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Should I Buy, Rent, or Lease a Floor Stripper?

For a safe, attractive facility, you need clean, well-maintained floors. If you employ an in-house team to handle maintenance and have hard flooring, you need to use a floor stripper.

One of the decisions you need to make is whether to buy, rent, or lease this equipment. Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer as to which option is best for your business. Unless, of course, you use one of these machines rarely. In that case, renting is almost always the best option. In the end, though, each option has its pros and cons; understanding those and your business's needs helps ensure you make the right choice.

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Why Should You Buy a Floor Stripper?

If you run a large facility or commercial cleaning company and regularly perform floor maintenance, purchasing a floor stripper is likely your best option. Though it has a greater upfront cost than either renting or leasing, over time, buying offers substantial savings. This is especially true when compared to the cost of renting your cleaning equipment, as you can often buy a machine for the same price as five or six rentals.

In the long run, buying is also cheaper than leasing. What's more, when you own the equipment, you have the ability to sell it and recoup some of your costs. Owning the machine also puts you in control of maintenance and repairs. To some, this item belongs in the "cons" column, but for many, the ability to do what they want with the machine, including maintenance and repairs, is one of the benefits of ownership. If something goes wrong, they don't want to wait for the leasing company to fix it.

Another financial benefit is the ability to claim the cost to purchase and maintain your floor stripper as a business expense when filing your taxes.

Purchasing also allows you greater flexibility in choosing the right machine for your business, instead of being hampered by the available stock of a leasing company or rental agency. Finally, one of the bigger reasons people choose to lease – the ability to replace equipment as it becomes outdated – doesn't apply to floor strippers. Cleaning equipment does not become obsolete due to technological advances.

Why Should You Rent a Floor Stripper?

For businesses without a regular need for a floor stripper, purchasing one is an unnecessary financial burden. If you only use the machine a few times a year, renting is much more cost effective. You have no maintenance or repair worries, and you don't need to bother with storage. In fact, buying a floor stripper that sits idle the majority of the time is likely to lead to maintenance problems.

Many businesses choose to rent cleaning equipment when they aren't yet sure of how much machine they need, or even if they prefer to handle cleaning in-house or would rather outsource it. Renting allows you to "try before you buy" and discover exactly what this task entails.

Finally, startups face a wide variety of equipment costs while at the same time feeling the lack of ready cash. When prioritizing new business expenses, cleaning equipment takes a back seat to standard office equipment, such as phone systems, computers, and copiers.

Why Should You Lease a Floor Stripper?

Many businesses feel that leasing offers the best of both worlds. It has the low upfront costs of renting, not to mention none of the maintenance headaches, but at a significantly lower price. Leasing a floor stripper means that you aren't tying up precious capital, but still allows you to meet your facility maintenance needs.

The top reason businesses choose leasing over buying is to preserve working capital and improve their bottom line. Lease payments are a business expense, not a financial liability. This improves the business's financial reports, making it more attractive to investors, which is vital for companies looking for an infusion of capital.

A lease comes with a much lower upfront cost than buying does, improves cash flow, and makes budgeting for the monthly expense easy. You also usually get to claim your lease expense on your taxes (only your accountant knows for sure).

You may also be able to afford a more advanced, powerful model through leasing than you could buying the machine outright, since you don't have to produce a large lump sum. Another financial benefit is savings on routine maintenance and repairs, which are the responsibility of the leasing company. Finally, if your business needs change, such as moving to a larger facility, your lease usually allows you to upgrade your equipment.

Look carefully at your options, as well as your business needs, when deciding whether to buy, rent, or lease a floor stripper.

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