Many businesses these days don’t require very much in the way of equipment at all. In fact, if you have a computer and an internet connection, sometimes that’s all you need to make a big success for yourself. However, there are still lots of companies that require equipment which can be quite expensive to buy. If that’s the case for your business, there are a number of things that can be done to reduce your equipment costs.
You might think that it always makes more sense to invest in the tools and equipment you need to get the job done, but that’s simply not true. For example, if you work in the construction industry, renting things like travel towers and cranes that you might only need to use occasionally, and which cost a great deal of money, might actually be more cost-effective. This depends on how often they’ll be used, so never rule out renting – particularly for those seldomly used items.
This seems so obvious that it shouldn’t even need to be said, but you’d be surprised how many business owners don’t get at least three quotes before buying equipment. They simply go with the first company they find or let themselves be persuaded by a suave salesperson and end up spending way more than they need to in the process. Don’t be like them. Get as many quotes as you can before committing to a purchase.
Buy Used Equipment
Again, it’s pretty obvious, but so many people never even consider purchasing used equipment. As long as it’s in good condition and it has been certified as safe for use, there really is no reason not to do gown the second-hand route. This is especially helpful if you’re a small business working to establish yourself.
Whether you’re buying new or used and you want to lower the cost of buying and owning equipment, it is important that you buy quality equipment. You might save yourself a few bucks now by choosing an inferior product. But when you’ve had to repair or replace it three times, you’ll soon see the error of your ways and realize that sometimes paying more is the frugal choice for your company.
Look After It
Whether it’s a computer server, a tractor or a screen printing machine, if you want to reduce your equipment costs, then a good way to do so is by looking after it. Taking good care of your equipment, and servicing it when necessary will mean that you don’t need to replace part or all of the equipment you use that often.
Do Away with It
Of course, one of the best ways to keep equipment costs down is by doing away with it completely. You won’t always be able to do this, but if you’re running your own servers, for example, selling them and using a cloud server for a modest monthly fee will most likely save you money. This will save money not only on future equipment but in the cost of running and storing it now. It’s a no-brainer.
Train Your Staff
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to train your staff so that they can safely use the equipment in your business. This is particularly important if that equipment happens to be heavy machinery or anything else that could cause a health hazard. While you’re training them to use the equipment safely, you should also take the time to teach them best practices for keeping the equipment in good condition. This will help to boost efficiency, keep staff and equipment sage and cut your running costs.
Use Management Software
If you’re using expensive equipment, then it’s probably a good idea to invest in software that will manage it and analyze how it’s being used. This will help you identify possible ways to save money. Obviously, this software only works for certain pieces of equipment and industries, like construction, but if it is available within your niche, then using it will make all the difference. So, give it a try.
Perform a Repairs Comparison
If you use a lot of equipment during the course of your business, then it’s probably worth sitting down and taking the time to work out whether it’s cheaper to have an in-house repair person, such as an IT technician or a mechanic (it depends on the business obviously) or an outside contractor. A lot of business owners automatically think that having a third-party repair their equipment will be cheaper, but that’s not always the case. Having someone on staff can not only reduce your equipment costs but also increase your efficiency as they’re always ready and waiting to fix things fast and keep things moving.
Foster Good Relations with Dealers
It’s never a bad idea to foster good relationships with the people who supply your equipment – whether it be podcasting microphones or diggers. Why? Because should your equipment breakdown, there is more chance that they will let you borrow a replacement until repair is complete than there is if you don’t have much of a relationship with them.
Have a ‘Worst Case Scenario’ Plan
It is a very good idea – especially if your business relies on the regular use of various pieces of equipment – to have a plan in place for that disaster scenario that you hope never happens. If you can do this, then you’ll save yourself from a whole lot of panic and crisis and hopefully find a way to minimize any lost revenue.
Read the Manual
If you’re rolling your eyes right now, I apologize, but so many pieces of expensive equipment have been ruined or used less efficiently than they could have been simply because no one bothered to read the manual. It’s all too easy for business owners and employees to think they know their industry inside out and they toss the manual to one side. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out as well as they expect.
Now you’re on the way to helping your business equipment to operate as lean, mean, cost-cutting machines!