How To Choose The Best Printer For Your Small Business

The office printer remains as one of the most essential pieces of equipment for a business. But with so many types and models available, it can be overwhelming to select the right one that will suit your needs. Do you choose the most affordable model or should you invest a small fortune in a state-of-the-art machine?

Many small business owners also make the mistake of thinking that their home printer will suffice for business use, only to find out that this decision ends up to be more costly or inefficient. While a business may be small, it still has a different set of printing needs that a typical home printer may not be able to address.

A capable office printer should be able to cope with the demands of your business operations. It should be robust enough to withstand the daily grind of being constantly used. So to help you out, here are some factors to consider when choosing the best printer for your small business.

Functionality

When buying an office printer, the first thing to consider is the needs of your organization. Review what types of documents and materials your business deals with on a daily basis. Will you only print black and white documents or will you require colored graphics printing? How many pages do you estimate to print in a day? How many different paper sizes do you need to print on? Answering these questions and thoroughly listing your needs will help you decide what printer to get when shopping.

Make sure to anticipate the demands of your business as it grows. For example, when you’re just starting up, you might think that a basic printer will do but if you’re planning to aggressively grow your business and add more employees within a span of six months, you should keep that in consideration.

For small businesses, it is often recommended to go for a multi-function printer that can also act as a copier and a scanner. Multi-function printers can increase workplace productivity because one machine can deliver different operational tasks. These machines can save space and money because you will not need to buy separate machines for each function.

For large corporations, they might prefer separate printer and copier machines because just having a single all-in-one machine for different tasks may cause bottlenecks. However, for small businesses, multi-function machines are more practical because you can make the most out of your equipment.

Ease of Use

Have you ever encountered a printer with so many buttons and options that you’re suddenly afraid of using it? Many sophisticated printers are packed with modern features that can be very confusing even to the most tech-savvy people. The problem with this is that when your printer is difficult to operate, it is prone to breakdowns due to improper usage.

If your printer is accessed by many people, it is best to choose a printer that is easy to operate and easy to troubleshoot. Printers with clear instructions, easy to understand buttons, and simple options are recommended. If your budget allows, go for printer models that come with LED Touchscreens such as the Lexmark CX625 Series which has an easy to use interface.

Affordability

When selecting a printer, you must not only consider the initial cost of buying the machine but also the operational cost of using it. Sometimes, the retail price of a printer may seem unbelievably low, but then the cost of its consumables are much higher than average.

Before buying the machine, check the cost of the consumables like ink or toner, as well as the cost of repair and maintenance. Come up with a shortlist of printer options and compare them side by side based on function and price. It will also be useful to read online reviews and recommendations when choosing your printer.

Another option to save on cost is to use managed print services that can help you minimize printing costs. These types of services will ensure that your printer will not suddenly break down or run out of ink in the middle of an important project. Managed print services will give you an in-depth usage report and train your employees to prevent breakdowns. Reliable providers also keep your printer up to date with the latest security features to protect your data.

If you believe, however, that your business needs a state-of-the-art printer that you cannot afford to buy, consider looking for leasing options that will allow you to pay in monthly installments. Many small businesses do not have the luxury of allocating a huge chunk of their capital to buy sophisticated office equipment so leasing becomes a good alternative.

Connectivity

If you’ve never bought a printer before, you might question why your machine needs to have features like Wi-Fi and mobile connectivity. However, these features are actually very convenient especially with how businesses are run today.

A lot of machines now have these connectivity features. One example is the Epson WorkForce WF-7710 which is a multi-function printer that can print, copy, scan and fax. Aside from also having a 4.3″ color touchscreen control panel, it has USB, Ethernet, mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity.

If a printer can connect wirelessly, it will be easier for employees to access the machine anywhere in the office. You won’t need to limit your computers to a specific space or rely on a wired network. For example, if your printer is connected to your mobile phone, you can directly print emails and documents wirelessly without the need of opening your laptop to do so. There are also printers that can now allow you to send a scanned document to your email or connect to other third-party apps and software.

Choosing the best for your needs

Choosing the best printer for your small business does not need to be a stressful task. Don’t be easily dazzled by bargain prices or by state-of-the-art features. The important thing is to choose a printer that will suit the size and demands of your business, as well as your budget.

Keep in mind that your printer should be able to help you boost your company’s productivity in the long run and not hold you down due to its limited functions or exorbitant price. The best printer for you is not necessarily the cheapest machine nor the most expensive model. The best choice is the printer tailor-made to your company’s specific needs.

Author Bio: Nathan is a business advisor and business blogger at Biznas. He has helped many clients solve their business problems, and now imparts his advisory knowledge onto others to help them improve their businesses too.

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