This is a subject which really fascinates me. Not whether a laptop is better than desktop PC, but the bigger issue behind this – managing money at the beginning. What do you really need to be spending money on when setting up your small business?
I think we can all agree that it is virtually impossible to start up and manage any small business without at least access to some sort of computer. Whether it’s simply too send and receive e-mails or to access information on the web – at some point you will need a computer. Even the local Plumber uses one – right?
People starting their own business often ask me – should I buy a laptop or desktop PC? I usually ask them a question back – what have you got. You see technically for most businesses at the start it does not matter.
I know people running large businesses with a simple home computer and they do just fine. Of course things may change as your business grows – but at the beginning simply use what you have available.
Over the years I have started several small businesses with varying degrees of success. For some I started on a shoestring budget with virtually no money and for others I had good resources to fund the start-up. You know what I have found? The businesses started with very little money were the most successful, at least in the short term.
A funny thing happens when you have finance available at the start of the project. You tend to get carried away and whatever budget you have you will spend. When I look back at some of these projects I can see what money was wasted buying things which were not absolutely necessary for the running of the business. A year down the line when money got tight I certainly regretted some of my expenditure.
When you start a small business on a shoestring budget you tend to make do with what you have and to question every little item you think you need. This leads to better decision-making and helps you set up a lean business which can grow.
Start with what you have available. Use that old laptop or the family PC to start with. When your business starts to grow and you really need a dedicated computer, then buy it, but only when you are making money. Keeping your costs down at the start is more important than which computer you use.
Food for Thought
My first business was run using the latest computer technology at time. I had an Acros PC with a 33 MHz processor and a 233mb hard drive – no internet connection of course (it hadn’t really started for ordinary folks!). And yes that was a 233 Mega byte hard drive – not Giga Byte! My Android cell phone has more computing power than that first PC but you know what? It did the job!