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Small Businesses Get Black Friday Bargains, Too

Going shopping on Black Friday - the day after Thanksgiving - is a tradition in my family. No, we don't get there at 4 a.m., and we concentrate on mundane bargains (socks and kitchen gadgets are perennial choices). But Black Friday - and the following Cyber Monday - can also be a great time to go shopping for your small business.

Fortunately, I've got a sneak peek at the bargains for small business; I'll share some of the best with you.

In past years, I've bought lots of office stuff on Black Friday. I've purchased monitors, computers, scanners, printers. I've got this year's shopping list ready. I need a new desktop computer for my administrative assistant, a new monitor for my office manager and a couple of new wireless mice.

My sister Janice, who has her own small business, needs a new laptop. Retailers expect a lot of people like Janice who wanted to skip Vista, so they'll be offering deals on computers running the new Windows 7.

Strategies for successful small business Black Friday shopping:

1. Make a list of stuff you really need. Don't buy just because something's cheap. It's tempting, I know.

2. Check to see which version of Windows 7 you need. If you have a server you'll need at least the Pro or Ultimate edition. Upgrades are very expensive so buy the right one.

3. Before Friday, find out whether Windows 7 will work with your current software and peripherals before you buy. Otherwise, things can get really costly.

4. Shop online. Many retailers and even manufacturers are offering deals online beginning as early as midnight Friday morning. You may find the best stuff for small businesses - higher levels of Windows 7 for example - online.

5. Apply for your rebates. Make copies of everything and send rebates out immediately.

6. Check the office stores. They often have equipment more suited for business, rather than just consumer, use.

Especially good buys for small business on Black Friday include media - jump drives, CDs, DVDs, media cards. These can be dirt cheap. And you can find really good deals on smaller office equipment like surge protectors, scanners and label makers.

Some deals to check out:

Staples:

- HP Laptop, $299.98, Intel Celeron, 3GB RAM, 160 GB hard drive, Windows 7 Home.

- eMachines monitor, $89.95, 21.5 inch.

- Brother color laser printer, $179.98.

- Garmin nuvi255 portable GPS, $119.99.

- Dell desktop package, $499.98, AMD, 4GB RAM, 640 GB hard drive, Windows 7 home, 20 inch monitor.

Office Depot:

- Acer netbook, $199.99: 1 GB Ram, 160 GB hard drive, Windows XP home.

- HP laptop, $299.99: Intel Celeron, 3 GB, 250 GB, Windows 7 Home.

- HP laptop, $499.99: Intel dual, 4 GB, 250 GB hard drive, Windows 7 Home.

- Ativa monitor, $119.99: 21.6" HD.

- HP desktop package, $499.99: AMD quad core, 8 GB RAM, 640 GB hard drive, Windows 7 Home, 20" monitor.

- Compaq Desktop, $229.99: AMD, 2 GB Ram, 250 GB hard drive, Windows 7 home.

Note: Free HP printer with any PC purchase.

Best Buy:

- Toshiba laptop, $399.99: Intel Core duo, 3 GB RAM, 250 GB Hard drive, Windows 7 Home.

- Sony laptop, $399: Intel Pentium dual core, 4GB RAM, 320GB hard drive, Windows 7 Home.

- Apple Macbook, $999: Receive $150 Best Buy gift card, Intel Duo core, 2 GB RAM, 250 GB hard drive

- Acer 20" widescreen monitor, $70.

- Dell, 20" widescreen monitor, $99.99.

- HP package, $499.97: desktop computer, AMD Quad Core processor, 8 GB RAM, 1 terrabyte Hard drive, Windows 7 Home, HP 20" widescreen monitor; HP deskjet D1530 printer.

- Microsoft: Office Home and Student 2007 only $69 at many retailers. A good deal. Includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote.

HP online: www.hpdirect.com

- $100 instant rebate off three of their printers. $50 off any inkjet over $299.

- HP Compaq dx7500 desktop, $449.

Dell online: www.dell.com/business/sale

- Dell Vostro 1710, $599: 4 GB RAM, 320 GB Hard Drive; comes with Windows 7 Pro.

My sister's going to buy the laptop direct from Dell, but I've got to keep looking for a desktop that comes with Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate.

First, let's all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Copyright, Rhonda Abrams, 2009

Rhonda Abrams is the president of The Planning Shop, publisher of books for entrepreneurs. Her newest is "Successful Marketing: Secrets&Strategies." Register for her free business tips newsletter at www.PlanningShop.com. Or follow her on Twitter at RhondaAbrams.

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