Choosing what technology to buy for your business can be one of the toughest decisions you make. While it is a necessary investment, constant change and upgrades can make your purchase seem obsolete mere months after you buy.
Further complicating the issue, almost every manufacturer makes models for home use that are marketed right next to business-oriented products. While the consumer products look like they could fit the bill, it’s generally not a good idea for businesses to pursue this option.
Here are five reasons why small businesses owners should consider only technological solutions and products that are specifically designed to meet business needs, not those of the masses.
- Long-term time and money costs. In general, consumer grade technology is made using cheaper, less durable materials than that of the business equivalent. More often than not, consumer products will break down long before business grade. When they do, you’re stuck paying for the replacement parts or sending the unit in for repair. Also consider the valuable time you will spend dealing with the problem.
- Greater ability to recover costs. Business technology does cost more, however, it’s made with better materials that increase product life. Beyond that it decreases the need for maintenance, and will make the products more appealing to buyers if you eventually sell them, thus allowing you a higher chance of recovering costs.
- More features. The problem with technology developed for the consumer market is that it’s often developed with features that will be the most useful to the majority. This could be a problem for companies as you’ll be paying for features you don’t need, while lacking those that you do need. Many business devices can be tailored to meet a business’s specific needs, or offer increased overall functionality.
- Warranty. The majority of consumer tech has a limited to non-existent warranty. Many laptops have one year limited warranties that, in truth, cover very little. Business hardware can have a standard three year factory warranty which guarantees the device won’t break for three years. Aside from that, many vendors will send someone to repair the device within the next day, if you buy business grade.
- The best customer support. It’s a high probability that you’ve had a device break and had the wonderful opportunity of dealing with consumer technical service. This is not the case for the majority of business hardware and software developers. Many companies provide 24/7 support and have employees who understand that your technology is essential to operations, and will work to get your system back in action as fast as possible.
While in the short term it may seem like a good idea to buy consumer technology, it’s a solution with long-term drawbacks. If you are looking for new technology but don’t know where to start, we are here to answer your questions.