Over the years we have seen business owners spend money on new computers or devices for a lot of reasons. Sometimes it was because their old equipment had worn out. On other occasions there were cost savings and efficiency gains to be realized. And once in a while, it was because their biggest competitor had a bright and shiny new toy.

Sound silly? It happens more often than you think. And it leads us to an interesting question: when should you get new phones, tablets, or workstations?

This can be a valid question. Suppose you see a rival business owner driving a brand-new van with their company logo on it. Even getting beyond the emotional “they have one so I want one” issue, you might ask yourself whether the investment is paying for itself over time. It could even be that they are now able to offer something (like faster delivery) to customers that you can’t.

The same thing happens with tech. When you find out that another business in your space is spending on something fancy, you might wonder whether you should take the plunge, too. When those thoughts come to you, here are a few things to consider…

Remember That Every Expense Should Be an Investment

Anything you buy for your business – especially if it’s an expensive app or device – should have an actual business use. In other words, you should be able to make the case that it’s going to pay for itself fairly quickly. Otherwise you can end up spending money on high-priced accessories that don’t actually help your company grow.

If you can’t make a strong bottom-line argument for purchasing a piece of tech then don’t get it. It could be that your competitors are putting themselves in a hole for no good reason.

All New Tools and Devices Impact the Rest of Your Tech Setup

Even if you feel sure that a given tool or device could theoretically help your business be more efficient and profitable, ask yourself whether it’s going to work with the other computers and apps you already have in place. Also, check whether you’ll need to make subsequent purchases or subscriptions going forward.

If you don’t have the answers to these questions then turn to your managed services partner. They can help you find the information you need.

It’s Ok to Want Something for the Wow Factor

Hopefully, we’ve made it clear by this point that you shouldn’t buy something for your company just because a competitor has spent a lot of money to look good. However, there are times when you can burn a little extra money (assuming your company can afford it) to get something that looks impressive.

Not only will doing so give you pride in your company, but it could impress employees and customers – both current and future. That’s good branding. This kind of investment only makes sense, though, if you were planning on making a similar purchase anyway.

Do You Need New Tech or a New Approach?

Usually, when clients come to us with questions about upgrading apps or devices, the real issue isn’t their technology but the realization that they need a more cohesive plan. That’s why we offer virtual CIO services that let entrepreneurs get expert advice and strategic thinking at a low contract rate.

If you think your business could benefit from some better tech thinking, then contact us today to schedule a free consultation and see how we can help!