When it comes to buying equipment for your business, it’s important to be able to tick a number of boxes. You want the equipment to be good value for money, reliable and fit for purpose. When the economy is volatile, or the future of your business is uncertain, it can be tempting to hold off making such a purchase until the market is more certain. Not investing money in new equipment can often be counterproductive. It means you will be less competitive; it will restrict your growth and reduce your ability to target new markets. If you need new equipment but are worried about spending money, the following tips are for you.
Consider Your Needs
First and foremost, you should look at your business overall. Look at all the production processes, decide on your goals and look at whether you can meet them. There are some questions you can ask yourself to help this part of the process. For example, will new equipment help with the future growth of your business and the meeting of production targets? Will the purchase allow you to stay ahead of the competition? After all, marketplaces are constantly changing, and it’s important to stay ahead.
How Are You Going to Finance the Purchase?
Financing the purchase of new equipment is often the biggest hurdle for business owners. There are lots of options; you just need to find the one that suits you. If you get the right kind of financing before you start looking for your equipment, you’ll be giving yourself time and be in a position to negotiate with vendors. When you’re looking at different financing options, compare different factors, interest rates are going to be very important, for example. However, also consider related expenses connected with the purchase such as training, installation, and shipping. Also, bear in mind the percentage of the purchase price a lender is willing to cover.
Don’t Rule Out Used or Refurbished Equipment
It’s not always imperative that you look for equipment that is new. Used or refurbished equipment can be a very attractive option. There are a number of factors you will have to bear in mind, however. Look for the availability of spare parts and accessories and whether manufacturer’s support is still available. You might also ask why the equipment is being sold. Does it meet current health and safety standards? You can also save money by using the equipment you’re replacing in other areas of your company.
Give Yourself Time to Shop Around
Always allow time to shop around for your purchase. Don’t let your equipment break before you look for a replacement. Think about the hours in lost production and the fact that you’ll be pressurizing yourself into making a hasty decision. When you’re looking for equipment, it’s important to have enough time to shop around and research the items you are buying. There may be vendors who are offering good deals. If you’re running a retail business, for example, and are accepting credit cards as a payment method, you might be able to acquire credit card terminals for free. As well as looking at prices, also make a note of the warranties being offered and whether they can be extended for an additional cost.
Consider the Environmental Impact of Your Purchase
We are all being encouraged to think about the impact we have on our environment. Not only on a personal level but for businesses too. If you’re purchasing new equipment is it energy efficient? It will be important not just for the future of the planet. Energy efficient equipment will also save you money. Does the equipment meet all the necessary health and safety requirements? Can it be operated safely within your premises or are you going to be forced to look for somewhere new?
Seek Professional Advice
If the purchase you’re about to make is a significant one you should consider looking for expert advice. There are consultants who can help you make the most of your purchase. They will work with you and look at your needs. Factors such as employee usage, current resources and capabilities will be considered.
Employees May Need to be Trained
A factor that is often forgotten is the need to train employees on the new equipment. While this is being done, productivity levels may drop so this needs to be added into the cost. There will be a learning curve that your current employees will have to face, so you need to be able to cover this.
Investing in the right equipment can be a complex issue, but not if you look at it from the right perspective and make plans to cover all eventualities.