Unusual items to lease

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Unusual items to lease

When it comes to kitting out an office, initial thoughts will probably turn to hardware such as desktop PCs, laptops, printers, photocopiers and telephones.

Since these are pretty costly, particularly for cash-strapped SMEs, leasing has proved to be a cost-effective way of making sure businesses still have access to all the equipment they require.

After all, it means you don't need to have cash tied up in expensive pieces of technology which could be out of date in a matter of months.

Your business can therefore be much more agile and responsive to changes in the wider industry, with the flexibility to update your operating processes and keep up with rivals.

But did you know that a leasing arrangement doesn't have to be limited to these pieces of hardware? Here are just a few examples of other things it can include.

Coffee machines

Many employers provide basic kitchen facilities to members of staff, but a coffee machine can really make a big difference to the working day.

Indeed, by giving them the means to make a perfect cup of coffee in the office, they'll be less likely to nip out to the nearest coffee shop!

That in turn means productivity will go up, while the impact on workplace morale will also be tangible.

At the same time, investing in something that might on the surface appear to be inessential can show you are a caring employer.

That again helps you get the most out of your workforce and enable you to build a reputation as a good company to work for.

Servers

While many businesses might be moving towards storing data off-site in the cloud, there is still a place for a server. The data storage requirements of businesses are growing all the time, so it makes sense to lease a server rather than purchase one outright, so you can adapt to these changing needs swiftly and effectively.

By having this flexibility, you can both store larger quantities of data and have the capacity to make effective use of it on a regular basis.

A leasing arrangement also means the responsibility of disposing of the outgoing equipment isn't yours - so you can simply get on with making the most of your new technology.

Franking machines

Franking machines are used by businesses as a method of pre-paying postage costs for mail, via an electronic connection with the Royal Mail.

Many varieties of franking machines are available, depending on the size and requirements of a business, but while it can be a cost-effective way of reducing your postage expenses in the long run, the machine itself can be expensive.

Indeed, the price of purchasing one outright could be several thousand pounds, which might be an expense that SMEs simply can't shoulder.

In which case, leasing a franking machine could be a great alternative, giving you the benefits of cheaper postage costs without breaking the banks.

Security and alarm systems

The security of your premises can never be taken for granted and is again an area where it certainly pays to be flexible.

Having your money tied up in outdated security and alarm systems could make you reluctant to upgrade - and as a result, you may end up putting your premises in danger.

By leasing these systems instead, you'll certainly be more willing to upgrade your first line of defence at the right times.

Office furniture

The layout of your office can be an easy matter to overlook, particularly if you're a relatively recent start-up and are focusing on simply staying afloat.

But the working environment can be crucial to the overall atmosphere within a business, having a big effect on employee morale and productivity.

Furthermore, an office layout can say a lot about your company to visitors - and not all the signals being sent out might be positive unless you've considered everything carefully.

It therefore makes sense for businesses to look at leasing office furniture, so they can say up-to-date both in stylistic terms and in order to respond to changes in working methods over time.

Of course, operating processes in countless industries are evolving every day, as businesses respond to people's ever-changing demands and expectations

Technology too is transforming regularly, so the IT requirements of a typical SME are unlikely to stay the same for long.

By leasing, you don't need to worry about the upfront financial burden of adopting all the tools and resources you need to run your firm.

This level of flexibility can be vital if you want to secure a competitive advantage in your industry.