Which Computer is Right For My Business?
In this present generation, businesses cannot function effectively without computers. Computers are essential tools for carrying out various business tasks. However, choosing the right computer for your business may not be as easy as choosing other tools. Two critical factors makes the decision critical.
The first factor is that computer equipments can be so expensive and investment on them is usually considered as a long time investment. Often, you won’t be able to recoup the investment in the first twelve months after your purchase. That to an entrepreneur calls for caution when making a decision on what computer to purchase.
Secondly, computer technology changes so fast that a state of the art computer equipment purchased with so much fund can be rendered outdated in a matter of six months or less. That makes the issue quite complicated, isn’t it? An equipment going outdated before its payback period sounds like a bad idea! Well, that is the reality that you need to face when deciding on the computer to choose for your business.
Even though it is difficult to choose, there are some guidelines that if carefully followed can reduce the possibility of making a wrong choice. We shall consider the most important ones in this post.They are mostly questions you need to ask and answer sincerely before parting with your hard-earned money.
What will the Computer be used for?
There is need to sit down and ask yourself sincerely what the computer is meant to do for you. Why is this critical? There are too many models with different specifications and performances been offered in the market that it is easy to get confused on which one to choose. It would have been okay to base your choice on the best performing equipment, however, those factors explained above show that it is foolish to do such. The best performing business computer today may become outdated in few months. Also, best performing machines don’t come cheap, so you need to consider your purse too.
The safe thing to do is to sit down and jot done all the task you need the computer to perform for you. The tasks should then be rearrange in order of priority so that you will easily know those that are indispensable and those you can let go. Often time, it is those extra features that you can actually do without that may unnecessarily add to the cost of purchasing a computer.
Laptop or Desktop Computers?
Computers come in two major packages. Desktop computers, ie those meant to be kept at one location and laptops or notebooks ie. those meant for mobile computing. If the nature of your business is such that you need a computer in a particular location all the time, then you are better off getting a desktop computer. Usually, desktops are easier to work with because they are large while laptops, notebooks and netbooks have miniaturized parts that don’t make them conducive for long time computing work.
However, laptops are better for mobile computing. Laptop are quite portable, you can take your laptop almost anywhere so your files will always be with you. It is important to remember that both options have their own advantages and disadvantages, you need to know which one is better suited for your business needs.
The Right Computer Specification For Your Business
While every computer have some common basic features, there are some features that actually differentiate the function each can perform well. As an entrepreneur, you should consider the following features when deciding on the computer to choose for your business.
- Memory RAM – What you need the computer for will determine how much RAM you need on the machine. Using the example above. A graphic designer will need nothing less than 2GB RAM to drive its memory consuming graphic software while a secretary can actually make use of a simple machine runing with just 128MB RAM.
- Hard-Drive – The storage capacity of the computer should also be determined by your business need. Graphic files are usually large and consume much space. While the whole Bible can be placed on less than 3mb hard-disk space as a text file, a single photo can occupy as much as 11mb hard-disk space.
- Processor – There are several kinds of computer processors with different speed. It is good to get a processor that is appropriate for your need. AMD Turion X2 processors and Intel Core Duo range are good choices to choose from. Just like the RAM memory, the high end performer are meant for heavy work and are not needed for text processing or basic computations. For example, a computer with a processor that is rated at around 2GHz (Gigahertz) is fast enough to handle all basic office applications.
- Monitor – The screen size of the computer should be determined by the kind of task to be performed. Usually, the larger the screen size the better. However, this is only true for desktop computers. Laptops with larger screen size actually tend to be heavier and less portable, so it may not be desirable to go for larger screen if you opt for a laptop. However, for desktop computers a 19-inch monitor is desirable especially if you intend to work long hours on the machine. Also, for graphic design activities, you are better off with a large screen so that you won’t need to strain your eyes as you work. LCD screens have basically replaced the CRT monitors. They tend to be more portable, consume less space and less electricity.
- Other basic features – Your computer should have at minimum a cd-drive (DVD drive is actually better, but cost more). Also, you should ensure that it has slots for attaching USB peripherals. Most peripherals now come with USB cables to attach them to the computer. Diskettes, Zip Drives etc are no longer in vogue and are hardly in use, so you may not bother about them.
Example of Different business needs for a computer
Let’s use an example to explain these features. A computer that will be use basically for accounting purpose will need features that are quite different from one that will be used in a music studio. Also, a computer that is to be employed for heavy graphic design will be quite different from one that is just meant for writing letters or corresponding with clients via emails. If you are going to use the computer for graphic intensive activities, you will need to place as priority the memory capacity, a large hard-disk and also fast video cards.
Upgrading the computer and cost of part replacement
Well, having said all that, it is necessary to note that whatever package you decide on, you should carefully find out if it be easily upgraded when you need to. Also, find out the cost of servicing and replacing parts if need be. Some branded computer system tends to be quite expensive in terms of upgrading as their parts are unnecessarily expensive. Don’t overlook this issue because computers are machines and they do break down.
Ask For Help, Don’t be Shy!
If you are in doubt of your ability to pick the right computer for your business even after going through the list. Then your best bet is to take a friend or relative that is knowledgeable (about computers) with you when you go shopping. Never base your purchase decision on the advise of sales-persons no matter how friendly they are. It is your business and money we are talking about here. Also, don’t be in haste to settle for a deal because it looks cheap. Take time to go around the stores.
Ask for permission to test-run the machine right there in the store and ask as much question as you feel like. Remember, if the store won’t give you their attention now that you have not parted with your money, they most likely will not give you a better attention when you come back calling for assistance.
I wish you great success in choosing the best computer for your business. In my subsequent posts, I will be discussing on how to choose the perfect computer peripherals for your business. If you enjoyed this post how to choose the right computer for your business, say so in a comment. Cheers.