All machines inevitably wear down, break entirely or become outdated over time. If a business owner can’t afford to immediately repair or replace one or more pieces of equipment when necessary, they can lose a lot of time, revenues and even clients to delays caused by halted processes. As a result, every business owner needs to always set aside enough money to handle equipment-related disruptions. While you work on this year’s budget for your business, remember to add in the costs related to repairing or replacing the following equipment:
Many business owners know that sometimes a sale or signed contract hinges on a last-minute call, fax or email. When working on your budget, take into account repair and replacement costs for any office equipment, including phones, fax machines, copiers, computers and printers. You should also take into account the costs related to replacing or buying new licenses for software. If you use point of sale equipment, such as a card or check reader, add it into your budget as part of the office expenses.
If your business produces an offline product, you must include any equipment associated with production of that product in your budget. If you pay a third-party company to handle production, you still need to have backup funds in place: You might face a moment when that company experiences a serious delay, such as a natural or man-made disaster or bankruptcy, that forces you to go with another company at the last moment to complete a client contract or production goal before a deadline. If your normal supplier can’t refund your money immediately, you must have money available in your equipment budget for the added production expense.
You also need money in your budget to repair and replace any vehicles that you use to distribute your products or transport employees to sites for service calls. In many situations, you might only need to contact a truck body parts vendor to replace a worn out, malfunctioning or damaged part, such as a light, computer module or panel. That said, you might also need to rent one or more trucks while your vehicles are undergoing maintenance or repairs. You might also suddenly need to add additional vehicles to your fleet.
Even if you lease the building or buildings that you use for your business, you might still need to pay for repair or replacement of any electrical, heating, cooling and water-distribution equipment. Build-related equipment includes electrical outlets, wires and panels, heating, ventilation and cooling systems, hot water tanks, fresh water pipes and faucets, drain pipes and waste disposal systems, fire alarms and smoke detectors. If you use solar panels or other green energy power systems, you need to take into account the high costs related to their repair and replacement. You also need to include the costs related to repairing and replacing security or smart-building devices, such as cameras, motion detectors, smart thermostats and automated timers.
As you can see, you must have plenty of money in reserve for emergencies related to the equipment you need to run your business. Before creating your budget, make a list of all of the equipment that you use and then ask local technicians and vendors to provide rough cost estimates for maintenance, repair and installation appointments. If you can’t afford to cover every possibility, you have other alternatives available to you, such as credit cards and loans. Of course, you need to make certain that your financials are always in excellent shape to help improve your chances of receiving those types of funds.
Emma is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2