One of the biggest changes to the economy as a whole over the last few years has been the rise in the “gig” economy. There are more freelancers and self-owned businesses than ever, and the trend looks to continue.
As of 2019, 35% of all Americans freelanced for all or part of their income and 28% did it full time.
There are also plenty of business owners that run their business virtually from home to keep costs low and because with cloud applications, it has become easy to work from anywhere.
With things like remote support and managed antivirus, someone working from their home office in Sturgeon Bay can be just as internet-secure as they would be in an office.
But one problem that we often see is that freelancers and at-home entrepreneurs will often use laptop computers that are holding them back and actually costing them more than they realize.
It’s natural to want to keep costs low, so if they find a great deal on a cheap laptop, they’ll grab it. Or they’ll hold onto an older computer too long.
But since they’re often working job to job and money can be tight, they put off upgrading the main tool they use to earn a living.
Is it time to upgrade your laptop? You may not realize just how much money you might be losing by putting it off.
How Investing in a New Laptop Can Be Totally Worth It
There are usually two types of PCs being used by freelancers and home business owners that are holding them back.
- A super cheap computer that’s lacking the speed and performance they need.
- An older laptop that’s past its prime and has been slowing down for years.
Users will struggle along and actually change their workflow to match the speed of these problem PCs. For example, they’ll get in the habit of grabbing a cup of coffee while an application is opening (because it takes that long!).
Or they may use their phone to pull up a website, because they know if they open one more tab on their computer, it’s going to freeze up.
Here’s why it makes sense to upgrade, and it can help you earn more money.
The $250 Laptop That Was Costing $42 per day
For this example, we’ll tell the story of “Bill.” Bill got a great deal on a laptop during the holiday sales. It helped him get his freelance design business off the ground for very little investment, just $250, plus tax.
But with a laptop that cheap, you can expect that it would have some limitations, which was only 4 GB of non-upgradable memory and not much processing power.
Bill would often get frustrated as his PC locked up in the middle of a project, but he muddled through.
Finally, he decided to upgrade, spending around $600 on a higher performing laptop. To his shock and delight, he was able to get about 2 hours more work done in a day in the same amount of time as before.
He also was no longer having to scream silently over constant freeze up or have to wait 5 minutes for a graphic intensive app to open. His new laptop had a solid-state drive and quadruple the memory.
But what it meant for his income was the biggest benefit. He averaged $21 per hour for the freelance work that he did. With the ability to do 2 hours more work per day, that equated to $42 in additional income he could make per day, $210 per week.
He more than paid for that laptop upgrade in just three weeks and wondered why he waited so long to upgrade.
How many hours of billable work per week is your PC costing you?
Tips for Choosing a Laptop to Power Your Work
Bill’s story could be applicable to anyone that is using a cheap or older computer for their business. They’re thinking they’re being frugal, but could actually increase their income with a smart laptop purchase.
Here are a few key things to look for when choosing a laptop to power your work.
SSD Instead of HDD
Solid-state drives have come down in price considerably over the years and you’ll now find them in very reasonably priced high-performance laptops.
SSDs are significantly faster than HDDs when it comes to boot time, opening applications, and data read/write speeds.
SSDs are also more durable because they don’t have any moving parts, meaning if you take your laptop around with you in a backpack, you’re less likely to have internal damage issues.
Don’t Go Short on Memory
Having too little memory on your laptop is a major cause of slow performance and freeze ups. RAM is something you want to look at carefully so you’re not paying more for a computer that seems just as slow as a cheap one.
It’s a good idea to look at a minimum of 8 or 12GB of memory, depending upon the work you do. For those working in graphics or video programs, you may want to go higher. Also look for the ability to add more memory later if you decide on a PC speed tune-up.
Get the Screen Size You Need
The screen size is another important factor. Having a larger screen with more real estate to work with can often shave time off your workflow because you’re more easily able to put windows side by side.
Laptop screens will usually vary between 11.6-inches and 17.3 inches. It’s a good idea to check out screen sizes in person to make sure you’re not going too small, which will make your work more difficult.
Need Help Choosing the Best Specs for an Upgrade?
Quantum PC Services pros can help you make sure you’re getting the best deal on a new work laptop and one that can support a fast and productive workflow.
Contact us today to talk computers! Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.