Buying equipment for your business is a large investment. Purchasing a skid-steer loader or compact track loader can give a landscape professional sleepless nights wondering how to ever pay it off. With a little research and preparation, contractors can make the best decision to ensure a great return on investment.

1. Analyze the work you do now but also look forward to the work you might do in the short-term in order to purchase a machine that doesn’t become a limitation as you begin to grow.

2. Maintain your machine. A daily level of maintenance is important to keep the machine running and working at optimal performance. Downtime is the biggest unknown in the whole equation. How do you quantify money lost when a machine is down.

3. Make sure the person operating the machine respects your investment and understands that the operation and maintenance of it are key factors in maximizing the return.

4. Take the time to learn the technology and capabilities of the machine. By doing so, you can use it at its full potential in order to gain efficiencies and do more jobs. You can then get on to the next job faster.

5. Look for work tools that can either eliminate or supplement labor. Once you own the machine, you can buy another $5,000 to $10,000 in work tools that can get you into a related line of work, such as snow removal. That way, you keep the cash flow going and machine utilization high.

Read more: Ways to Guarantee Equipment ROI