Technology is one of the most volatile aspects of the modern business environment. A new technological device comes out and is practically obsolete within a few months. The need to update systems is an expensive task for small businesses, and many owners are apt to go for devices and software developed for the personal market. This is a potentially large mistake.
Here are five reasons you, as small businesses owners, should aim to buy technological solutions and products that are specifically designed to meet your 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. Beyond that you’ll also have to spend the valuable time 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 it more appealing to buyers when you sell it, 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 ones that you do need. Many business devices also have features that can be tailored to meet a business's needs, or offer devices with increased 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 as fast as possible.