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28 May 2018

What is the best printer for my small business?

If you run a small business, you’re probably looking for a reliable printer that doesn’t cost too much to run, and doesn’t jam or break down every time you need to print something in a hurry. You may be looking for speed over quality, or you may print your own collateral and marketing materials so you need crisp, vibrant colours. 

Choosing the right printer for your small business starts with knowing exactly what you’ll use your printer for. Based on that, you can determine the characteristics you want in a printer. For example:

1. Speed

Laser printers are fast and, if you don’t need colour, you can get a relatively cost-effective option using a black-and-white laser printer. Laser printers may seem more expensive to run at first, because toner cartridges are typically more expensive than inkjet cartridges, however you can often get a higher page yield from toner cartridges, making them less expensive over the long term. 

2. Volume

If you’re printing high volumes, then you need a printer that won’t break down, as well as one that offers the most cost-effective consumables over the long term. 

3. Quality

Laser printers produce far-superior print quality to inkjet printers with longer-lasting outputs – inks that don’t run or fade over time especially important for legal or archival documents.

4. Functionality

Multifunction devices (MFD) combine printing, photocopying, scanning, and faxing in one machine. This is ideal for small businesses that don’t need a dedicated machine for these functions and, often, don’t have the space for separate machines. Keeping it all in one machine cuts down on running and maintenance costs while delivering a convenient, versatile solution. 

5. Mobile 

Most printers offer internet connectivity and mobile printing through easy-to-use touchscreens and interfaces. However, if mobile printing is important to your business, then it pays to seek out a printer that offers strong mobile capabilities. 

6. Sustainability

Not all printers are created equal when it comes to energy use and environmental sustainability. If your small business is committed to being environmentally-friendly, then you need a printer that includes built-in sustainability features. This can include things like low energy usage and standby modes, as well as printers that save paper through double-sided printing. Depending on the size of your small business, it may also be worthwhile considering a managed print solution that enforces strict printing policies that reduce the amount of waste and requires users to enter a code to retrieve their printing.  

Managed print services

When it comes to choosing a printer, it could make more sense to consider a managed print services provider before considering what hardware you want. Managed print services can be a great way for small businesses to more effectively manage their printers and/or multifunction devices more cost effectively and efficiently.

Managed print services solve four key challenges for small businesses:

1. IT support costs

Almost half of IT help desk calls can be print-related, monopolising your IT resources’ time, which could be better spent on value-adding activities for your business. A managed print services contract includes tech support, so if there’s a problem with your printer, you simply contact your provider who can help you via phone or, if necessary, send out a technician. 

2. Rising costs

Lack of visibility, indiscriminate printing, and not having the right number or type of devices can all add significant cost to your business without you even realising it. A managed print services provider will review all of this with you and help you set and enforce new policies that combat rising costs. This can include consolidating your printer fleet, reducing waste, and keeping information secure through various security services. 

3. Uncontrolled printing fleets

Many small businesses use a patchwork of devices that aren’t integrated and don’t offer the breadth of functionality required. Managed print services providers can help ensure you have the right number and type of printers, and that these machines are regularly serviced and kept up to date so they simply work when you need them. 

4. Environmental impact of printing

When employees print more than they need to, it’s a sign you need to implement print governance to reduce waste and cost. 
To find out more about how Konica Minolta can help your small business get the right printing equipment and manage it more effectively, contact us today. 

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