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

Maintaining the floors of your facility is a standard part of doing business. If you choose to handle these duties in-house and have hard flooring, such as linoleum, tile, wood, or cement, this typically requires a floor sweeper.

Purchasing a floor sweeper represents a significant financial investment, one that not all businesses need to make. For some, renting their cleaning equipment is a viable option, especially if they perform this duty only a few times a year. For others, leasing is the better option. There is no single answer as to which option is best, as every business has different concerns and needs.

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When is it Better to Buy a Floor Sweeper?

Businesses that handle their floor cleaning in-house typically use a floor sweeper at least once a month, and many do it weekly and even daily. It all depends on the nature of the business. For these businesses, renting cleaning equipment is not the answer, as the cost over time is far greater than the expense of purchasing a machine outright. Typically, within five or six rentals, you'll have paid the price of a new unit, especially with the average commercial floor sweeper renting for around $250 per day.

The same is true for leasing your cleaning equipment. Though leasing is cheaper than renting, it's still more expensive than the purchase price of the machine. In addition, you cannot sell leased equipment, meaning you never get to recoup any of that expense.

Purchasing equipment outright also allows you greater freedom in choosing the exact machine to fulfill your needs, as well as maintaining it and performing repairs. In leasing, you must rely on your leasing company to handle any issues, which may delay much-needed repairs. In addition, cleaning equipment doesn't carry the risk of becoming outdated or obsolete the way standard office equipment does, so you don't need to worry much about upgrading.

Ownership also allows you to claim the expense on your taxes, including the purchase price, maintenance, and replacement parts. You may also be able to finance the purchase instead of paying a large lump sum upfront.

When is it Better to Rent a Floor Sweeper?

Some businesses only have use of a floor sweeper a few times a year. You may even only need to use one once. In these cases, the financial burden of purchasing or even leasing a floor sweeper is both prohibitive and unnecessary.

People also choose to rent floor sweepers to save money on maintenance, storage, and general upkeep. When you rent, these costs belong to the rental agent instead of you. In fact, if you only use the machine a few times each year, you stand a good chance of it developing problems due to lack of use, especially battery-powered units.

You may also prefer to rent in order to preserve working capital, especially in your startup phase, when you face numerous expenses for equipment necessary to the day-to-day operations of your business. Cleaning equipment falls well below the urgency of outfitting your employees with up-to-date technology.

Finally, you may decide to rent a floor sweeper to determine (1) how much machine you really need and (2) whether it makes better sense for your business to handle floor cleaning in-house or outsource it to a commercial cleaning company.

When is it Better to Lease a Floor Sweeper?

Many businesses choose to lease their cleaning equipment, as it offers some of the benefits of buying as well as some of the benefits you get with renting.

The most popular reason businesses choose leasing is because it preserves working capital and improves cash flow. If yours is a new business, or if you're in the middle of a growth spurt, this can be especially important. The cost, over time, to lease is greater than purchasing a floor sweeper outright, but far less than the cost of renting. What's more, the upfront cost is significantly less than buying, with easily budgeted monthly payments.

Leasing also reduces the debt column on your financial statements, creating a better balance sheet if you need an infusion of capital. At the same time, you usually get to claim your lease payment on your taxes (check with your CPA to be sure).

Another big plus in the lease column is the lack of worry over routine maintenance, which is the responsibility of the leasing company, not you. Finally, you may also be able afford a more powerful machine with a lease than if you bought the unit outright. Or, you can upgrade to a larger machine if your business needs change. In the end, the decision of which option – buying, renting, or leasing – is the right one comes down to what your business needs.

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