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Management

Business Equipment – Lease or Buy?

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It’s the age old question, should you rent or buy equipment in your business? On the one hand, leasing can save you money in the short term. But in the long run, it could cost a lot more. There are a number of different factors that can impact this decision but before we look at these let’s assess the overall advantages and disadvantages of each option. We’ll start with leasing.

The Pros For Leasing Your Business Equipment

By leasing your equipment, you can keep your business up to date, efficient, modern and fresh. Since you haven’t committed to a purchase, you can update whenever you like. Think of this as getting a phone on a contract rather than buying one outright. On a contract, you can get a new phone once the contract expires and stay up to date with this tech. The same is true leasing equipment. Once the lease agreement expires, you can check the market to see if there’s any upgraded equipment that could be beneficial to your business.

No Charge At First

Since you’re leasing, you can avoid those heavy fixed costs of buying the equipment from day one. Let’s say that you’re using a cloud server. If you buy your own cloud server, you could be looking at thousands for installation charges alone. By leasing, you’ll only be paying around fifty dollars each month to use a server that is already set up and operational.

Go Beyond Your Means

Don’t forget, by leasing technology, you will be able to access more expensive, arguably unaffordable options. For instance, automated software is slowly trickling into every business industry, but it’s not cheap. Leasing out this tech., you can give you the upper hand over your competition without costing your company a fortune.

The Cons For Leasing

Unfortunately, leasing does tend to mean you pay more in the long run. Depending on how long you use the tech for, you could end up paying thousands for that cloud server, but it will be spread out over a longer period. You might not notice the expense, but it will be there, dragging your business down.

You might also find yourself paying for equipment that you no longer need. If your business model is flexible, it’s possible that you’ll reach the point where you no longer need the equipment you’ve leased out. But you’ll still have to keep paying for it until the lease ends.

Don’t forget, you’re also not getting any fixed advantage from the equipment. You don’t own it, so you won’t be able to sell it on and make some of the money back that you spent once you’re finished using it.

The Pros For Buying Your Business Equipment

Simple As Can Be

Buying is easy. Once you decide what equipment you want you find the supplier selling it at the right price and arrange an order. Leasing is a tad more complicated with paperwork that you need fill out and then there are the lease agreements. You’ll need to decide how long you can use it for, how you can use it and a variety of other factors that often come into play with these contracts.

Absolute Control

Since you own the tech or equipment you’re going to be using, you can do whatever you want with it. You’ll also find that repairs are a lot easier because you won’t have to worry about waiting for the leasing company to fix it for you. Instead, you can get your business back on track as soon as possible if the equipment does break down and avoid downtime.

Awesome Deductions

Since you own it, you can add your purchases to tax deductions. These can make those heavy costs we mentioned a lot easier and ensure buying equipment doesn’t drain your accounts completely.

The Cons For Buying Your Business Equipment

The disadvantages really do depend on the type of equipment we’re talking about here. For instance, there’s the cost. The cost of buying business equipment can be expensive, but it depends on how long you’re planning to use it for. If you know it’s going to be part of your business model for a few years it might be worth the high first fixed costs. But, it could still mean you need to take out an expensive loan, and that could play havoc with your credit rating.

Then there’s the issue with depreciation and outdated equipment. Certain pieces of equipment are going to depreciate faster than others. For instance, computers will lose nearly 25 percent of their value after the first year. That also means that you could be stuck using outdated equipment that cost a fortune in a couple years of time.

For this reason, there are a number of questions you need to ask yourself before making this decision.

What Are The Tax Benefits?

We have already discussed the tax benefits of making deductions on any equipment that you buy. But there are also tax deductions available for leasing. For instance, you can may able to put the entire first cost as a deduction when leasing equipment. But, it does depend on the specific equipment and the lease in question. As such, you will need to investigate this carefully.

How Often Does The Tech Change?

In the computer world, tech changes every month, but in the agricultural industry, it can take years for tech to advance. As such, in the IT industry, it might be beneficial to lease equipment and keep up to date with changes. While for agricultural companies, a long-term investment could be the best decision and that’s just one example.

What Can You Afford?

