Part 2 – In this second post of a two part series, you’ll discover the main consideration points related to equipment investments and your small business. Click Part 1 to read the first post in this series.
Business owners invest in a variety of equipment. Some will break down or become out-dated while other pieces may lead to a competitive edge or new innovations.
POS systems & cash registers
Since these technologies interface directly with the point of sale, they’re crucial to the success of your business—without them, you can’t make a sale. If you’re experiencing consistent technical difficulties with the software, or if the hardware (e.g., receipt printer) is frequently breaking down and requiring repair, it’s time to consider a replacement. This is doubly true if your system is out of warranty and your current provider is failing to provide support.
If your business is growing, you may outgrow your current POS setup and require additional functionality. In this situation, it’s increasingly essential for business operators to enjoy full-featured POS solutions, which will let you enhance customer service, more effectively leverage your human resources, and improve check averages. Consider financing an upgrade.
We’ve already discussed how you can leverage available research to estimate the longevity of your industry-specific equipment. For example, printers and other common pieces of office equipment typically last four to eight years; landscaping equipment may last four years while surgical lasers may last two years.
Longevity isn’t the only consideration, however. Aging equipment, in many situations, is the enemy of consistent excellence in performance and customer service. As your equipment ages, your productivity tends to decline. Once productivity is down, quality is hit or miss—with increasingly more misses as time goes on. Once productivity and quality drop, you and your employees and your customers all get frustrated. Before long, a well-oiled machine can turn into a sputtering wreck.
Computers & IT
In decades past, the life expectancy of the equipment making up your IT infrastructure was based on the durability of its hardware. Today, the lifespan of computers and telecom equipment is determined largely by its technological relevance. For example, your phone system’s hardware may physically last more than a decade, but technological evolution may necessitate the replacement or upgrading of your system long before that time comes — as often as every three years, depending on your market and competition.
Equipment leasing and financing can provide an advantage here; some leasing plans allow you to swap out equipment at a certain interval.