One of the central components of your new online business is the computer you use. As you will be spending a great deal of time at your PC, it’s important to choose the right computer for your business. Any computer can connect to the Internet and run the applications you will use on a daily basis, but all computers are not the same. If you spend some time choosing the right computer this will not only save you time, it will also save you money.
The debate about whether you should choose a Windows based PC or use an Apple Macintosh is now largely a matter of taste and how deep your pockets are! As Windows PCs and Macs now use the same processors, you can be confident that either of these platforms will serve your business needs. All PC peripherals these days are equally compatible with Macs and PCs.
Your main computer is likely to be a desktop PC. But with business increasingly transacted on the move, you may also need to invest in a laptop computer as well. These days some high end laptops are just as powerful as their desktop cousins. Many small online businesses are run from a notebook PC. Whether you want to invest in two computers will depend on how you intend to operate your business. If you will be travelling a great deal, then a laptop is the ideal option.
How to Choose the Right Computer
At first glance all PCs seem to be the same. However, you need to look closely at the features that your computer should have to enable you to efficiently operate your online business. The main features you should look at include:
The CPU or central processing unit of your computer is its brain. You should try and buy a computer with the fastest processor you can afford. The current market leader is the Intel Core Duo range of processors. You will see processors rated in Gigahertz. So the speed of a processor could be 3GHz. The higher this number the better. But the faster the processor, the more expensive the PC will be. This is also the case when you are looking for laptop computers.
Installed Random Access Memory
RAM or Random Access Memory is where you store the data you are working on and where your applications will run. The general rule is try and install as much RAM as you can afford – at least 4GB (Gigabytes) but 6GB is better as Windows PCs like a lot of memory to work with. Mac users can generally stick with 2GB of RAM for all their needs.
Hard Drive Capacity
As the amount of data that your new online business may have to process could be huge, it’s important to have enough hard drive space. Again, larger is better. Most PCs that you can buy off the shelf will have 500GB of storage capacity. This should be enough for your general needs. But ensure your PC can be expanded when you need more storage space as your online business grows.
Most business PCs are built to be modular. This means you can easily replace their main components from graphics card to run your monitor, to hard drives when you run out of space. Look for a PC that makes upgrading and expansion easy.
Visual display units
The monitor you buy for your computer should be as large as you can afford. Larger monitors have been proven to increase the efficiency of users. In fact, dual monitors are increasingly becoming popular as two monitors enables more application windows to be open at any one time, again increasing your working efficiency.
Peripherals for your Computer
The range of peripherals you could buy for your computer can be bewildering. A printer is clearly a must, but today you can save money by buying an MFD or Multi Functional Device that is a printer, scanner and copier all in one device. Try and stick with branded goods from companies like HP, Samsung or Epson as they have a strong reputation in this market. Computer accessories should be equally compatible with either Macs or PCs.
Maintenance and Support
As your computer will be at the hub of your new online business, it’s important to have in place regular maintenance contracts and have a repair service when you need it. Your local computer superstore can handle ad hoc upgrades, but when you need your computers and peripherals repaired at short notice, a third party service is ideal. Companies like Geeks on Wheels can offer fast and efficient services.
Buying or Leasing?
As your computer and peripherals is for your online business talk to your accountant about the best way of funding the purchase. You can of course buy your computer outright, but it may be advantageous to lease your equipment. You need to look closely at your tax position and how any lease agreement would impact on your day-to-day expenses.