On top of this, you need to consider what is the more affordable option for your business. It’s possible that you have the money in your accounts to buy the expensive equipment. Or, you could have the credit rating to easily handle a loan. On the other hand, you might not be in a strong financial position and if that’s the case leasing is always going to be the best possibility.

Which Is Best?

Ultimately, you will need to take all these factors into consideration when choosing whether to lease or buy. Think about how quickly technology changes, how much it will cost and the other benefits that leasing or buying could bring for your business.  What you don’t want to do is make a bad business decision with your liabilities especially if your business is in it’s infancy.

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Management

How Your Business Can Help The Planet

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Climate change is real, so don’t let any politician tell you otherwise. Their denials are most likely motivated by their personal goals, not what’s right for our planet.

Forbes reported from a recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that there is still optimism that the increase in global temperature can be kept to just 1.5°C, but it required a massive commitment to reducing emissions to zero by 2050.

Is Time Running Out?

Milestones needed to be met before that date to show we’re on track including the commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement signed in 2016. 195 UNFCCC signed the agreement and a year later US President Donald Trump declared his intention to withdraw America, one of the world’s highest polluters.

There is a chance America’s withdrawal won’t happen as they have to stay in the agreement until November 2020 just before Trump’s first term ends, and with a new President with more realistic views on climate change they could reverse the withdrawal – fingers crossed.

What’s disappointing is the US is already acting as if it’s no longer part of the Paris Climate Agreement with rises in emissions. Most Americans believe in climate change, so have you see any notable change happening your industry?

Own Your Carbon Footprint & Change It

There are many actions businesses can take to make a difference to their carbon footprint, especially when they are taken collectively, i.e. Businesses acting together. You’ve heard the saying: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; so in this blog article, we mention some actions you can use in your own business and share your experiences to inspire your peers to join you.

The benefits are not just for our planet; there’s also a great business case for making changes too. Consider the benefits that will arise from changing your policy and use of energy, transport, and travel. Reducing costs and doing right for future generations that’s inspiring and worth sharing.

Start With A Plan

Develop a Climate Change Action Plan – and this will be a work in progress. It will take time, but you need to start somewhere and make a commitment to reaching some milestones that reduce your emissions.

Teamwork

Assign a team to the campaign project and choose a leader. It will surprise you just how much interest there is in doing good and how inclusion in the project will raise the overall productivity and staff satisfaction.

Open Invitation Meetings

Regular meetings with an open invitation so all workers can attend and participate in the discussion. Maybe the ideas presented will see rewards for the business, which may include customers electing to buy from your business due to its climate change policy, over your competition.

Attracting staff may become easier too as they want to get from their work than just their pay packet.

Supply Chain

Consider your supply chain and where change can happen. You’ll be surprised where you can get a win-win, with cost savings and positive change in worker well being. Mentioned earlier in this article are areas all businesses can start on. Travel, transport, and energy-use are within the control of the business, so a commitment to use less or a different approach will reduce your carbon footprint and provide other rewards.

Energy

Where is your business using energy and where’s it coming from – i.e. the source? Consider moving using solar power and renewable energies.

Would you need your current premises if your staff could work from home and desk share when they’re in the office?

Transport

Swapping out your petrol or diesel vehicles for electric cars, and trucks.

Technology

Use technology to cut down on your business travel, and it’s carbon footprint. Chatbots, Videochat or conferencing, VOIP, are excellent tools for online meetings with clients, suppliers and for selling your services. Imagine the cost savings for a business without long-haul travel!

Summary

Climate change is real and time is running out before we experience catastrophic and devasting outcomes, with the loss of many lives. There is a lot we can control to reduce emissions and at the same time, reap the rewards for standing up and being counted as a climate-conscious enterprise.

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Management

Secrets of Good Business Management

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Every entrepreneur who wants to achieve a relevant profit margin should keep in mind that the secret to success is good management. Regardless of the size of the company, it is of fundamental importance that the manager be able to integrate all of his or her personality development in order to boost growth.

A good administrator personality should keep in mind that flexibility is required to accept the constant changes that occur in the market, so it is vital to upgrade and acquire the skills needed to implement those changes within your business.

