As many of you already know, we’re very happy to be able to offer small businesses discounts on computer hardware from a slew of different vendors, such as Dell, HP and Lenovo. Typically we know our clients and what their needs are, so when they need new hardware, we’ll put together a few choices to show them the type of performance and price ranges that are available – computers change quickly and we’re always happy to put together custom quotations any day of the week. We’ll never buy computers in bulk and sell them throughout the year. I digress already, though.

Sometimes we have clients exclaim at the cost of the quotation and it catches us off guard. We only want the best for our clients and we do our best to make solid suggestions – every now and then we get wrapped up in making sure our suggestions incorporate only the newest hardware so they’re up to date as long as possible. We don’t see much value in quoting out an Intel Core 2 Duo that was designed 3 years ago when a brand new Intel Core i3 or i5 is only a bit more and will last them longer at this point. Sometimes the client is expecting that Core 2 to keep down costs, though. It’s always a balancing act.

Often times, clients will see a crazy awesome Core i5 or i7 name-brand computer at Best Buy or online with a 1 Terabyte hard drive and 24 Gigabytes of RAM and a 1.3 Gigawatt power supply that also turns back time and makes toast just the way they like it (Please note: those things aren’t real. Do not make toast with your computer. It will taste like plastic wrap.) Sure, those computers are great buys. There’s nothing wrong with them and we will always help clients integrate them properly. Something many people don’t always realize when they see those deals is that they absolutely are not designed or built for business. The dude in blue might tell you otherwise, but what exactly is his job there anyway? They’re designed to sell above all else.

 

Computer Sales

The most attractive model on the shelf isn’t always the best for business.

Purchasing computer equipment for your business should be done with the same mindset as buying a new car. Obviously, buying the least expensive Daewoo will get you to point B. Going for a well-built Impala will, too. But that’s not the only reason you choose a specific car. Price is only one factor, with others playing just as important a role. It has to last, have a great warranty and be made with quality parts that get the job done in a realiable fashion over the long-term. Each one will have bells and whistles, which are great, but not what’s important. You’re not showing your office computer off to your friends, so don’t get wrapped up in the marketing and buzzwords.

We always recommend and quote business-grade computing equipment (unless otherwise specified) and certainly take the price into consideration. We don’t always recommend the cheapest thing, though. Sometimes the cheapest desktop or laptop is just perfect for the job – and we have clients using those units for certain tasks. When it’s time to invest in computers that your staff are going to use on a long-term basis to complete their daily responsibilities, though, it’s another story. Price is, of course, important – we wouldn’t be here if we told everybody to buy top of the line or go home – but that initial investment is less painful once you’ve had a cheap computer fail on you within 2 years right when you’ve got a quarter-end report due.

In the coming days and weeks, we’ll be spending more time breaking down each aspect of the PC and how great consumer deals don’t always add up to great business value.

Continue to Part 2: Hardware