, if you’re applying stamps to a mailing and don’t know how much to use, you’ll put extra, right?Ã‚Â What does an extra 45 cents per item cost you over the course of a year?Ã‚Â Consider that question again after you’ve seen just how much shipping you’ll do, and the dollar signs will spin in your eyes.
Get a good set of scales, take care of them (they’re not for human measurements), and utilize USPS online postage to determine precisely how much to stick on there.
Wi-Fi Multi-Function World-Changing Printer
Okay, it won’t change the world the same way Gandhi did, but a good machine that will scan, copy, and fax–and do so wirelessly–is a boon to your productivity.
There was a time when a big, clunky machine did each of those functions separately.Ã‚Â Space, electricity, and time were wasted, and at least one device was always on the fritz.
Nowadays it’s all under one roof, and the print quality is outstanding.Ã‚Â You may still want to head to a commercial printer for mass mailings, but to pop off a quote to a customer in another state or to scan in some business contacts, this machine will cover the bases for you.
Don’t forget the wireless component.Ã‚Â A secure wireless printer will allow you to flop on the top bunk while your documents print at your desk or on top of the wardrobe.Ã‚Â Efficient use of space is key in a small place like a dorm, and Wi-Fi gives you the freedom to arrange things wisely.
Shredders:Ã‚Â They’re Not Just For Lettuce Anymore
Security is a major concern for any customer these days.Ã‚Â Your business will generate a considerable stack of confidential material, not just with your own critical data but that of your customers as well.
Credit card numbers, social security numbers, home phones and addresses, and much more will be in your hands at one time or another.Ã‚Â There’s no substitute for destroying these papers at the earliest opportunity, so an office shredder is a must.
Buy one that can save you time by handling reasonably thick stacks of paper in one mouthful, and be sure that you choose one that can shred credit cards too.
Your business will be more secure, and you’ll be the confetti source for any dorm parties or parades.
It’s easy to get all fired up over the cool writing instruments and workplace machinery that you can buy.Ã‚Â But to get your business off to a sensible, sustainable start, confine yourself to the necessities and build as you see the justification grow.Ã‚Â If there is something you need to add later, you will figure it out.
Time to punch out now, entrepreneur.Ã‚Â Bed check at 11:00.