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So you've concluded that your business really does need a particular item of equipment or other fixed asset. What next? Well, before you rush out and spend some of your valuable capital, invest a little time considering how you can best meet that need. There are basically three alternatives:
- Using personal assets: In some cases, you may find that an asset your business needs is something that you already own. Using your personal assets in your business may not only reduce your acquisition needs, but may also help reduce your tax bill. And making do with what you have is a skill that every small business owner needs to cultivate!
- Leasing: Leasing may be a viable alternative to purchasing the asset, especially if you're not sure how long you'll need it. Or, perhaps you can avoid directly acquiring the asset by contracting out the work you expect the asset will do or by finding someone who will let you use the asset on an as-needed basis.
- Purchasing: If you should conclude that purchasing is the way to go, prepare yourself so you can shop smart. Deciding in advance what exactly you want, what you're willing to pay, and what non-price issues you're willing to negotiate can go a long way toward ensuring that you'll get the best deal for your business.