Laptop Buying Guide for Small Business

Laptop Buying Guide for Small Business

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There are plenty of top-10 lists available for folks who want a quick reference regarding best work laptops on the market, but this laptop buying guide will teach you how to get computers the clever way, without counting on the (often sponsored) opinions of someone else. Don't be concerned when you have little to no tech support or limited experience – once you understand the nuts and bolts of what makes a good laptop, the shopping process will be much less overwhelming.

This buying guide is made to be worked through step by step and considers general hardware best practices in addition to the budgetary and deployment concerns of small business owners.
Step 1: Set your technology budget and optimize your shopping strategy.

The easiest way to optimize your tech spending is setting a definite budget before shopping. As you place your budget, consider not only the entire amount you're willing to pay but how that will amortize over how many laptops you'll buy. When entrepreneurs don't set a budget before shopping, especially for technology, they often wind up overspending or underspending. Don't assume all business needs a fleet of top-of-the-line machines, and it's a waste of time to consider high-cost options if they don't really suit your bottom line. On another hand, underspending can find yourself costing you more in the long run if you don't get what your employees need the first time around.

One popular method of tech budgeting is always to adopt different tiers of devices predicated on user needs. For instance, it might be worth springing for luxury Dell machines for the C-suite execs and dev team, midrange Dell laptops for your professional staff, and entry-level Dells for support staff. It's advisable to stick to 1 or 2 manufacturers to simplify maintenance and mobile device management in the future. Because of this, it's best to keep tech purchasing decisions in the hands of a small number of high-level employees and not open the conversation to your whole staff. [Read related article: What Is Mobile Device Management?]

The simplest management approach is to have just one original equipment manufacturer and several model variations. When you have creative pros aboard, though, you will probably end up adopting two types of machines, since creatives often require pricey Macs (which are not typically essential for other employees).

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