Digital communication and modern technologies are omnipresent in the business world of today, but a paperless office is still more a dream than a reality. Printing is vital for day-to-day operations, and you need to pay attention to its costs and effectiveness.
The model you choose depends on how much you plan to print, what it is that you print, and whether you would like some extra features. Startups can’t afford to pour money down the drain, and saving it is often a top priority.
Printing on a budget
One of the first and most important things to do is to access your budget. The question is how much money can you afford to spend? To be able to answer it, you need to know some basics of the printing process, and what your business needs are.
If you are looking to do some in-house printing, the choice of the printer is of the utmost importance. Saving money might be crucial for your small business, but don’t be fooled by a price tag on a printer. Often, the cheapest one requires constant replacement of ink or toner, so in the long run you are better off buying a more expensive piece of equipment.
You can choose from inkjet, laser, monochrome, LED, and solid ink models, and they all have their pros and cons. Today, the differences in speed and quality have narrowed, but still remain. If you have basic needs like printing some documentation with no graphic elements, that LED or a monochromatic laser will do the trick.
But, if you are looking to print smooth-looking images, they shouldn’t be your first pick. Inkjet printers blow these out of the water when it comes to photo printing, and their speed is satisfactory as well. If you have a greater need for speed, and want to save more money, than solid ink printer is for you.
Bring it to the service
In the end, it all also depends on the amount printing you intend to do. Nobody needs printers to collect dust, so access how much of them you really need. One slow printer won’t cut it in an office where a dozen of people need to use it. Hence, sometimes the most effective and practical solution is to seek out printing services.
The scale and complexity of the work may prescribe this solution, but the priorities stay the same. Many remote printing services include supply management, equipment maintenance, and improved workflows. A small business can thus enhance the productivity of the whole process, and save some green while at it.
You can also decide to hand over only some of the elements of the printing infrastructure to the third party, or to use the services of multiple vendors and independent specialists. Always keep a close eye on the pricing model in contract, which can be usage-based or cost-per-page. This will help you determine the monthly printing costs and decide how it works for your budget.
Many small business and startups struggle to stay afloat, so wasting money is not an option. When printing on your own, pay attention to both the upfront and the ongoing costs of consumables. Chose a printer the suits your needs and fit in your budget. Consider the workload your printer will be taking on, and its speed. If it sounds like too much to handle, consider various printing services that can make your life easier, and your business running more smoothly.
Marcus is an Australian IT support professional, working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. He writes for Bizzmarkblog, and loves SF. He was inspired to write this article by Norwood printing services from Melbourne and their video commercial.