5 Reasons Why You Should Buy Only Business-Grade Technology For Your Small Business

by Admin on April 5, 2011

in Business Guides,Newsletter Article

It’s tempting, I know. You’re a business owner, you need some computer or other technology hardware, so where do you get it; how about right down at the local big box store? This is how most small business owners and managers shop for the technology they need, like they were going out to buy some groceries. I mean why not, it’s cheap and convenient, and it seems like a great idea in the short term; but it’s a big mistake.

Here are 5 reasons why buying only business-grade technology for your small business is the right move.

  1. Relying on consumer-grade equipment will inevitably cost you more time and money. Example: The all-plastic design of consumer-grade laptop computers helps to keep the costs down, but at the expense of durability. When (there is no IF) a consumer product breaks, it will cost you valuable time and money to send the unit in for repair, to buy replacement parts and try do-it-yourself quick-fixes, and to spend hours on the phone with ineffectual tech support departments.
  2. Consumer-grade Hardware comes with Consumer-grade Software.
    How many computers do you own in your company that are running Windows Home? Whether Windows XP Home, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows 7 Home Premium; anything with “Windows” and “Home” in the version name. Someday you’ll want a server to go with your fleet of computers, and when that day comes, you must have a “Windows” “Professional” version or higher in order to connect things into what’s called a Windows Domain. A Windows Domain allows your computers to gain all the features of security; ease of file and printer sharing; and much, much more. But the kicker is, if your computers are running Windows Home versions, they CANNOT connect to a server in the same way that Windows Professional versions and higher can; and must therefore be backed up, wiped clean, and reloaded fresh with the correct Windows version. There’s a reason Microsoft calls it “Windows Home,” because it’s not designed for business use.  The price difference is marginal when you buy the machine, but quite pricey when you need it upgraded to connect to a server.
  3. Business-grade technology means business-grade support. Business-grade hardware and software vendors provide a much higher level of support if a problem arises. They are easier to get a hold of, easier to work with, and easier for you’re IT support person to do their job. If you don’t have an IT support person, don’t worry, you will some day if you plan on any kind of growth. And when you do, they’ll be able to save you money then too, if you have the right equipment. If not, they’ll be forced to charge you an arm and a leg to make your “less expensive” consumer-grade equipment fill the role of it’s better ROI siblings in the business-grade category.
  4. You get much longer and often more comprehensive warranties. Business-grade technology generally comes with at least a 3-year factory warranty. What that really means to you is that the manufacturer is confident that their product will work without issue for a minimum of 3-years. Computer vendors also provide “Next-Day, On-Site” warranty support for their business-grade products, meaning a local technician will come out to your office to address a problem the very next business day. Consumer-grade technology is typically warranted for 6-months or 1-year, which is about the longest the manufacturer expects the item to last before it fails and needs repair or replacement. FYI – Consumer-grade equipment is designed to be disposable.
  5. You get features, features, and… oh yes, features. Example 1 –Business telephone systems are nearly limitless in their customizability. They include high-level features such as automated attendants that can route calls to your employees whether they’re in the office, at home, or reachable only by cell phone. There are no consumer-grade equivalents available. Example 2 – A business-grade server can provide centralized files, printer management, backups, user security, and prevent all the hangups and quirkiness most small businesses have by just connecting their workstations together. That computer you bought at Best Buy cannot.

When you’re buying technology for your business, you’re buying for the future. Over the years, we’ve seen many businesses run into seriously expensive and disruptive technical problems all because they were relying on consumer-grade technology. Don’t make the same mistake—don’t skimp on buying quality products. And if you have an IT service provider, make sure to check with them first.

David Lawrence is a provider of professional COMPUTER SUPPORT IN Logan and Cache Valley Utah. If you need IT SUPPORT for your small business, please Contact Us.

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