Web designers …. Should you always have up to date software and computer?
My answer to this is “yes” (but within reason).
Is it to impress your clients, to show them that you have a better computer than them, that you are smarter, or that your skill level for web design is so high that you require the best? No. Is it because it makes you feel better that you have the newest software and therefore your designs will be better? Maybe, but that’s only a marginal reason to have the latest and greatest.
The best, most logical reason to have a newer computer, or newer software, or a bigger monitor for your website design business is financial. Take a monitor for instance. I purchased a 27″ monitor that I’ve coupled with my laptop monitor. The monitor cost me about $375. I used to own a 21″ monitor. The amount on the new screen is significantly more than the older screen. I can see more of my website designs, layout, or web programming than before. There is less moving windows around. I figure maybe I save 3 minutes a day. Doesn’t sound like much, but do the math. If I have a charge out rate of say $75 / hr, I am saving $3.75 per day. In 100 days (about 4.5 months) my monitored is paid for. Any longer I keep my monitor, I am saving cash.
The same argument can be said for having a faster computer or an updated version of your favourite design software. If it saves you time, it saves you money. Do the math. If you find it will save you money, then it’s worth it.
Besides, it’s all a write-off so the savings are even more.
Running a business is all about efficiency. The more efficient you are, the more business you can do and the more successful you can be. Just make sure to justify the cost.