Many of us technology to earn a living. Businesses often can’t function without technology.

Which is why you should view money spent on hardware, software and services as an investment, not a cost.

If there is key lesson learned from 40 years of writing about computers and technology it is: Don’t cut corners. Don’t skimp.

It’s solid advice in every case. It is even more important when it comes to business technology.

Choose the best

Always buy the best quality you can afford. Choose the best tools from the most dependable makers. Get the best software. Pick the best services from reliable providers.

Everyone knows quality pays off in the long-term.

Yet many of us worry more about the immediate future. There are bills to pay. There are competing demands on the same money. Funds are always limited.

Costly temptation to skimp

If you’re short of cash and drop your phone, or have a dead computer, the temptation to skimp when buying a replacement may be strong. If you don’t have much money, it may be unavoidable.

Believe me, I have been there. I’ve given in to the temptation. More than once. Each time I have lived to regret it.

That’s because buying quality pays off in the short-term too.

Failure is expensive

Chances are, the first time you screw up a job because of a technology failure, the cost to you or your business will be more than the money saved by doing things on the cheap.

Say you lose a day’s work because of the technology failure. If you’re lucky you might just lose that day’s income. If you’re unlucky that lost day could mean a missed deadline. Which can make being paid for many days work a problem.

You can even lose a client and a long-term source of income. That client may go and tell everyone else how unreliable you are.

It’s the modern version of the story about the Kingdom that was lost for the want of a horseshoe nail.

The extra cost of buying the very best technology is rarely more than a few hundred dollars more than buying cheap. It’s likely you are paid by the hour. If you think of the cost in terms of hours instead of dollars, then think about how many hours work you might lose, you’ll realise that premium is a bargain.

Footnote: Remember that sometimes things look expensive, when they are not.

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