business technology

How To Delegate Your Tasks or A Story About Brand New Branded PC

Dell Desktop Studio XPS 435 There’s a brand new thing I just tried. Having around 16 years of IT experience under my belt (out of 14 years of official work experience overall) I just did something I haven’t done in a long long time. I just ordered a brand-name PC. I did bought two or three custom-built PCs before at computer fair, but never ever in my life did I purchase a brand-name desktop before. All my PCs were custom-built, from carefully researched and hand-picked components. But there’s something I have realized recently.

I realized that I don’t care. Or rather – I don’t have time to care that much. Instead of spending countless hours researching why certain memory brand is better then another, which letter in motherboard name means what feature and which revision supports what I am just going to order pretty much same configuration for pretty much same amount of money. If there will be a difference – it will justifiably offset by the work I’ll be able to get done instead of doing a research. In fact, I really believe that I will be able to earn more money in time I saved by not doing a research then I will be able to save by doing a deep and convoluted research.

This all comes as a part of my new (i.e. new to me, not to the sane people of the world) time management strategy – to manage my time with more scrutiny than ever. Down to a 15-minute intervals, if not less. Buying a branded PC instead of spending an estimate of 20 hours doing research should yield those 20 hours to earn money. If I can charge half that time to the median of my regular rates I would probably earn about $300 – 500 on top of covering an overpayment for this branded PC. Being able to delegate the responsibility of building and delivering a PC to my home allows me to concentrate on money-making activities instead of money-saving ones. What’s good about it is that there’s certainly a ceiling on how much money you can save. In the case of a spherical horse in a void space you can save only as much as you make. There is, however, no limit on how much you can make, so making money by default is much more profitable, than saving.

Time management, on the other side, is a bit different creature. You cannot make more time since there’s only 24 hours per day and only 7 days in any given week. Trust me, I checked. You can, however, save a lot of time by delegating second and third-grade activities (“should do” and “nice to do” things) to other people or institutions. Having custom-built hundreds of PCs I didn’t come easy to the idea of purchasing a PC off-the-shelf. Having been a small business owner for just a few years easily justified the rationale behind delegating this activity.

business technology

Cheap hardware? That’s expensive!

About every two months one of the computer magazines – be it ComputerShopper, PC Magazine, PC Wworld or any other publication – comes out with this flashy and attractive idea of “cheap computer”. Whether it’s a cheap laptop or cheap desktop – it’s always a good thing, you should save a bunch of money and feel good. Right? Right?

Not so fast. The cost of your computer is not only that number on the receipt or a credit card statement. At least – not for a small business owner. While it is widely perceived that small businesses should live on a shoestring budget and (widely used example) reuse old home computer for their businesses, the idea isn’t quite perfect.

The reason in a so-called “cost of ownership” that most starting up business people have no idea of. If you know what that is – skip to the next paragraph. In layman terms the “cost of ownership” is how much you spend (or loose) by owning that specific tool or service. For example, if you have an old car that you use to deliver widgets to your customers, the cost of ownership would be all the money spent on repairs and parts to make sure your car will be running tomorrow.

But what’s the cost of ownership for an old PC? There aren’t that many parts to replace and no oil or gas to refill. However, what that old PC would probably hit the most is your time – because it’s old and slow. Sure you can upgrade it – add memory and new hard drive, but the old thing would still be a bit sluggish. So instead of booting up in less then 45 seconds it will boot up in three minutes. Add another minute to start your inventory app – be it something proprietory or plain old Excel. Add some more time on number crunching and some more to process your accounting sheets. A minute here, a minute there, just a little slower saving or loading – and you’re looking at an extra hour or two for a day. That’s about 6 working hours wasted for a week – if you have Sunday off. Bad news – now you have to work on that Sunday, since you are loosing 6 hours of productive time from Monday to Saturday.

So what now, does every small business enrepreneur should rush off and buy a shiny new laptop or speedy new desktop? Perhaps, but only if you feel like your system could be more responsive. It’s hard to give any kind of specific advice here. My guess is that even if you bought your PC (desktop or laptop) only two years ago – you didn’t purchase the latest and greatest piece that was out there. Most likely even then it was a low or medium level PC with only enough RAM and hard drive space to make it worth purchasing. Upgrading it won’t really improve your situation – so maybe a little research on the internet and extra couple of hundred dollars will buy you a much better rig that will save you more then just money – your precious time.