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The Real Deal

Get more for your money when buying a PC.

Should you buy a PC directly from a manufacturer? Custom configure one to suit your specific tastes? Lease or buy? Today, you have numerous options when it comes to purchasing a PC. Traditional computer manufacturers are beefing up their built-to-order capabilities, retail stores such as CompUSA are expanding their customer service centers to draw in more business customers, and myriad companies are rolling out new and improved leasing programs.

Bombarded with an ever-growing number of choices, how should a small business go about selecting a PC? Clearly, the answer depends on your needs, level of computer expertise and budget. But no matter what your situation, experts say the first step is to accurately assess your technology needs. Begin by determining exactly what you want to accomplish: Do you need a computer for general office productivity, or to run a specialized accounting package specific to your industry? Only after you have a thorough understanding of your needs should you make your next move toward buying a PC.

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This article was originally published in the August 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: The Real Deal.

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