What Small Businesses Should Consider When Buying Employee Laptops
Starting a business is difficult. Unless an already successful company is launching a new division or brand, every new venture starts from nothing. Building from the ground up comes with a lot of challenges. Small businesses are ventures that are privately owned and typically (at least in the beginning) have fewer employees and make less revenue than bigger businesses.
What are the challenges of starting a small business?
Every small business faces difficulties from day one. Just to get started, you must have a clear vision and plan for how you’re going to solve people’s most important problems. There are constant financial struggles as it often takes a lot of money to start and run a business. And beyond building the right team, finding elusive prospects to turn into customers, and facing stiff competition, there are a ton of daily challenges and decisions that need to be handled with grace. Staying current on trends and technologies is a big part of successfully steering your small business toward profitability. Businesses of today rely on a host of modern solutions for nearly every challenge faced by a business.
What are the technological needs of a small business?
Businesses need to manage tricky relationships with customers. They need to strategize and automate their marketing efforts. They need to craft proposals and keep track of invoicing and bookkeeping. They need to keep track of staff hours and team collaborations. They need to manage multiple projects. They need to make sure all current customers are being taken care of properly by streamlining company customer service processes. They need to make sure their finances are tracking correctly. They need to be able to effectively communicate as a team. Luckily, there are apps, software, and courses available to proprietors for nearly everything and these solutions handle most of the difficulties of business life.
To integrate all these solutions into one device, you’ll need a powerful computer. To run your own business, whether that’s a single laptop running a small marketing agency from a beach somewhere or a team using desktops in a medical equipment sales office, you’ll need to make sure you have computing equipment that can match your needs. Small business owners will need computers that can process quickly and efficiently, handle all the demanding multitasking required, store lots of data securely, and be a breeze to operate.
It’s paramount for small business owners to take a good look at what they truly need out of their team’s computers. This kind of due diligence will make the task of choosing your technological tools a lot easier. Another important distinction to make is whether or not your machines can integrate everything you need. What applications, programs, or software do you plan on using, and does your computer support it?
Despite resources available to help the market make these decisions, small business owners still struggle to make these important purchasing decisions. An interesting trend in small business computer buying decisions has been small businesses opting for consumer devices vs. enterprise-specific devices. Often, small businesses are choosing consumer laptops over enterprise laptops. Most of the time, this comes down to small businesses (and their IT departments, if they have one) not being able to find exactly what they need through enterprise offerings.
For busy small business owners, the thought of reaching out to enterprise vendors to find the perfect solution is a lot more daunting than buying a few laptops for their team after a couple of hours of research. The process, whichever avenue small business owners decide to go down, is complex. Many find it difficult to determine what purchase would be the best value for money and which devices match their special needs. Not enough information can be found to help small business owners easily match what they need with what they should buy. When small businesses do seek out business computers, they are seeking performance, stability, and manageability. The stability of the machines ranks high for small businesses seeking enterprise computers because of the dangers of having outages or technical difficulties.
Here’s what small business owners need to consider when looking for their next fleet of computers:
We’ve outlined some tips to help you decide what the most important features and specifications are when searching for computing devices for your small business.
CPU: Your computer’s processor is one of the most important considerations when looking for a device that’s powerful enough to handle all of your business tasks. An adequate processor will allow you to handle the most demanding computing without freezing or slowing down. The most capable processors will have multiple cores. Businesses should look for processors that have at least four cores. Additionally, a clock speed of 2.5GHz or higher will serve businesses well. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s difficult to upgrade a CPU so what you decide to get may end up being what you have until you get a new computer.
RAM: RAM is an important measure in determining how quickly your computer will be able to receive and execute commands i.e. how responsive your computer is. RAM, unlike a CPU, is an easily upgradeable component in your computer so there’s always the possibility you can speed things up in the future if you are running into limitations. RAM above 8GB should be sufficient for small business computing demands. Upgrading is a fairly simple process if you find that you need to use your computer for more advanced tasks.
Storage: Depending on what your small business does, you may need a range of storage capabilities. Media companies or creative agencies may require much more abundant storage for all their assets. On the other hand, a cafe owner may not need terabytes of data for data storage. Generally, a small business can get away with storage capabilities in the range of hundreds of gigabytes. An external hard drive or cloud storage are perfect fixes if a small business owner finds that they’ve run out of storage.
Operating System: No matter what technical specifications you decide are right for your business, you’ll need to make sure your computer is easy to operate. This is where operating systems come into the equation. Some functions, like design work, are better served on Apple products running macOS. But some may feel more comfortable on Windows. It’s important to consider whether you need a certain type of operating system and on which operating system your employees will feel most comfortable.
What else should you think about before buying your next small business computer?
There are some other considerations to think about when it comes to choosing the right computer for your small business. While these considerations may not be the most critical deciders, they are still important. Small business owners will need to determine what screen size is right for their teams. A larger screen is better for tasks like designing, photo and video editing, and other visual demands. A larger screen, however, will create a bigger laptop which might interfere with portability. If you’re opting to provide laptops for your teams, portability matters. With remote work becoming the norm and more prospective employees demanding work-from-home employment options, portability is becoming an important factor. So, you’ll need to factor in the weight of the laptop, as well as the overall size of the laptop (including the screen size). Battery life is a crucial aspect of remote work. The more, the better with battery life. You also need to think about connectivity with your laptop as you want remote teams to be able to access networks wherever they find themselves working.
If you’re not employing remote workers, then maybe you’re still debating whether laptops or desktops are right for your small business. At the same price, a desktop will generally give you a much more capable machine than a laptop. Portability comes with a price. If you’re looking for sheer computing power at the cheapest price and don’t need to worry about how portable the computers are, consider desktop computers for your business. You can also consider some desktops and some laptops for your team, opting to offer those who travel or are on the go more portability while those who work more stationary can use desktops.
The first step in outfitting your small business with the right tools for operations and growth is to determine exactly what you need. With insight into what’s best for your small business, you’ll be equipped to choose the best computers that will increase the likelihood that your venture is successful.
*The opinions reflected in this article are the sole opinions of the author and do not reflect any official positions or claims by Acer Inc.
About Alex Clark: Alex is a contributing writer for Acer. Alex is a Texas-based writer and B2B email marketing strategist specializing in helping technology brands connect to their customers. He has lived all over Asia and has consulted with business clients in numerous industries to grow their brands.
Alex is a contributing writer for Acer. Alex is a Texas-based writer and B2B email marketing strategist specializing in helping technology brands connect to their customers. He has lived all over Asia and has consulted with business clients in numerous industries to grow their brands.