Whether you’re a sole trader or heading up a small enterprise, to ensure that your company runs smoothly you’re going to need a reliable and powerful computer. A good business computer will help facilitate productivity and speed up boring calculations and other admin tasks, allowing you to get on with more important duties like closing sales or attracting new prospects.
However, it’s important to choose a business computer that is within your budget and performs the tasks you need it to. Here are a few things to take into consideration:
While operating system choices largely come down to preference, it’s worth considering that some apps are purpose-built for certain operating systems. Some industries rely more heavily on iOS than Windows, for example.
At present, many creative industries use Apple devices as professional media production packages are largely developed for Mac. If you’re only intending on using your computer for low-power administrative tasks, you might find a Windows computer to be the more cost-effective option.
Hard drive space is important, although with cloud computing becoming more prevalent, the need for large-scale storage space is diminishing somewhat. However, if you’re uncomfortable storing things like invoices, customer service management records, timesheets and other vital business information in the cloud, you’ll want a computer with at least 1TB of hard drive space. If you’re storing your information in-house, you’ll also want to regularly back-up your files on an external hard drive which is kept off-premises. Alternatively, you could back-up to the cloud.
RAM, or Random-Access Memory, is where your computer stores files that are currently in use for quick access. Your computer could struggle if you use a lot of applications at once (say, for example, Excel, Word, Adobe Creative Suite, an accounting package and a CRM package) and you don’t have sufficient RAM installed. For business applications, you should be looking at 8GB of RAM at the very least.
Do you spend a lot of time visiting clients? If your job takes you on the road and you need to show proposals to prospective customers, you might want to consider a laptop computer. This way you can take all your information with you.
Are you likely to use your device for presentations? You might want to consider the number of ports available to connect external hardware to. USB is the most popular, but you may also need additional HDMI ports (if you use more than one screen at a time, or if you wish to use a projector during seminars or presentations). You might also find Bluetooth connectivity useful if you need to rapidly transfer documents to and from portable devices, such as smartphones.
Your computer is a pillar of your business – it’s where you’ll conduct research, make sales, store customer records and keep track of your finances. If it fails for whatever reason, you’re going to be left struggling to operate. You should, therefore, ensure that any computer you purchase for business purposes has a sufficient warranty, or perhaps even consider taking out an extended warranty or insurance policy to protect against accidental damage or theft.