No matter the nature of your business, you will almost always rely on some kind of equipment or machinery to deliver value. If you sell a product or provide utilities, then this could mean investing in a whole range of machinery to operate a factory and this can present a large undertaking for anyone who isn’t experienced in this area.
Even if you’re running a one woman business though, you will almost always be reliant on particular ‘tools of the trade’ whether that’s a set of hair clippers or a laptop. Here we will look at how to go about saving money when you invest in that equipment, while at the same time making sure that it does the best possible job creating the ultimate synergy between man and machine…
How to Think About Your Equipment
Before we begin, it’s important to ensure that you are thinking about your equipment in the best possible way. In particular, this means recognising that any purchase of equipment is in fact an investment in the same way that you might invest in stocks and shares. Buying a piece of equipment means buying a ‘force multiplier’ – it means that you can more work done more quickly and with less effort. That means that you can continue to employ the same number of staff and spend the same amount on overheads like rent and energy, but drastically improve your output and thus your profits. This is why it’s so important not to cut corners as you will only end up losing money in the long run when your incredibly cheap computer crashes and you have to buy a new one…
That is not to say of course that buying second hand from a liquidation auction, or renting your equipment, is never the right option. In some cases there will be no notable downsides to renting a piece of equipment or buying second hand, but you need to assess this on a case-by-case basis. Don’t buy second hand if it’s something that needs to work flawlessly, or that has any potential to cause injury. And don’t rent if it’s something you are going to be using on a regular basis for years – think about the long term savings rather than the short-term cash flow.
Likewise, you might also want to consider some of the other ways you could save money with your equipment. For instance, if you buy something that’s in high demand then you could always lease it out yourself when you aren’t using it. Likewise, you may find that you can sell off some of your old equipment after you’re finished with it.
Some Universal Considerations
The equipment that you buy as a shampoo manufacturer is going to be very different from the equipment you spend money on as a software developer, and yet there are still some universal considerations that you would need to take into account in either of these situations.
For instance, it’s important to always think about energy efficiency. If you’re looking at two different pieces of machinery with many of the same traits, then you can save yourself a lot of money by choosing the one that will use less energy on a daily basis.
Also important to consider is support. Is this equipment coming from a reputed seller and well-known brand? Is there the documentation out there to help you use it, and will your warranty be of any use to you when it breaks down? How is the customer support?
Think too about the ease of operation. While a piece of equipment might be incredibly powerful, it’s not much use if it requires a PHD in order to operate it. Think about the time you’ll have to spend training staff, and how easy it will be to change to a different device when you upgrade.
Once you’ve bought your equipment though, you are of course not yet out of the woods. Also important is to ensure that you keep everything well maintained and use regular checks to ensure everything is running as it should. Just because there are no obvious signs of problems, that doesn’t mean that a reading might not be off, or a container might not be about to give way.
Once you’ve invested in the best equipment possible then, you need to invest in maintaining it, managing it and using it wisely. Only then can you work flawlessly in unison.