equipment-240px-78768246As a small business owner, you may have had the experience of buying a new, state of the art machine, only to find out that you paid more for features you really didn’t need. Or maybe you’ve invested in an inexpensive piece of business equipment that didn’t work properly and ended up being more trouble than it was worth.

These buying mistakes are costly to your business, and can be embarrassing if they wind up causing your company to make mistakes.

Here’s a basic plan for buying reasonably priced equipment that meets your business needs:

Think about the tasks that the equipment must perform. Doing this will ensure that you buy the right piece of equipment, knowing what features are essential. Talk with the people who will actually work with the equipment. Don’t shop until your company’s requirements are clear.

Compare prices and details. You may be able to test certain business machines. Check with professional and industry associations, and trade publications are another potentially valuable source of product reviews.

Ask the manufacturer or distributor for references from other companies in your line of business when making a significant purchase. Ask these references about the performance and reliability of the equipment and the helpfulness of the supplier.

See if a used version is available. There are dealers who sell barely-used office furniture and machines for a considerably smaller cost. Often these things come from companies that went out of business after a short time. Auctions can be a good source of used items also.

Keep taxes in mind. There are complex laws regarding the tax deductions your company can claim for certain office equipment. Consult with Filler & Associates before buying expensive machinery to get the best results.

If you do your homework, the right equipment choice will become obvious. If you can’t decide what the best option is, wait to make the purchase, or consider leasing the equipment. When it comes to expensive office machines, small business owners are better off sure than sorry.