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7 must have products for a start up business

13 Sep 2016
7 must have products for a start up business

We know how you feel, you have a deadline and everything seems to go wrong at once…your office printer isn’t working properly or you go to the stationary cupboard for a new pad and someone didn’t deliver. In our experience this happens all of the time, causing unnecessary stress and often leading to other issues because things aren’t available when you need them.

If you want to reduce your stress levels when it comes to office suppliers and office equipment then you’ll enjoy reading our ‘7 Must Have Products For Your Manchester Office’ – these are the most important things that every business should have in place for a productive work environment.

1. Stock replenishment stationery arrangement

There is nothing more frustrating than when you go to the stationary cupboard and what you need isn’t there. Many office supplies companies offer an office stationery replenishment service which makes it easy for you to order the basics. Pen’s and paper are essentials and too often someone forgets to let someone else know when the box is empty, and the next delivery won’t be for 2 days.

Our advice is to start a stationery replenishment arrangement which means that you can work out how frequently it needs replacing, your supplier will contact you to confirm that you need more stock, and if you do they will supply in good time; if you don’t then they’ll contact you again closer to the time when you will need it. It couldn’t be easier and will save a lot of stress. It is really important to keep checking your stationery costs, many businesses offer promotions at different times to entice your business and so whilst it is important you are not overcharged, try not to move from supplier to supplier too often as it can cost you more in the long run. Good suppliers keep pricing consistent and offer a transparent view of any rate changes.

Check out Document XL's stationery replenishment service to save you a lot of stress.

2. Up to date hardware and software

No one like’s the cost of computer equipment, their use is so engrained into our daily lives that even though we cannot do without them, we often don’t keep them up to date. Because we rely on them so heavily it is really important that they don’t go on the blink, a cause for this is often their age. These days the software that we use can be on a subscription basis and if you subscribe to a service like Microsoft Office 365 then updates are automatic. Other free software we use like internet browsers can be updated for free, but bear in mind that settings and plug-ins maybe lost when you do upgrade.

Having an annual review of your existing equipment and software can save a lot of pain in the long run. Hardware and software changes so frequently and not keeping it up to date can mean you risk security vulnerabilities, but you may also not be getting the best out of the capabilities of any upgrades. Often once you have bought software the supplier offers a free or low cost upgrade plan, it is generally worth doing. With hardware such as office laptops, computer monitors and tablet computers, they can be made to last, but over-time software can become less reliable because the machine you are using it on is too old. Like with software subscriptions, if you lease your office computer equipment then often an upgrade package is included – remember to back-up your work!

Find out about our automatic software updates so you can ensure you are up-to-date.

3. IT support contract

The best way to keep your hardware and software alive for longer is to enter into an IT support contract. These days much of the maintenance and any repairs to a PC can be done remotely with engineers connecting to your pc to resolve any issues that you may be experiencing. Prices are generally charged based on the number of users that need support, remember that any servers you may have will class as a user and may well be charged at a different rate.

The good IT support companies will set you up on a plan and then monitor usage for three to six months, adjusting the plan accordingly to ensure you are charged at an appropriate level for the amount of time that the support takes. Generally any additional requirements, such as supporting an office move or the supply of new equipment will be charged on a project basis. Having reliable IT support in Manchester can save a huge headache, you can call someone, they dial in and fix it, less frustration equals more work!

Keeping your data secure and systems stable is the key benefit to a good support contract. This includes computer security as well as regular back-ups of data. Hacking and other malicious activity is rife and stories of businesses failing because of security breaches are commonplace. Having a disaster recovery plan and business continuity plan in place can be the difference between businesses failing and continuing after a major security breach, or even another unforeseen event such as fire or flood. Having these things in place is the most important advice we can give.

Check out our IT support contract to keep your hardware & software running on a long-term basis.

