A guest Post by Lilly Miller
Some businesses can get by on a couple of laptops and a secure internet connection, but for the majority of companies and startups out there, they need to invest heavily in the right equipment and tech to ensure productivity and output. Having the right equipment is not only vital for employee productivity and for reaching your goals, but it’s also crucial for compliance and risk mitigation, not to mention your bottom line.
If you want to raise productivity and have a great company culture while ensuring stellar customer satisfaction across the board, then you need to invest in the best tech and equipment in your industry. That said, we can’t pretend that this is not a cumbersome expense. Many a time, business leaders will simply lack the funds to secure all the equipment they need, or they will end up needing more than their business loans permit.
Let’s take a calculated approach to this common problem and take a look at the five tips you can use to get the right equipment for your business without breaking the proverbial bank.
Evaluate your needs and budget
Firstly, it all starts with a detailed analysis of your needs and financial capabilities. If you’re working with a business loan, then you have to make sure that the loan amount is enough to cover all the equipment you might need to set up your business, but also any additional equipment you might need down the road. To do this, you need to have a comprehensive list of tech and other pieces of equipment needed to run an effective and efficient operation.
Before you apply for a loan or before you even start looking for equipment providers, make sure to run an internal analysis. List the most important tech and equipment you need per team and department, according to your workload and number of employees. If you are planning to get loans, use an equipment loan calculator to compute the monthly fees and total amount you’re going to pay. This will also help you eliminate purchasing unnecessary or non-urgent equipment.
Next, assess your growth plan and forecasts, and factor in any equipment and tech you might need in a couple of months’ time, or even a couple of years. Planning this far ahead will ensure you never get caught off guard, and it helps with business continuity.
Focus on digital transformation
Digital technology is revolutionizing the way we do work online and offline, and there are some technologies that modern businesses simply can’t do without. Or rather, they can, but investing in certain tech can drastically raise productivity, minimize extraneous expenditure, and help you reach your goals faster.
To that end, you can invest in digital signage in your retail store, for example, you can move your entire operation to the cloud, you can provide all employees with better devices, and much more. Fortunately, the right tech can drive your business forward but it won’t necessarily cost you an arm and a leg, given the fact that business tech is becoming more affordable and accessible with each passing year.
Work with your equipment provider
When you’re getting new equipment for your business, you want to work closely with the right providers to get the best solutions and quotes, tailored to your needs and financial capabilities. This is especially important when you’re working with a provider on a long-term basis for perishable business equipment.
In dentistry, for example, new and established practices need to create a trusting relationship with a reliable dental equipment provider in order to get better deals on bulk orders and minimize their expenditure while getting the best dental equipment on the market. This not only makes sense from an economic perspective, but it’s crucial for building a competitive edge in such a saturated field.
Regardless of the industry you’re in, though, make sure to find a supplier you can trust, one you can work closely with to make a partnership that works for both sides.
Consider what you can get second-hand
Not everything in your business needs to be brand-new, especially if it’s the kind of equipment that’s not crucial for your work and reputation. A car mechanic might need a brand-new digital diagnostics tool, but they don’t need a brand-new couch for the waiting room, for example.
With that in mind, consider what you can get used and refurbished for a fraction of the price. Sometimes, buying a piece of office equipment that’s in okay condition and then refurbishing it will make much more financial sense than buying it new.
Shop around and get deals from providers
Lastly, you don’t need to settle for the first offer that comes across your desk, nor do you need to spring for the first deal you see when shopping for business equipment and tech. Take your time and shop around, gather quotes from various suppliers, and always look for better deals.
Of course, when you do find a lower price tag, you should ascertain the quality of the equipment, and always spring for the more expensive option if it means you’ll get higher quality. This process takes some time and research, but it will allow you to stay within your budget and find the best deals out there.
Over to you
Purchasing equipment for your business might seem like a big expense, but it doesn’t have to be if you know what you’re doing. Yes, it will be a sizable investment, but an investment that you’ll be able to handle with ease if you take these cost-effective tips to heart.
Also published on Medium.