When equipping your office, the biggest issue for your budget will probably be the purchase of new tech. The greatest problem with this is that you need both quality and quantity, and both of these pose a certain problem. Speaking of quality, even if you buy the cutting-edge equipment of the moment, there is no way of knowing if this particular investment will become outdated just a few years in the future. This makes it a quantity problem as well, since if you chose to go with new ones, how many of these devices can you replace at one time. This is why a lot of new business owners decide to rent instead of buy. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of this business model.
Not paying the full cost
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that while the total cost always favors buying over leasing, this is not always the best way to look at things. The same goes for paying a rent vs. buying your own home. While it is undeniable that the first would cost you more over the course of 10, 20 or even 30 years, it still doesn’t change the fact that you simply cannot afford to buy the place.
In other words, one of the strongest advantages of renting office tech is the fact that you don’t have to pay the full price all at once. This is particularly great for young startups, who barely manage to gather enough money for the launch. Still, this means adding one more unexpected monthly expense to the list, which isn’t a pleasant thought either.
A matter of time
Furthermore, if you are to lease any piece of equipment, your best bet is always to choose an item that falls under two categories: a) it becomes quickly outdated or b) it has a high maintenance cost. The first issue on this list is particularly important, but luckily, it doesn’t apply to all office devices at an equal rate. For example, an average smartphone gets outdated in a matter of two years, while a high-end graphic card such as NVidia GTX 1080 can still be up-to-date over the course of several years. In other words, we could say that the question of whether to rent or buy is as time-dependent almost as much as it is money-dependent.
Another advantage of renting office tech is the fact that the company you are renting from bears all the risk of equipment malfunctions. Sure, if you were to buy a brand-new device, you would get a warranty, but in most cases, this would cover you in the first 2-5 years. On the other hand, by going with rented office tech, as long as you are paying, the risks of malfunction are something that the leasing company should worry about.
The disadvantages of renting
Finally, renting has some disadvantages as well. For example, you may be required to put down a deposit you can’t afford (although in this case, you wouldn’t be able to buy either). Furthermore, a leasing agreement can be a complicated thing. In the previous section, we mentioned that the risk falls down to the leasing company, but this doesn’t always have to be the case. This alone is reason enough for you to read the fine print. One last thing, there is something particularly unpleasant in knowing that no matter how long you keep paying for it, you will never own the tech you use.
Like so many times in life, it is nearly impossible to give a definitive answer and say that one option is clearly superior to the other. Most of these things are quite situational, but if you have a budget that allows it, it would usually be better to simply buy the gear and then pass it on, resell it or even donate it once you no longer need it. On the other hand, renting office equipment usually gives you more flexibility and maneuverability. The choice may be tough, but it’s yours to make. Choose wisely!
Image credit: http://i.imgur.com/KcFyZQ4.png