Back in my college days, I landscaped during the summers. I absolutely loved the immediate gratification of making things look beautiful. I took a lot of pride in my work. As you can imagine, today I take that same pride in “working my own land.”
When my wife and I first moved into the house we live in now, I had a lawn mower that was close to being on its last leg. I owned that mower, and I was determined to ride it until it broke. At the start of the mowing season, the front right wheel fell off. I finished that mow, and then headed to the hardware store for a nut and bolt to fix it right up. Full disclosure, my dad was not what you would refer to as a “handy guy”, which in turn means I’m not overly handy either. It probably takes me three times longer to do the most basic repairs than it would a “handy guy”.
After fixing the wheel, I continued to have other issues over the remainder of the summer until I was finally fed up. So, at the start of the next mowing season, I got a new lawn mower. The whole process had me thinking that I would need a new mower every 5 years for it to remain hassle free and avoid all the problems I experienced the previous summer. After weighing my options, I decided it would be better to rent or lease a new mower for a 5 year term at a low payment of $10 per month. Ideally, at the end of the agreement, the lawn mower retailer would come and pick up my old mower and drop off the latest and greatest mower hassle free. I would have right around the same monthly payment coupled with a new, top-of-the-line mower, and that is just what this not-that-handy-guy wants!
Ride It ‘Til it Breaks
When I owned my lawn mower, it took until it was falling apart before I decided to get rid of it and upgrade to a new one. When we buy equipment and own it outright, we tend to use it long past its prime until it finally breaks down. This is true whether it’s a lawn mower, a car or computer hardware. After all, it’s already paid for and doesn’t cost us anything… other than time, quality, repairs and efficiency.
This may be fine for the people that are “handy”. They can probably keep the equipment up and running longer, plus fix any issues that come up quicker with less stress and money. For the rest of us, however, it turns out that simply using the equipment – and having it work effectively when we do – is the most important factor.
Renting or Leasing for Business Communications and Technology Hardware Usage
Imagine you’re not an IT person, just like I’m not much of a handyman. The thought of dealing with outdated, slow IT equipment to run your business would give you a major headache. Instead of buying and owning the tech (and feeling like you have to squeeze every penny out of it), a better option would be to rent or lease the equipment with a monthly payment and a built-in upgrade, just like it was for me and my lawn mower.
Overall as a Managed Service Provider (MSP) or Unified Communications (UC) Provider, it is in your best interest too for your customers to use the equipment instead of owning it. Refreshing and upgrading your customers’ hardware will be more consistent and easier sell if they are on a familiar monthly payment plan and they don’t already own their current equipment. Any monthly payment plan helps with this, especially when compared to a cash sale. However, it will be even easier if they are on a rental program like HaaR® where the customer never has the expectation of ownership.
The Challenge - Hardware Ownership vs. Hardware Usage
When trying to decide what option is best for your customer, you must first figure out what the most important drivers are. Is it most important that when they use the equipment it works well and is hassle free? Or, is owning it the priority, and they’re okay with keeping it long-term even though the performance and value will depreciate overtime? By figuring out the answer for your equipment, hardware and software, as well as your customers’ personal preferences, you’ll be able to determine the best solution.
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