Based on this assumption, we selected a few secrets to an efficient business management that will certainly help you excel in your business. Get to know them:

Do a market study

For a venture to achieve the expected positive results, it is of the utmost importance that some positions are taken into consideration by investors. The market study emerges in this scenario with the objective of evaluating the economic viability and offering the evaluation on the effectiveness or not of the implementation of the company or the product or service in which it is wanted to invest.

In this sense, market research emerges as a great tool, since it enables the business manager to understand the operation of competing companies in terms of price, costs, payment deadlines, and thus, to be able to gather some indicators that will serve as parameters to ensure a differential and get better results.

Gain skills in business management

The competition, as well as the great instability in the market, makes it necessary for the business manager to have the skills and abilities that stand out from other entrepreneurs in the same segment.

In order for a good performance to be achieved, the administrator must acquire characteristics and postures capable of doing so if he excels and obtain the desired success for the company. We have selected some practices that will assist you in this process:

Make improvements

A good manager should always be looking for new ideas, new concepts and personal developments. Always be in search of information, knowledge. So stay current, make specializations, and deepen your knowledge.

In this way, you will not become obsolete and bring the innovations that your company needs to stand out from the competition.

Learn to Lead

Being a leader of a corporation carries responsibilities for which the professional is not always prepared. A true leader is not the one who gives only orders and results, but rather, the one who uses communication to get the support of the collaborators and who knows how to argue and solve conflicts in search of positive results.

Do a self-assessment

The entire process of company growth depends on business management, so make a self-assessment of the effectiveness of your contribution within the company. Also try to set personal goals to achieve the desired goals.

Managers must have broad knowledge in the processes they are managing so that they do not lose efficiency and control their execution.

Value your employees

Just as the manager’s role is fundamental to the firm’s solidity, employees have a primary role in executing actions.

It is common consensus that the valuation of employees enables the success of a business. It is up to managers to assess their potentials and motivate them so that they integrate into the ideal of that growth.

A good alternative is to maintain direct communication by emphasizing the qualities of each one, making them feel recognized for their work. Holding meetings where they can make criticisms and suggestions is also a great way to engage employees.

A company that offers good working conditions will keep the team motivated, enabling the generation of profits expected by the entrepreneur.

Invest in financial management

The actions of the financial sector of a business involve all planning and analysis regarding the company’s equity, investments, inflows and expenses. These actions have the objective of increasing stockholders’ equity and increasing the capital invested.

An efficient business management should pay particular attention to the financial managers of the company, because the lack of training of this professional can cause problems to the development of your enterprise. Among the actions of a good financial manager are:

The preparation of a balance sheet , without which it is possible to evaluate the value of the company’s net worth.

Make analysis and financial planning , bringing the possibility of projections about the future of the business.

Know where to invest the resources, so that the expected return is viable.

With all this, so that a company has effective financial management, it must be based on a plan in which goals, objectives and strategies are the pillars, enabling the reduction of risks and capital losses and reaching the goals expected by the entrepreneur.

Stay tuned to cash flow

Also included in the context of financial management, cash flow deserves special attention, because it is through this tool that we calculate capital inflows and outflows of a company, being essential for day to day business management.

Through the cash flow it is possible to know the values ​​that the company has, as well as the possibility of future projections of the assets (assets, credits, rights) and liabilities (suppliers, loans, fiscal obligations) of the business in a certain period of time.

For this cash flow to be effective, it must be calculated daily. Only in this way is it possible to keep track of the amount of capital existing in the company, as well as its obligations.

Take care of marketing

The Positive business management is only achieved when managers acquire knowledge about the market and customers. The marketing functions within an enterprise as a wild card, identifying customer preferences and requirements and market needs.

Look at some of the marketing functions in a business:

Tracing the profile of potential customers

Assessing consumer needs and preferences is a key. With the strong competition in the business world, it becomes indispensable a tool where managers can capture the desires of customers.

One of the ways to draw this profile is through market research and also the creation of personas, which, in general, is the representation of your ideal client. In this guide , you can follow a step-by-step approach to building people efficiently.

Caring for the company’s reputation

Marketing has the function of advertising and creating actions that promote a good reputation of your company and thus, bring positive impacts to the loyalty of its customers, as well as to capture new ones.

Creation of strategic actions

It is through marketing actions that it is possible to generate new sales, new contracts. In this way, the goals of the company can be achieved. The manager must work to develop actions that take into account the challenges of the market and integrate the sectors responsible for obtaining new clients.

