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How your business can grab a Black Friday tech bargain

Black Friday may have started life as catnip for bargain hunters, but a growing number of businesses are taking advantage too

"Ten minutes to go! Only seven items left! Never-to-be-repeated prices!" If you thought the tempting fruit known as Black Friday was only on offer to consumers then think again, because many of this year's Black Friday deals have businesses squarely in their targets.

This is good news: everyone likes a bargain, after all. However, you need to keep your wits about you if you want to avoid falling into an oh-so-delicious honeytrap. So to the big question: how do you pick the genuinely special offers from the duds?

"First," said Jon Honeyball, a contributing editor to PC Pro, "you need to ask yourself if you need the product at this point in time. How does it fit into your cash flow, your planning, your forecasts? Indeed, have you planned in advance to make a purchase during the Black Friday promotions or does this come as a last-minute surprise?"

In other words, don't be rushed into making a decision you end up regretting. Instead, you should specify exactly what you want in advance and then ensure that what's on offer meets those requirements.

Let's take laptops as an example. In this scenario, you already know that you want to buy five to ten business ultraportables. Before you even think of buying, you should have created your own shortlist of potential models and key criteria.

When Black Friday rolls around, you'll then have something to compare against and you can make rational decisions that fit in with your business demands. While you might be flexible on the type of processor included, for example, you know that your users will revolt if you provide systems with 128GB of storage.

It may sound obvious in the cold light of day, but it's all too easy to forget about support and manageability. Continuing with our laptop example, Windows 10 Home with a year of basic cover may be fine for a family machine, but a rush of blood on Black Friday could mean you forget to check which version of Windows 10 comes with the laptop. Likewise the supplied warranty.

The inevitable consequence of either mistake - and remember, these are just examples - is that you'll need to pay for a costly upgrade at some point down the line. Or, worse, write off the purchase altogether.

So where should you go for a Black Friday bargain? For a business buyer, there is one golden rule: buy from a company that's set up to support businesses.

In this case, it may make most sense to go straight to the company website. Even the best resellers are likely to have limited ability for you to make the bespoke alterations that you need to fulfil all the criteria we listed above.

Dell is one obvious choice, because its product offerings are built around customisation. It's embracing Black Friday with a range of offers spread across laptops, PCs, peripherals, servers and monitors. Head to the Dell website for more details, but we've picked out three potential bargains here:

Offers valid 11th November to 24th November (midnight)

Offer 1

Up to 500 off select laptops

Offer 2

Save up to 50% on select small business monitors 

Offer 3

Up to 20% off Dell PowerEdge servers 

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