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How to Choose the Right Equipment for Your Small Business Needs

You can’t run a small business effectively if you don’t have the right equipment in place.

Without it, your business is likely to be less productive, more expensive to run and possibly even a little less safe to work in.

The good news is that rapid advances in technology have made it easier than ever to fit out your business with the hardware, appliances and gadgetry it needs to reach its potential. But only if you know what the right ones to choose are.

So, how do you go about choosing the right equipment for your small business needs?

Here are some useful tips to help you.

How to Choose the Right Equipment for Your Small Business Needs

Determine what equipment you need

As a business, you will have drawn up an action plan for meeting your objectives. For this reason, any piece of equipment you get, should be chosen for its ability to help achieve them.

For instance, if you want to facilitate customer payments in a faster and more streamlined way, you should consider sourcing technologies from small business EFTPOS providers like Smartpay

Other strategic goals you might want equipment to help you meet include increasing sales, automating repetitive tasks, improving efficiency and productivity and enhancing customer support.

If you are an existing business, you can determine this by analysing factors like present resources, employee usage and the current production capacity of your business. Start-up businesses, on the other hand, will have to make a judgement based on their profit and loss projections. 

Create an equipment roadmap

Many small businesses, particularly start-ups, make the mistake of buying all the equipment they think they need immediately.

However, a savvier approach to procuring equipment for your business is to stagger the sourcing of them over time. A good way of doing this is to create a roadmap for when, where and why you will acquire them.

This roadmap should be based on factors like the current and anticipated needs of the business, its cash flow and what disruptions might be involved when transitioning to the new technologies.

It should also take into account any risk factors that could affect the organisation's performance.

Research the Equipment

Once you have determined what type of equipment your small business requires, you will need to thoroughly research the make and model that is most suitable for it, as well as the best supplier to procure it from.

There are several ways you can do this including reading reviews on Google, TrustPilot and credible industry publications, for example, PC Mag.

Also, don't be afraid to ask your peers for recommendations, either directly within your industry or a related one or on professional social networks like LinkedIn.

Be sure to compare the different features of each piece of equipment and determine whether you require all the functionality it offers. You won't want to pay a higher price for models with features that you won't really use.

Once you have shortlisted the piece of equipment you are interested in obtaining, you should ask for a specific quote in writing from one or multiple vendors. Doing this will help you to budget better, and maybe even negotiate better deals from suppliers who are willing to beat other company's offers.  

Choose between buying outright or leasing

After researching and selecting the piece of equipment you want, you will be faced with the decision of whether to buy outright or lease it.

The decision should be based on your business's current needs and financial landscape, but both have pros and cons.

Purchasing equipment

Buying your equipment outright provides your small business, particularly if it is a start-up, with several benefits.

One of the main ones is that new pieces of machinery, hardware or tools tend to require little in the way of maintenance. Certainly, much less than your current makes and models might. They also tend to increase the productivity of your staff and their morale, as they feel like they are working with more modern technologies.

Additionally, once you have bought the equipment outright, it becomes an asset of the business and is yours to keep.

Ideally, you will be able to fund the purchase fully. However, if you can't, then you might consider financing it through a loan from a lender.

Leasing equipment

If your finances are limited and you don't want to assume debt by taking out a loan, then leasing the equipment is a good option.

You should be mindful that you won't own it, which could limit your productivity, as only the third-party vendor would be able to perform repair or maintenance on it.

However, as you aren't forking out the entire cost of the equipment, it might represent a less risky transaction.  

Final thoughts

Whenever you procure equipment for your small business it should be seen as a long-term investment that will help achieve your objectives.

While procuring the right equipment can seem like a daunting task, if you plan for it carefully and do proper research, then you should be able to manage the process of improving your organisation's hardware infrastructure with minimal risk and disruption.

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