4. Office printer maintenance

Ah, the bane of many a business life – the printer is not printing accurately, or not printing at all! We are printing less and less, but we do need to print, so when the office photocopier or business machine has gone on the blink it can be doubly frustrating. Common problems are the registration falls out or the rollers become worn and often this can then lead to misprinting and smudging on the paper. Probably the biggest frustration we have come across is the ink has been allowed to run out and you have none in stock – aargh this should never happen!

When you enter into a maintenance contract with your photocopier supplier in Manchester you will not only get a service arrangement with a call out plan, but you will also get new toners and ink cartridges delivered. The more advanced equipment, like Xerox business machines are often connected to your office network and so your support company can see when the ink is running low and should be sending you new cartridges and ink just before you need them.

Discover our printers & Xerox business machines & how our service ensures you always have new ink in stock.

5. Ergonomic office furniture

These days we are spending so much time sat at our desks and in front of our pc’s that it is very important that the office furniture that we use is fit for purpose. Repetitive strain injury and other complaints are drastically reduced with good quality ergonomic office furniture. Products available today do not have to cost a fortune, but the cost of not using health and safety compliant office chairs, and office desks should really be measured in terms of reduced productivity and even staff absence.

From simple products like wrist rests for people doing a lot of typing and foot stools or kneel chairs if you are sat down for long periods can make a huge difference. If you have staff then they will love you for taking care of their health whilst in your work place. There are many solutions available on the market to ensure that you are protecting anyone doing a lot of desk work and maximising productivity.

Your office furniture needs to be fit for purpose, check out our ergonomic office furniture here.

6. A filtered water system

Experts say we should be drinking plenty of water each day, it’s just good for us. Drinking lots of water during the working day is important, particularly if you are in an air-conditioned environment where dehydration make you feel tired and restless. There are many solutions available, modern offices in Manchester often have filtered water towers (which can be bottle filled or fed from the mains water supply) and this can mean you get fresh cold water whenever you need it. It is really important to get your water system serviced on an annual basis, this will involve changing the filters and ensuring everything remains clean, there are nasties present in standing water and so it is vital that the maintenance is kept up to date.

Many businesses also now have hot water taps which enables boiling water to be distributed directly from a tap (generally a new tap is fitted). This great time saving device means no more waiting for kettles to boil (enhancing productivity) as the hot water is instant (depending on the size of tank that you require). The same guidance applies as with the cold water systems – ensure you have hot water tap maintenance in place so that the filters are changed and the tank is cleaned, it’s better for you and your hot cuppa will taste better too!

A filtered water system is a must-have in your office, it is important you get it serviced on an annual basis.

7. Tea, coffee and milk

And finally, our 7th office essential, that without it your day can quickly go sour, tea and coffee. Whether it is your first thing in a morning drink or your early afternoon pick me up, running out of any of these items when you need a cuppa can be extremely frustrating. Many businesses supply these drinks to their teams free of charge, and we are seeing few vending machines about when we visit Manchester offices. We’ve seen very upset office staff because someone forgot to get the tea and coffee, it may be free to them but your team will see this as an employment right and you know how it feels when all you want is a hot drink.

Many office stationery suppliers now sell tea and coffee as an office essential and buying your work supplies in this way can save a lot of money on supermarket prices. It is worth asking when you place your next paper order if you can get pricing.

For milk, we just recommend a simple milk round – yes they are still about, have a search and you’ll find a company who will supply your Manchester office.

Make sure tea & coffee supplies are accessible for your office staff to consume & to offer to visitors.

At Document XL we supply everything on this list and more. Our office supplies are shipped from Rochdale (our HQ) to businesses across the Manchester area. Our engineers provide IT support and photocopiers in Manchester and we provide a same day service. We’ll make sure you never run out of tea and coffee again, we’d love to come and have one with you!

If you buy office supplies in Manchester and you are looking for unrivalled service from a stationery supplier, IT support company or photocopier maintenance or you are looking for a better price on your office products, contact Document XL we supply everything for your office and more!

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