A win-win situation: leasing IT equipment
Since the 2009 recession, many businesses have been forced to find innovative ways in which to cut costs. One of the trends to have emerged out of this is for businesses to rent the information and communications technology (ICT) equipment they might need - such as computers and telephone systems - instead of buying it.
According to recently reported international statistics, leasing levels for especially small to medium enterprises (SMEs) have grown significantly in 2011 and 2012, rising 4% year on year, now accounting for more than £2 billion. Leasing is also said to account for 23% of the financial transactions made by small business.
Apart from it being a budgeting issue, this upswing in the amount of businesses renting the necessary ICT equipment instead of purchasing it, is also due to computers and other tech products becoming obsolete and out dated at a faster rate than ever before, says Shane Merriman, MD of Qrent, a division of InnoVent, whose services include ICT rentals of equipment such as desktops, laptops, printers, servers etc. "Anyone who has ever started a business will probably be able to attest, that the initial expenditure to equip your staff and offices with computers, printers, copiers and other devices necessary for your day-to-day business operations can be bank-breaking and three or four years later - and this is a conservative estimate when it comes to many tech devices these days - you will have to do it all over again, or spend a significant amount to upgrade ageing systems."
But when you opt to rent the equipment instead, you could then use the massive amount of money you would have spent on equipping your office and personnel on other things instead, such as advertising, marketing or investing in core business activities or appreciating assets, Merriman suggests. "Since the monthly cost of your rental stays the same for the rental period, it also makes it easier for you to budget effectively as that monthly expenditure will be predictable for the foreseeable future.
"Another major advantage of renting over buying is that you will always be able to have the latest technology on site at a fraction of the cost, without having to worry about obsolescence, and the rental agent will provide you with upgrades whenever appropriate," he says.
"Also, when you seek out a rental company such as Qrent which has a 'pay-for-use model' comprising of flexible rental periods and payment options, you not tied down to restricting contracts or forced to lengthy terms, you are in control and you can decide how long you want to keep the equipment, from a day, a week, a month or even longer periods up to three years. This gives you the ability to control your expenditure because your payments will be aligned with your business requirements as and when it's required."
This ability to free up your cash resources is actually a major motivator among those businesses who do resort to renting equipment, Merriman notes. "Because they get to fully equip their office with whatever equipment they need, which might otherwise have been unaffordable."
Merriman concludes with yet another perk of renting. "Unlike when you own the device, where you have to worry about recycling it or disposing of it once it does become obsolete, this hassle is taken out of your hands and falls solely on the rental company you have rented from. It's their responsibility to take care of it, not yours."