Quality Vs. Cost: Key Aspects to Consider Before Buying Small Business Equipment
By Finley James
It always pays to think about your options before committing to buy any item of business equipment, as it’s much better to make an informed purchase that checks off all the right boxes in terms of cost and quality, rather than rush in and regret it afterward. There are a number of important factors to take into account before you make a big equipment purchase. Here is a look at what you need to consider beforehand, including how to define exactly what you need, an alternative to buying, plus tips on checking dimensions, ways to get what you want for less, and why quality matters:
Create a Wish List
It’s always a good idea to create a list of the equipment that you need and want, together with the details to justify why you need the items and when you need them by, coupled with a review of the budget that you have. When you’re searching for equipment, a site like Reliant Finishing Systems will immediately note that there are often numerous options in terms of specification and price, which is why it pays to know exactly what’s important to your needs before getting too deep into your search.
Your list should ideally be broken down into two distinct sections. The first column will be a list of all the equipment that you consider are essential to your business. The second column will be populated by items that you would like to acquire, but could be considered as not mandatory. Once you have your list of priorities, you can then set about breaking that down further by working out the key features that you’re looking for from the equipment.
Buying Is Not Always The Only Option
It‘s worth noting at this point that you sometimes need to apply a bit of creative thinking when looking for a viable solution, and outsourcing is one option that is worth looking into when relevant. A good example of this would be when you’re considering investing in mailroom equipment. Ask yourself whether you really need to invest your capital or sign a lease for some postage equipment that might offer convenience, but doesn’t add much in the way of value.
Think about the space limitations as well as the financial aspects of the deal and decide whether you really need something that does a job you could outsource. Stamping your own mail could end up being much more costly than taking it your nearest mail center. Think about the usefulness of the equipment you’re thinking of purchasing and consider whether you could outsource the job for less money.
Avoid A Potentially Costly Mistake
You might be surprised to discover how many business owners invest in a piece of equipment they know they need for their business, without carefully planning how they can accommodate the item in their existing configuration. Don’t forget to check the dimensions of your intended purchase to see whether you have the right space available. It would be a good idea to create a drawing of your existing layout to ensure everything will work before making any purchase. Far better to take the time to ensure that your equipment can be housed comfortably and safely beforehand, rather than discover there is a problem when you take delivery.
A Cheaper Option To Consider
Ideally, you might want to purchase your business equipment new and enjoy the benefit of a full warranty and limit the prospect of wear and tear. But there are substantial savings to be made when you consider used equipment as an option. You could conceivably save as much as 50% off the new price when you buy used equipment and often you can pick up an item that is almost as good as new and with very little wear and tear. It’s also worth checking out government auction sites and asking suppliers whether they have any used equipment available, especially when you consider the savings that can be made compared to buying new.
One of the main factors in your purchasing decision process is price, but there is often a fine line between quality and price. If you go too low on either side of the argument, there are often consequences. Paying a low price for your equipment won’t seem like such a good deal when the item proves unreliable and requires constant repairs due to poor build quality. Always try to choose quality over price if you can. Choose the specification and build quality you really want and then try to get it at the lowest possible price.
Finley James writes about inventory and purchasing for businesses, how to manage suppliers and know if you’re spending money wisely within the business.