As a small business owner, you probably know how quickly expenses can add up. One such expense is office equipment, which can set you back thousands of dollars. Of course, having the right equipment is essential to doing quality work at an efficient rate, so it’s important not to skimp when it comes to supplying your employees with the equipment and tools necessary.
One way to save money on equipment is to buy used. While there are downsides to buying used equipment, it’s often more cost-effective than buying all new stuff — that is, as long as you take the proper precautions and maintain the equipment.
No matter what you decide, HandiFox wants you to succeed. With that in mind, if you’re thinking about taking the used equipment approach, consider these tips for doing it the right way.
When you’re trying to decide whether to buy a particular piece of used equipment, the first question you should ask yourself is: Does it do what I need? Getting a deal on a printer, fax machine, computer, or POS system will end up being a waste of time and money if it doesn’t do exactly what you need it to do (or if it offers way more than you need).
Durability is critical. After all, you want to use every piece of equipment you have for as long as possible and without facing chronic repairs, right? Research the specific product you are considering purchasing, and read online reviews pertaining to how it holds up over time.
For example, if you handle automotive parts, you’ll want to research which parts are worth buying new, what can safely be refurbished, and what parts are fine to purchase used. For instance, ExpertAutoRepair suggests investing in refurbished alternators, fuel injectors, and radiators when you can, just to name a few.
No matter how much we want to rationalize it, the brand name usually matters. This goes along the lines of reading reviews and getting opinions of other individuals and companies who have used the types of products you are looking for. Start with trying to find deals on trusted, well-established brands. On the other side of the coin, be sure to check out competitive brands that could offer similar quality at a better price.
For many types of office equipment, ventilation is key. If your workplace does not have proper circulation, it can lead to equipment overheating, which will limit the performance and lifespan of products. Furthermore, CartridgePeople recommends trying to regulate temperatures in your workspaces and avoid the use of space heaters, as that can also lead to overheated equipment, among other issues.
Keeping your used equipment clean is another important part of preserving its life and making your purchase worthwhile. At least weekly, dust and wipe down each product, and if a particular item is especially dirty, use compressed air to clear it out. Also, keep the workspaces around equipment clean to prevent dust, dirt, and other particles from getting inside the equipment.
Taking care of your equipment is a vital piece of your company’s future. Make sure you understand the manufacturer’s instructions for use on each piece of equipment you buy. Using equipment improperly can significantly limit its lifespan. And in some cases, such as plugging in an item incorrectly or overstretching cords, it can be dangerous.
As they say, better safe than sorry, and as you think through concerns like protocols, also address your insurance and business structure if you haven’t already done so. Being prepared for issues like breakdowns and lawsuits is in your best interest, and provides a safety net so you can rest easy.
Purchasing used equipment can save your business a lot of money if you do it the right way. Remember to consider each product’s function, as well as its durability and brand name. Make sure your work areas are well-ventilated and climate-controlled. And go to extra lengths to clean and use each piece of equipment properly.
Look to HandiFox for valuable information, ideas, products and solutions that will help your business grow!
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