It’s 2016 and you’ve got big plans for your business. But is the equipment at the heart of your business – copiers, HVAC, servers, production machinery and so on – up to the task?
Sure, your business equipment is working, but is it working well enough to get you where you want to go this year? Or is it time to consider an update? Here’s some food for thought to help you decide if you should modernize your equipment in 2016.
First, how’s your equipment’s production capacity? If your current business equipment works as well as it did when you first installed it, great (but you still might want to consider replacing it, as discussed below).
However, if records or subjective experience indicate that the equipment critical to your business is not quite as productive as it used to be, get together with your dealer to estimate the expected payback time of a new unit with similar capabilities. Your dealer can also help with financing options that spread out payments to better match expenditures to productivity/profitability increases.
Speaking of expenditures, has the cost of consumables jumped since you acquired your equipment, either because the prices have climbed or because your machine is using more than it used to? Would a new unit conserve consumables and lower your costs to achieve a given level of productivity? Again, your dealer will be happy to get you up to speed on this.
While you’re considering business equipment operating costs, take a look at the cost of energy, usually one of your biggest equipment-related expenses. Because of recent strides in this area, energy savings alone can often make an upgrade well worth the investment.
Also, be sure to research the technological advances that have occurred since you installed your equipment. New features, added efficiency and greater accuracy can dramatically boost throughput and quality. Plus, the increased reliability of the latest equipment can mean less downtime and lower maintenance costs.
Next up is labor expenses. Updated business equipment can help you get more from every person-hour, further reducing the cost of productivity and increasing your margins without putting extra burden on employees. In addition, the convenience and time savings made possible by new equipment can boost employee morale and job satisfaction.
Another possibility to consider is whether updated equipment will allow you to offer new products and services. For a restaurant, this might mean new menu items. For a medical office, it might mean in-sourcing tests that would otherwise be performed elsewhere, while a phone system upgrade could make customer self service a reality for a wide variety of businesses.
Finally, think about some of the harder to quantify benefits of new business equipment. Would an update help you stand out from competitors in your marketing? Would furniture, HVAC, software and other upgrades improve customer experience? Maybe an expanded video surveillance system or the latest networking and data storage technology would help customers feel safer, as well as improve your own security?
Whether or not you end up modernizing your business equipment to help you reach your 2016 goals, it’s a good idea to take stock now and then and the early days of a new year is a great time to do it.
Is new equipment in your business’s future? Get in touch! We’ll help you explore your financing options so you can get equipped quickly and easily while preserving cash and credit for other business uses.