Black Friday is around the corner and for a large number of people that means rushing to our nearest shopping centers in the hopes of scoring a deal on the object of our desire. For the most part, people will head to the stores trying to find gifts for loved ones or score something for themselves.
But what about the small to medium-sized businesses? Many owners or controllers could use this annual shopping bonanza as a way to bolster some of their equipment, tech or software needs throughout the office. Each company has different priorities and needs that should be addressed individually so we don't want to give a blanket statement saying you should or should not use this time to address some of your office issues.
What we would recommend that you set up a strategic plan when shopping. You should lay out what you need to upgrade most critically and make a plan of attack that prioritizes the most pressing needs first. It would be extremely beneficial to set a budget for each line item and stick to that so that you don't find yourself getting carried away on spending. If you find yourself struggling with setting a budget or creating a strategic plan we highly recommend you consult with your IT provider. Any quality IT service would welcome the upgrades as it makes both yours and their day easier moving forward. Your IT service should guide you or give quality input on what purchases would be most beneficial for your business.
With that being said we don't recommend price-based shopping as it could hurt when it comes to the longevity of your business devices. It’s no secret that some manufacturers produce “Black Friday models” which as Black Friday has gotten more popular, it's become more common to see new items like electronics made specifically to be sold at a "sale price". The issue is that these items were never on sale prior to Black Friday so the discount probably isn't as great as you may have been lead to believe. Additionally, with electronics, the items that go on sale may be slightly dated models or lacking in certain key areas of performance.
We aren't saying that there aren't any deals to be found, we are just advising that it is best to do proper research prior to making any big purchases. When in doubt check the specs or do research prior and consult with your IT provider. Hopefully, some proper research will stop you from investing in soon to be obsolete equipment.
As far as software goes you should be okay purchasing any products or licenses that go on sale during Black Friday since they tend to age better than hardware. With basic office programs, we would also like to recommend having a brief discussion with your IT provider since often time they themselves are licensed distributors of many office products and could potentially give you a better rate then what is available to the general public.
We don't aim to discourage you or your business from buying new technology. We just advise you do proper research and prioritize your most pressing issues as well as weigh which technologies will age better than others as a part of your operations. With this knowledge, you should ideally be able to smartly invest in your business and make your dollar go further.