Should your small business buy or lease a multifunction printer?

23 Oct 2019

For many small businesses, a quality multifunction printer is a key business tool. However, it can also represent a sizeable portion of your equipment budget, especially if you need a device that will help you improve productivity, be reliable, and deliver high-quality outputs.

One of the key questions small business owners often ask themselves when it comes time to buy or upgrade to a new multifunction printer is whether to purchase it or lease it.

Both options have positives and negatives. In the end, the right choice depends on your business. Here are five elements to consider before you decide:

1. Available capital

Purchasing a printer outright can often be cheaper over the long term compared with leasing one. Therefore, if you’re looking to minimise your ongoing costs, you may prefer to outlay the capital upfront to purchase a printer.

However, if you’re looking to manage your cash flow more steadily over time, then it might make sense to lease the printer because it doesn’t involve an upfront cost. You simply pay the cost of the lease over the term of the lease. This can help you preserve your capital for other investments.

2. Growth potential

Purchasing a printer might be the way to go if you anticipate significant growth in your company. This way, if you experience that growth and need more printing resources, you can sell your existing printer and buy a new one, or add another to your fleet. Some lease agreements may lock you into a printer that doesn’t suit your needs, although most vendors would likely be willing to renegotiate.

3. Return on investment

While a printer is a depreciating asset, when the printer you own reaches the end of its useful life with your business, you can always sell it and recoup at least some money. At the end of a lease, you can’t sell that printer as it still belongs to the company you leased it from.

4. Resources for maintenance

One of the biggest factors to consider when deciding whether to purchase or lease a printer is how many resources you have available to manage the printer. Dealing with printer issues can take up a significant amount of time and, if your IT team is small, you may find that IT staff don’t have much time for innovation or proactive IT projects because they’re tied up responding to calls for help regarding the printer.

One massive benefit of leasing a printer is that it tends to come with a managed print services (MPS) agreement. This service can help you reduce your printing costs significantly, as well as reduce the amount of time your own staff have to spend addressing printer-related issues.

MPS providers can help ensure you have the right device or devices for your needs, access to the most up-to-date features, and a secure print environment that protects your business from printer-related threats. They can manage your consumables like toner or ink, and ensure your printer remains up and running so it’s ready to go when you need it.

5. Print governance and cost recovery

Many business owners tend to buy a printer and forget about it. The ongoing costs of running and maintaining the printer, as well as the cost of consumables, often don’t figure into their accounting for the costs of the printer. However, these costs are real, they are ongoing, and they can become significant in organisations without an effective print governance policy and the ability to recover print costs from clients.

By contrast, an MPS agreement can include print governance and cost recovery capabilities. This can help you monitor and report on your usage of the device so you can see how much your business is printing, who is doing the bulk of the printing, and how much it’s costing your organisation. If you can pass those costs onto your customers, then the cost to your business can be dramatically lowered.

What to do next

If you’re in the market for a new multifunction printer and not sure what option is right for you, contact Konica Minolta today. We can help you compare the cost of an upfront purchase (and ongoing running costs) versus an MPS contract that could save you time and money in the long run. We can also help you decide which device is perfect for your business, then manage delivery, installation, and training so your staff can get up and running fast.

To find out more about how we can help you, contact Konica Minolta today.


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