Going it Alone, Part 2 – Getting Kitted Out

So, you’ve got your business plan nailed down and you’re ready and raring to go. Why not treat yourself to a shopping spree?

This is probably one of the more exciting parts of setting up a business – but be warned. You’re going to need deep pockets…

What Kit Do I Need?

This will vary enormously depending upon your industry, the size of your team and the nature of your day-to-day work.

The list below is based on experience of setting up a company that operates predominantly online (hopefully for obvious reasons…) and often in a remote working capacity:

Laptop: Apple MacBook Pro

Yes, Apple products are expensive – but they’re slick, easy to use, bulletproof and make you look the part at client meetings. Unless you’re using particularly heavy software or creating feature length films on a daily basis, a regular MacBook Pro will usually do the trick. You might want to wait until the latest model comes out to get the previous incarnation at a knocked-down price. Make sure you take out AppleCare+ insurance too. It might seem steep as a lump sum but, when you spread it out over the course of the term, it’s not too bad – and certainly not as painful as footing any repair costs!

Accessory: Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter

How much for an adapter?! The price tag for this tiny piece of kit is, quite frankly, extortionate. But chances are the majority of presentation screens you’ll be hooking up to will use HDMI leads and most of your accessories (headphones etc.) will charge via USB, so it’s a must-have.

Accessory: PLEMO Laptop Sleeve

When you’ve spent that amount of cash on a laptop, you’d be mad not to give it some protection. There are plenty of great sleeves out there and they’re all worth the investment. The PLEMO case was chosen having featured on the kit list of a previous employer. It feels well-made, it’s water-resistant, it’s great value and it comes in a range of colours.

Monitor: ASUS MB16AP 15.6-Inch ZenScreen Go

You might never have used a second screen before. But once you have, you’ll wonder how you ever coped without one. Removing the need to flick from one window to another is an invaluable time saver. The Zenscreen Go was chosen on the basis of positive customer reviews and it doesn’t disappoint. Operated and charged from a single USB C cable, it’s light, portable and crystal clear. If you travel for work or don’t have a permanent desk, this is a great piece of kit.

Smartphone: Apple iPhone XS

Everybody has an opinion on which brand of smartphone is the best. The iPhone was chosen based purely on personal preference and seamless compatibility with other Apple products. Again, it’s pricey – but the camera is great, the Apps are great… everything about it is great. Even the battery life on the newer models isn’t bad. And if you’re willing to commit to a 24-month contact, there are some great package deals to help spread the cost.

Accessory: Apple iPhone XS Case

As per the laptop sleeve, if you’re going to splash the cash on a decent smartphone, you’d be well advised to make sure it’s not going to shatter into a thousand pieces the moment you let it slip from your pocket.

Headphones: Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II)

More of a luxury than an essential – but these things are worth their weight in gold if you can justify a little extra expenditure. Not only do they block out noise superbly in a busy office and help you get some precious sleep on a plane journey, they double as a brilliant hands-free headset for conference calls. Highly recommended.

In Summary…

Once again, the list above is very much tailored to specific requirements and personal preferences. The main takeaway here is not to cut corners. If you go into your new venture half-hearted it will inevitably fail – and the same is true of your kit.

Stay tuned for Part 3, where we’ll take a look at the tools you might need to get the most from your fancy new kit.

And if you missed it, catch up on Part 1 right here.