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Should I Buy, Rent, or Lease a Buffer/Polisher Machine?

Facility maintenance is a necessary part of any business, and this means keeping floors clean and safe for employees and customers alike.

If you have hard flooring, such as cement, linoleum, stone, or wood, and choose to handle maintenance and cleaning in-house, you need a floor buffer/polisher machine. Of course, if you only perform this task a few times each year, you don't need to invest in this equipment, since rental units are readily available. You may also prefer to lease a buffer for a variety of reasons. We look at the advantages of each option to help you decide which works best for your business.

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What Are the Advantages of Buying a Floor Buffer/Polisher?

The top reasons businesses do anything have to do with finance. The decision to purchase cleaning equipment is no different. Even though purchasing represents a greater upfront investment than either leasing or renting, it is the much cheaper option. If you plan to use a floor buffer regularly, buying the machine makes much better financial sense than renting does, especially with the average daily rate for a commercial floor polisher clocking in between $200 and $300.

Leasing a floor buffer also costs more over time than buying that same unit. In addition, it doesn't allow you to sell the unit when the time comes to upgrade, so you never get to recoup any of that expense.

Another financial benefit is the ability to claim the expense of purchasing and maintaining your machine on your taxes. You may also be able to finance your purchase, especially for larger, more powerful floor buffers, saving you on the upfront expense and creating an easy way to add the cost to your monthly budget. Buying a floor buffer also lets you choose the exact machine you need to fulfill your needs. Often, lease choices are limited. You also don't have to worry that cleaning equipment will become outdated and require upgrading, a common reason many businesses choose to lease standard office equipment such as computers and copiers.

Finally, though some people consider maintenance responsibility a detriment of ownership, others appreciate the fact that, when a machine needs repair, they don't have to wait for the leasing company. They have complete control over the unit.

What Are the Advantages of Renting a Floor Buffer/Polisher?

If you do not routinely clean or polish your floors, the financial cost of purchasing a floor buffer is an unnecessary financial burden. What's more, if you only use the machine a few times per year, you run the risk of developing maintenance issues due to misuse, similar to a vehicle that you rarely drive.

Renting offers a variety of savings. If your business is fairly new, you likely need your capital for more pressing, business-critical expenses, such as office equipment. When choosing between a phone and computer system or cleaning equipment, it's obvious which expense is vital to your day-to-day operations. You also save on upkeep, maintenance, and storage, all of which are the responsibility of the rental agency.

Another smart reason to rent is if you are deciding whether you prefer to outsource your cleaning needs or use an in-house team. Renting a floor polisher allows you to easily see how much machine you actually need to properly maintain your facility, and whether hiring a commercial cleaning company is the better choice.

What Are the Advantages of Leasing a Floor Buffer/Polisher?

If you have regular need of a floor buffer, but prefer not to tie up your capital in an expensive purchase, leasing one of these machines is a much better alternative to renting. To many, leasing offers the best of both worlds: a low upfront cost with none of the maintenance headaches of ownership.

Preserving capital is probably the number one reason businesses choose to lease equipment. It improves their bottom line, since leases show up on their financial statements as a business expense instead of a liability. If you expect to seek funding in the future, this is important. In addition, you should be able to claim the expense on your taxes. Talk to your accountant to be sure.

Though the cost of leasing, over time, is more expensive than the cost of buying, it allows you to easily budget for a monthly expense and improves cash flow. You also save on routine maintenance and repairs, since the leasing company takes on these responsibilities.

Leasing may also allow you to afford a bigger, better floor buffer than you could if you bought the machine outright. It also allows you to upgrade to a larger machine if your business needs change.

Deciding whether to buy, rent, or lease depends on your unique needs. Look carefully at your options to make the right choice for your business.

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