Need to buy new equipment for your business? There are times when it can be worth going cheap to save money, but there are other times when paying that little bit extra could result in a better investment. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when buying business equipment that should help you to know how much to spend.

How complex does it need to be?

Complex equipment is generally more expensive. If you only need equipment with basic functions, it could benefit you to buy something cheap and basic. Something complex is likely to have functions you’ll never need and it could be more expensive to run due to requiring more electricity to supply all its functions. A good example could be a printer — if you’re looking for something to print off basic black and white documents, you may not need a colour industrial printer. However, if you’re planning to print off batches of 1000 colour flyers, you may want one of these industrial printers. There are affordable ways to splurge on these complex machines such as taking out business loans or looking into leasing services — few businesses can buy industrial machinery outright. Just make sure that this machinery definitely has all the functions you need before making such an expensive purchase.

How regularly will you use it?

How often you use the equipment is also an important factor to take into account. If you’re going to be using a piece of equipment on a daily basis, you want it to be built to last. Durable tools are generally more expensive to produce and hence more expensive to buy. Meanwhile, if you’re only going to use the piece of equipment once in a blue moon, it could be far more sensible to skimp and get something cheaper. You could even hire equipment rather than buying it if it’s only for a single use — this could guarantee you good quality equipment at a cheap price. In all cases, read reviews of products as these will give you the best idea of the quality you can expect.

Will it keep your employees happy?

Your employees’ satisfaction also matters. Skimping on cheap equipment may make them feel undervalued, especially if they’ve worked in previous companies that had much better equipment in which they were paid the same wage. It’s worth asking your employees what they think of your current equipment to get an idea of whether they’d be happy with something cheap or would prefer something better quality.

Will clients see your equipment?

You should also consider whether clients will see this equipment in use. If they see you using visibly cheap equipment, it could affect your public reputation by making you look less professional. For example, if you own a coffee bar, you may be able to get away with a cheap computer in the office as your clients aren’t likely to venture there. However, a cheap till out front could reflect badly on your company as clients will see this piece of equipment.