Renting instead of buying office equipment is a great way to save money when you are starting up a business, opening up a new office or simply when you need to refresh your current equipment.
Renting is one way of meeting your technological needs when you need to, while staying within what is usually a tight budget.
“All businesses need equipment of some sort, be it computers, network equipment or machinery,” says Qrent’s Managing Director, Shane Merriman. “Almost all types of equipment are available on rental. You can rent out brand new equipment or refurbished or both at the same time, depending on your business requirements.”
He says business tools can be expensive and a strain on cash flow. “Renting, through its predetermined monthly payments, frees up cash for other expenses and investments, lowers potential debt, and facilitates easy and reasonable upgrades. Having efficient and updated equipment can enhance your business, and having obsolete equipment can break it. Businesses that opt to rent, enjoy the most up-to-date hardware, lower maintenance costs, and don’t have to worry about obsolescence.
However, he says, don’t leap into anything without proper planning. “Start with a thorough inventory of your needs, decide what must be owned, and what would be better to rent. Appreciating assets should be owned as their value appreciates yearly, unlike depreciating assets such as desktops, laptops, printers, vehicles etc. which would be better off on a rental than an outright cash purchase. Also, bear in mind that when you buy equipment, all disposals and upgrades are on your own account. When you rent, the rental company is responsible for this.”
Merriman says when looking for a rental provider; find one who treats you like a business partner rather than just another account. “Get different quotes, and look for a provider who has experience with or who specialises in the specific equipment you are looking for. Renting is still a financial transaction and you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you get short-changed. Don’t be shy to ask for references and recommendations to help you properly evaluate a potential rental business.
He advises that you evaluate your contract before signing on the dotted line. “Look for flexibility; you might not want to be tied into a long, binding contract that’s not aligned to your current requirements. You might need equipment for a month, a week or even a day. Your rental agreement should factor this is in and accommodate you accordingly.”
He says another important factor to consider is whether the rental provider offers insurance or warranty. Technology updates, shrinkage and downtime are all possible realities with equipment and should always be taken in consideration. Make sure there are no hidden costs or additional call-out charges. A rental provider that already includes insurance or warranty as part of the package, saves you time and money.
Merriman concludes: “When signing a rental contract, consider the length of the contract, any upfront payments, what the monthly costs are, what your rights are in terms of returns, or early termination, and whether or not you will be allowed to exchange it when the rental period runs out.
“It is important to choose a reputable provider that offers affordable rates, flexible rental periods and the best equipment available.