Are you still trying to figure out Windows XP while the rest of the world has moved on to Windows 7? Are your clients complaining because they want to send you files that your old computer can’t support? If so, maybe it’s time to consider replacing your equipment.
Don’t panic. Replacing a computer isn’t nearly the ordeal it used to be, even as recently as a few years ago. You can purchase a new computer online or at a brick-and-mortar store. The cost is usually less than $1000, and some of the less sophisticated machines sell for as little as $500. It’s also easy to find a technician to help you with data transfer so that the pictures, documents, and other files on your old machine are copied onto your new one.
Several computer and office supply outlets will even help you wipe your old hard drive clean and donate your old computer to charity—a nice gesture, and a nice tax write-off as well.
So, is it time to replace your old work horse? These tips may help you decide.
How Old is Your Computer?
Most technicians recommend buying a new computer every three to five years. That seems to be about the age where parts start to wear out and new technology is no longer well supported. If you need your computer to be on the cutting edge, for your business, plan to replace every three years. If your computer only needs to support simple technology like word processing, accounting, and email, you can probably get away with keeping it for five years.
Is Your Computer Affecting Your Productivity?
Are there programs you want to run that your old computer doesn’t support? So you need to be on the cutting edge of technology, say to post pictures and videos of San Francisco parachuting or of Alaska ziplining? If old technology is preventing you from getting the word out about your business, it’s definitely time to upgrade.
Ditto if clients are complaining that dinosaur-age technology is preventing them from conducting business with you online. Unless the client has a reason to be loyal to your brand and your brand only, he or she probably won’t stick around to piece together a difficult transaction process—they’ll just find a business with newer technology.
Is it Difficult to Find Replacement Parts for Your Computer?
Sometimes when a computer breaks down, it’s a relatively inexpensive fix to get it up and running again. But if the repair centers no longer carry the parts your computer needs, fixing it can take a long time and can end up costing you more—both in parts and in lost productivity—than simply buying a new machine.
No one likes to say goodbye to a faithful old computer, but it’s important to be realistic when it comes to doing what is best for your business. Sometimes your motto needs to be, “Out with the old…”
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