What’s the right computer for your small business needs? Choosing a computer can be an overwhelming task with so many choices, from laptops to desktops to mobile devices and even cloud computers. At home or work, computers are essential appliances that you use every day. So why not treat your purchase like a home appliance and do it right the first time?
With that in mind, here are some tips to help you choose the best computer for your business, whether you’re at home or in the office:
1. Do Your Homework, but Don’t Obsess about Specs
In general, most computers have more than enough processing power for an average person’s needs. But choosing the right computer requires more than buying the cheapest, fastest machine. If you need speedy performance and advanced graphics capabilities, that will cost extra. You can certainly pay a good deal less and still get a decent machine. But suppose you’re looking to run multiple programs simultaneously or create high-end marketing materials. If that’s the case, you’ll need a faster machine with more memory and a better graphics card.
Tech experts say your computer should be fast enough to meet your daily business needs. However, it shouldn’t be so powerful that it costs more than necessary. Then again, you shouldn’t penny-pinch, or else your equipment can’t handle future demands on its processing power. Most computers available today provide plenty of speed for everyday tasks such as using web services, emailing clients, and watching videos.
2. Always Have a Backup Plan
Accidents happen. Computers crash often enough that it pays to have a backup system in place at all times. Make sure you have an extra computer on hand, so you don’t lose any work if your machine breaks down or is compromised, and your work will not be interrupted.
You should also make sure that you have trusted professionals to handle repairs and maintenance for your computer. Sending your computer so experts can check it can help prevent malware or any other cyberattacks, which can cause you to lose important data.
3. Think about Where You Work and Live
If your small business is out of the house, you’ll need a laptop for portability and ease of use. But if you’re working from home, a desktop might be the better choice. Because you can quickly upgrade your desktop, it’s cheaper in the long run and more powerful. And since you’re only working at home, there are fewer chances of someone stealing or damaging your computer.
When you buy a computer for your home or office, think carefully about where you’ll set it up. You don’t want cords running across the floor, which can become a tripping hazard for employees in conference rooms. It’s also best to build a dedicated room for your server and out of public spaces like the lobby.
4. How Much Memory Do You Need?
One of the hardest choices when buying your computer is how much read-access memory (RAM) your machine needs. Memory is crucial because it affects how many programs your computer can handle at once.
The right amount of RAM for your needs depends on what you need to do with your machine. If you run heavy programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Premiere, you’ll want a machine with at least 8GB of RAM. If you’ll only run a couple of programs simultaneously and surf the web or check email, then 4GB will be fine. Most computers come with at least 8GB these days; if yours doesn’t, it’s probably time for an upgrade.
5. When Buying Computers, Always Consider the Return Policy
Many of today’s computers can be returned within a specific period if they don’t meet your needs. Make sure to look at the return policy before you buy, and make sure it fits with any other warranties that come with your machine. You might even want to test out a few before making a final decision. This way, you can get an idea of what feels most comfortable for you.
6. Will You Be Using the Computer Long-Term?
No one wants to spend money on a good computer only to have it become obsolete in three years. The best way to avoid this headache is to buy computers with enough processing power to last you four or five years.
Technology changes fast, so do your homework before buying any computer system and always make sure it will meet future needs. When in doubt, ask for help. You can always consult a professional about what type of computer you should use to run your business needs most effectively.
7. Warranty for Service and Parts
If a machine doesn’t have a solid warranty, it’s probably not a good choice to buy it. You never know what might happen down the road, and if it breaks, you’ll have to shell out money to get it fixed. Always look for a warranty that covers parts and service, providing you with peace of mind.
Computers are expensive investments, so it pays to take your time when shopping for a suitable machine. When you decide to buy, make sure to follow the tips in this article to choose the best computer that fits your work or small-business needs.
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