If you’re a New Jersey business owner, you need to be judicious in your investments, especially these days.
At the end of 2019, the outlook wasn’t optimistic for the Garden State’s economy, with many experts fearing that New Jersey wasn’t prepared should a recession happen in 2020. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has all but guaranteed that local businesses will be struggling in the coming months.
To survive these difficult times, you need to plan your investments carefully to accommodate your short- and long-term goals. Now more than ever, you need to equip yourself with the right tools.
Having the right equipment increases your business’s chances of success by improving your processes, productivity, and profitability.
If you are investing in office equipment, here are a few points to consider to ensure you purchase the right ones.
#1 Evaluate your objectives versus reality
First, be clear on what your objectives are. Do you want to replace old equipment with new ones, or will you upgrade existing equipment? Do you want to increase productivity? How do you get ahead of the competition? Can you maintain market leadership? Assess your objectives in relation to the realities of your market and investment capabilities.
#2 Consult with a third party
It’s best to get the point of view of an impartial outsider to minimize insider biases and avoid falling into the trap of groupthink. Get an external consultant to assess your needs and review your investments. Have them do a cost-benefit analysis, weighing the pros and cons of buying such equipment. Keep in mind that the more efficient the equipment, the better the results.
#3 Use a technology roadmap
A technology roadmap is a planning tool that matches specific technology solutions with your short- and long-term business goals. It is often a visual document, usually a bar graph, a Gantt chart, or a diagram. By creating a roadmap, you are able to avoid piecemeal purchases and plan out your overall needs for the long term.
You start with your current state, then map out the activities that should occur in sequence to arrive at your business objectives. This exercise allows you to see what works and what doesn’t, how you use data, and what gaps are there in your resources and manpower. This also identifies investment opportunities to further improve your processes.
#4 Canvass suppliers
There are many equipment companies to choose from, so take your time to shop around for suppliers. Don’t let price be your prime consideration. Ask for references, check out their industry reputation, and scrutinize their post-sales service.
#5 Go digital
Companies that invested in digital technology reported increased productivity, lower operating costs, and improved product quality. Why? Digital technologies offer real-time monitoring and quality control, predictive maintenance, and better automation. All these mean less waste, repairs, and downtime.
#6 Factor in staff training
If you buy new equipment, keep in mind that you’ll spend time and resources to train your staff on how to use them. The steeper the learning curve, the more time they’ll need to master the new equipment. Schedule their training properly so you can avoid a drastic drop in productivity.
#7 Be safe, be eco-friendly
You want your work environment to be a safe space for your staff. Make sure your equipment passes safety standards, and that it is installed properly.
And you’ll want your equipment to be safe not just for your employees but also for the environment. Choose one that’s energy-efficient — not only does it save you money, it also saves Mother Earth.
#8 Decide whether you’re buying or leasing equipment
Purchasing means you own the equipment, and you amortize its cost over time. You may consider buying standard hardware that you know you’ll be using for many years.
Leasing or renting is appropriate if the equipment is for short-term use (say, for a specific project only) or is the kind that becomes obsolete fast. But since you don’t own the equipment, unavoidable repairs can be a hassle. And you’ll be spending on a machine that doesn’t belong to you.
Do you buy or lease some or all of your equipment? When it comes to investments, you’ll want to carefully consider each and every one you make.
If you’re still not confident with your next steps, why not invest in a worthwhile partner to assist you? Make Online Computers your managed IT services provider. Our IT experts will create a customized technology roadmap for you to follow, and they’ll also provide you with sound technology advice based on solid business insight. We’ve serviced many successful small- and mid-sized businesses in and around Hanover, Morristown, and Madison areas. Leave IT to us, so you can focus on your business. Get in touch with our experts today.