Does the computer you use to run your business have a warranty on it? Mine does, and that warranty has cost me a small fortune. It came with the computer but when I look at the cost of it, I could have replaced my laptop with two more machines and I would have come out ahead.
Free support is Expensive
The free support that came with it for the first year also cost me a small fortune, with all the time spent on hold and the hours repeating my serial number and spelling my last name as I was transfered from one person to another during each visit to tech support hell.
Back to the warranty. My laptop died while I was on a short vacation on the east cost. It needs a new motherboard and the warranty covers it. I last saw my machine on July 13th, when I packed it in a box, and sent it to Texas.
Can I run a business without my computer?
Running my business on an old laptop has been a nightmare. I have all of my data, nothing was lost, but I don’t have a machine that will run some of the programs that the data was created in and am without some of the tools and information I need to run my business. I cannot run the software that I need to process the huge photos I take in the RAW format, but have access to a machine that can handle it.
I did some research and when it comes to warranties on the hardware I can’t find a manufacturer that will repair a computer locally. Computer manufacturers seem to think that we can just put out machines in a box and send them away, and that it is OK.
Throw it away
If I would have thrown the laptop away and had purchased a new one I really think I would have come out ahead. Yes computers cost money but time is also money and my stress level has been at an all time high as I try to run my business and write and keep up with my friends on the internet with an ancient laptop that I replaced for a reason. It crashes every time someone throws a big at me through MSN and I can’t run Twhirl on it.
It Takes Two
I need to have two computers and plan on buying another. I will load all of my software and data onto it and use it to back-up for my laptop. It will be my spare. I won’t bother to check for any kind of a warranty, and I won’t bother with a service plan. Our local Geek Squad is the only place I have found anything that resembles customer service or tech support. For hardware issues having two machines will make it possible to send one away for a few weeks.
Computer manufacturers don’t seem to understand that those of us who have small businesses really need our computers. my car has a warranty on it and if it needed repairs they would give me a car to use while mine is in the shop. They know that a warranty is useless if I am without wheels for a week while they replace a part that broke. My computer is at least as important as my car, maybe even more so. I can always rent a car just like my own if I need one.
I hope everyone reading this who runs a business has their data backed up. I had my data backed up but I did not have a plan for how I would operate my business if my computer failed. I do now, and you should too.