Computers are the backbone of your business. They are used for every task, from inventory and sales to payroll and video conferencing. However, deciding on which computers to purchase for your business can be a confusing and challenging process. From choosing what brands to shop to how much storage space and memory you need, there are many factors to be considered when buying small business computers.
To simplify this process, here are ten tips for choosing the most suitable systems for your business.
- Set a Budget But Don't Skimp
Those cheaper computers may be tempting to buy today, but tomorrow they may struggle to run basic software applications. With a budget starting at $600 to $900 for each computer, you will have plenty of professional business models to select from that can handle many everyday tasks.
- Decide on PC or Mac
Either operating system is quite capable of running many business applications. However, keep in mind that Apple computers will take a bigger bite out of your budget.
Unless your business will require specific applications that are available on one operating system and not the other, either one is a suitable choice. However, once you have selected which to use, stick with the same operating system throughout the business to avoid software conflicts.
- Select Between Desktop or Laptop Models
If you plan on frequently traveling with your computer, then a laptop is the most obvious choice. However, if portability is not a consideration, then a desktop can certainly fit the bill. Desktops are less expensive and are easier to upgrade.
Another option is to use a laptop to take on the road or work at home, and have a larger monitor and regular-size keyboard at the business to connect. Today's laptops have several ports for additional accessories such as keyboards, mice, and external monitors. This way, you get the best of both worlds.
- Compare Processing Speeds
The processor is the heart of the computer. This component is what enables you to run multiple applications simultaneously. The more powerful the processor, the more you can accomplish at one time without the system becoming sluggish and unstable. Compare processors available in today's models in your budget to see what best suits your business processing needs.
- Have Plenty of Storage
The hard drive is the depository of software and files on the computer. The larger the hard drive, the more it can store. Lower storage hard drives can quickly reach capacity since every program creates files. As a result, it's best not to purchase anything less than 500 gigabytes (GB) of storage.
- Memory Considerations
Random Access Memory (RAM) is another important consideration in purchasing a business computer. RAM temporarily stores files for quick access. However, if there is an insufficient amount of this memory in the computer, it will be used up quickly, causing the system to experience slowdowns.
Selecting a computer with at least 8GB of RAM will ensure that it can run smoothly without interruptions and be able to multitask productivity software. Should you find you need more RAM later on, this can be easily upgraded.
- Monitor Size
Laptops can include a variety of screen sizes and resolutions. While some users can work just fine on a 15-inch laptop screen, others may prefer monitors as large as 24 inches to easily view and use multiple windows. If using laptops, separate monitors can be purchased to easily connect to them.
- USB and HDMI Ports
The computer should have a sufficient amount of USB ports to plug in accessories such as an additional keyboard and mouse if needed. Additionally, an HDMI port should be available to plug in an additional monitor if needed.
- Compare Warranty and Support Plans
Technical issues can happen, and when they do, you want to ensure your system can be repaired without any hassles or delays. Most manufacturer warranties that come with the computer cover the parts and service for a year. However, extended warranties can be purchased to go beyond this period of time. An additional option for support is to use managed IT services. These companies can manage your network with 24/7 monitoring, remote and on-site support, and a variety of other support services.
- Comparison Shop Online/Read Reviews
Once you have decided what kind of system you need, conducting online searches can help you narrow down the choices of which manufacturers and models fit your criteria. There are also many websites where you can read unbiased reviews of many models to help in your decision-making.
Keeping your business running smoothly requires reliable computers that can handle a variety of tasks efficiently. While there are many options to choose from, the above recommendations can help you narrow down the choices to find the most suitable models.