In days gone by, most businesses would seek to buy all technical equipment and deal with ongoing costs and repairs as required. However, with tighter budgets and the rising price of technology, some have had to look at the alternatives to buying printers outright.
One such solution is to lease products individually or collectively. Whilst this isn’t an entirely new concept, it has really grown in popularity during the last few years. Modern businesses often work to tight budgets and are more versatile, certainly in terms of their growth. This means that new equipment is often required to meet rising demand, but funds aren’t always available to cover the cost of continually upgrading existing systems.
By leasing products you can enjoy all the benefits of owning printers, copiers and other equipment but without the cost of buying it outright. One benefit of doing so is that should problems arise, including malfunctions and other breakages, you can get them resolved quickly and without having to spend more on expensive repairs – assuming you don’t have an internal tech department. Equally beneficial is the fact that you have a clear and regimented monthly cost, making it easy to access your working overheads.
This also leads onto one of the major downsides of leasing equipment, which is the fact that you spend money on technology that you never own. As such your business won’t have financial assets that can be sold, should a time come where you upgrade or the items no longer serve a productive purpose.
However, just like a car, any technology that you buy is going to lose value over time due to natural depreciation. Therefore, after it has been used, it will immediately be worth less. Equally, if the technology reaches the end of its natural life, you will also not have to worry about disposing of it in an ethical manner as the leasing company will be responsible for this.
Whilst that might sound like a small issue, since the WEEE directive was introduced in the UK, companies have had to be much stricter on how electrical items are destroyed. If any item, including computers, printers and other peripherals are thrown out and condemned to landfills rather than specially appointed recycling plants, companies can be fined heavily. Whilst there are plenty of places to dispose of electrical equipment ethically dotted around the country, it is another inconvenience that many can do without.
As alluded to earlier, if you get a flexible leasing agreement you may also be able to negotiate upgrades whenever it becomes necessary to do so. Therefore, if your printer isn’t quite cutting the mustard any more or you are looking for an all-in-one multifunction model, you can often arrange for this to be delivered as a replacement. Whilst your monthly costs may be affected, it at least gives you the chance to explore what works best for your workplace.
Through clever and entirely legitimate accounting, leasing equipment can be made much cheaper simply because much, if not all of the cost of doing so is tax deductable. Also, as the VAT is paid with each monthly instalment, this can almost act as a deferment. Therefore the difference in actually buying the product (and the associated costs, interest and other issues) and the amount spent leasing it is actually much closer than you might think – particularly as time goes on.
So there are clear benefits and drawbacks to both. Ultimately though, the choice of whether you choose to buy or lease office equipment and other technology is entirely dependent on your own businesses requirements. Some may enjoy the flexibility offered by being able to upgrade items as and when it becomes necessary, whilst others prefer to take full ownership of everything within the office. Finance, flexibility and convenience are all factors that you need to consider before taking the plunge with either option.