Pay attention to the knowledge management of a business

As important as any other sector of the company, the management of knowledge , that is, of all informational content and business documents, is not always as simple as it seems, one has to fulfill a series of organizational techniques.

The business manager should try to insert this practice within the company in order to save the search time, making the information available more quickly.

Implement a structure where physical and electronic files are arranged so as to facilitate the company’s day-to-day operations. Adopt with your employees a culture of preservation of this material.

There are several advantages to having an organized file, among them the ease in identifying the information, the agility and the convenience for the queries.

Be innovative

Given the competitiveness in the market, the business management that stands out is the one that has some differential to offer customers and consumers.

The art of innovation is achieved with much study, planning, analysis and refinement. Only then will you know if that project you have in mind will be feasible for your company.

Another way to implement the processes of innovation in a business is to surround yourself with people with good ideas and committed to your business.

So, let your collaborators’ creativity come out, listen to what they have to say. Motivate them, challenge them, congratulate them on results, and believe in their potential. This will bring the positive results you both expect.

At this point in the reading you must have realized that there is no magic formula for the success of an enterprise. There is a lot of work and techniques that, if followed, can make you succeed.

Also, do not forget the primordial for any company: to build your way, you will need knowledge. Research, perfect yourself, only the knowledge of the product or service you want to offer will make what your business advances.

Risks do exist, and must be taken into account, but with determination, willingness and common sense to make assertive decisions in business management processes, you will surely achieve the desired success!

Effective Management
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Management

Offshoring Versus Outsourcing Which Is Best For Business?

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Businesses need to be competitive to make a profit so they’re always seeking solutions that reduce their overheads. Offshoring core activities is one way to reduce overheads, keep control of a business’s intellectual property and keep their data secure.

In this blog article, we look at offshoring and outsourcing and we consider if there is a right and wrong time for a business to consider either option.

Offshoring Explained

There are countries that are considered the back office of major corporations located somewhere else.  China, Vietnam, India are some of the nations that provide goods production and professional services for businesses located in western countries like USA, Canada, UK, and Australia. These countries are used for offshoring and outsourcing.

Is Outsourcing Another Name For Offshoring?

The short answer is no, outsourcing is quite different in its workings to offshoring.  With outsourcing, your business has essentially signed a contract with a service provider to deliver the services on behalf of your business.

The similarity between the two services is the business or team providing the manufacturing or professional service is usually located out of state or in another country to that of the business.

Where in the business is full outsourcing is popular?

Server and Website Hosting is an area we’re all familiar with and most businesses outsource this service.  The other areas deemed more sensitive and systems critical to a business also often outsourced are:

  • Technology hardware & software
  • Data communications
  • Software development
  • Bookkeeping
  • Payroll services
  • Administration

Why Offshoring?

There is more control over the process with offshoring as the business can dictate the terms and use its own rules and systems.

The starting point is to choose where you want your business process to be carried out, i.e. in which country and area.

Setting up a team or purchasing a business in another country to roll out the service is not as challenging as it might appear as countries like those aforementioned are used to the activity.

The offshore team will work exclusively for the one business and therefore adhere to their methodology.

An example of where this activity is prevalent today is in the professional services sector.  Law firms and accounting practices readily place services offshore to reduce staff costs. An Accounting firm will locate part of its practice in a country and hire qualified workers i.e. accountants who cost less than their peer in the area or country the Accounting firm is located.

Is there a right or wrong time to consider outsourcing or offshoring?

Timing Is Everything

Yes, as timing is everything especially with everyone connected online in social media.

The reputation of a business can be damaged if clients start complaining of a negative change in the service.  Therefore a business needs to do a thorough analysis and weigh up the pros and cons of moving core processes or systems offshore or into the hands of another business entirely as is the way with outsourcing.

Managing the move will be challenging as people don’t like change especially if it costs them time.   Just think of how annoying it is to visit a website or use the App you use regularly only to find its user interface in a new design and it’s functionality changed.

Learning takes time and requires patience so it’s important for all businesses moving to an offshoring or outsourcing model mark sure their staff and end users are managed during the transition and that their experience is satisfactory with knowledge of much better service on its way.

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