Should you buy your office equipment, or lease it? This is an important question that every small business owner has to consider. Budgets are tight, but so much of your company’s success depends on your ability to work fast and efficiently. Bad technology and equipment leads to lost opportunities and lost revenue, but high overhead can eat into the profit and leave you struggling to keep afloat.
Here are some things to consider as you weigh the pros and cons of buying or leasing office equipment.
What kind of business do you run?
How important is IT to the success of your business? Naturally, technology-based companies depend on it for survival, so it makes sense to put a lot of money into acquiring the best and latest technology resources.
But other businesses may not have such high IT requirements. The most you need, perhaps, is efficient computers and office equipment. In this case, you may want to consider leasing it, especially if you don’t have an in-house IT expert. When you lease, the contract usually includes maintenance and support. So you don’t spend too much if the equipment breaks down, or maintain the salary of an IT expert you rarely use.
Types of leasing
You have the option of renting office equipment (paying a set amount every month) or financing it over a set period (eventually acquiring the equipment after an x amount of payments).
There are pros and cons to consider. Renting or leasing equipment may cost you more than actually buying it, especially since the cost of computers, etc. have significantly dropped. Do your math: compare what you’d spend on leasing, and what you’d spend on an outright purchase and possible repairs or upgrades.
On the other hand, technology advances at such a fast rate that your machines may be outdated anyway after just 2 years. So, why would you want to buy something you’d eventually need to change? Also consider the wear and tear it will get every day, and the chances of it breaking down and requiring an early replacement.
Another thing you may want to factor in is whether you can declare the equipment as a business cost and get a tax deduction.
Choosing a vendor
Whether you buy or lease your IT equipment, do talk to several vendors. Some may offer value-added services (for example, instead of leasing a printer, you may want to approach an ink supply company—they often give the printer for free, if you order ink from them every month).
Photo from sunsouthlease.com