Choosing a printer for your office may sound like an easy task – just buy the cheapest, right? – but, when you drill down into it, it’s actually quite a complex question to ponder. There are so many different makes and model of printer out there that it can make your head spin just thinking about it; do you need a monochrome or colour printer? Do you want an inkjet or a laser printer? Do you just need a printer or do you need a multifunction device instead? Already the options seem endless.
Fortunately, most printer salespeople these days will help you on the road to finding the perfect printer for your office and business but, before you even speak to anyone about it, you need to ask yourself a few basic questions. So here’s Rethink Printings preliminary guide to choosing the right printer, to give you a few pointers in the right direction.
1. What’s Your Budget?
Now this may sound like an easy question, but when thinking about which printer to choose for your business you need to factor in more than just the initial, upfront cost. For example, you may think that your budget for a new printer is £500, but does that take into account the ongoing costs of running the printer? Often, printer manufacturers work on the lost leader principle that offers you a cheap printer, but with expensive ongoing consumables (cartridges), hence buying the cheapest printer you can find may prove to be uneconomical in the long run. Therefore, when planning your new printer budget, think about how much you can afford per month for the running costs of the printer – factoring in the additional costs of things like replacement ink cartridges, electricity and service fees – and then price your budget accordingly. By doing it this way, you may end up having to spend a little more at the beginning of the process, but you’ll probably find that you’ll save yourself or your company a small fortune over the lifetime of the printer.
2. How Much Do You Print?
It may sound obvious, but taking the time to work out, on average, how much you print in a month could again save you a small fortune in the long term. As mentioned above, the cheapest printers usually have the most expensive – relatively speaking – consumables, but if you only print one document a week then that won’t matter; in that case, you’ll only be replacing your ink cartridges once in a blue moon anyway. However if, on the other hand, you print several hundred documents per day, then you’ll want to make sure you purchase a printer with the most economical cartridges, both in terms of price and yield / usage. And it’s not only the price that is affected by this question either, as the type of printer that is best suited to your needs is also dependent on the volume of documents you’ll be printing. If you only ever print text documents with nothing more complicated that a small logo on them, then a monochrome laser printer may suit you adequately, whereas, if you need to turn out multiple types of documents at a rapid rate, then you’ll need a machine with a much bigger capacity. Taking the time to work out what you print and the volume before you buy will make sure you get the right device for your needs, and thus ensure you don’t need to upgrade again, or even buy additional machinery, before the year’s out.
3. What Do You Print?
This is possibly the most crucial question, as it’s vitally important when choosing your new office devices that you get machines that are fit for purpose. Again, if you only print the odd text document – maybe an invoice or report every now and again – then there’s no reason at all why a small desktop laser printer won’t suit you admirably. However, if you print more complex documents, then you’ll need a more complex device. For example, you need to consider whether or not you can manage with a monochrome printer – which is by far the cheapest option – or whether you need one with colour capabilities. And if you do a lot of colour printing, what type of documents are you producing? If you’re regularly printing brochures or pamphlets with glossy coloured photographs, then it may be worth considering a business spec. colour inkjet printer. Moreover, depending what industry you’re in, you may need to think about a printer with media flexibility, that will allow you to print directly onto mediums other than just paper, such as canvas, transfers or CDs/DVDs. Thinking about the types of things you print in advance is the easiest way of ensuring your new business printer will do all the things you need it to do, and ensure you’re not duplicating devices in the long run.
4. How Do You Print?
This may sound like a strange question, but you need to think about the ways in which your business operates and how it prints in order to make sure your new office printer will fit in. For example, if you just have one member of staff in a single office, then a small desktop printer is all you will likely need. However, if you run a large company with many staff dotted around several sites, then you’ll need to make sure you have the right devices in the right locations. Do all your staff need access to the same printing capabilities, or could the technology be specialised in certain areas? Do you need to keep track of who is printing what to keep your overheads down? Do your staff need to be able to print from any device, regardless of where their workstation is? Or, do you have a frequent turnover of staff who all need to be able to access printing quickly and efficiently? All of these questions need to be asked before you can even start to think about your new printer, as they will not only determine the type of device you end up with it, but also the kind of software capabilities you need it to have, plus additional things such as whether you need it to be networked or standalone, and who will be able to use it etc.
5. How Will Your Printing Change?
A printer is a large investment item that, with a bit of luck, your business will be utilising day-in, day-out for several years to come, so it’s vitally important that you think about where your business will be in those several years before deciding on your new printer. What are your plans for the business? Where are you intending to be in three, five or seven years’ time? How will the business operate then? If you’re thinking of expanding in the next few years, for example, then buying that small, monochrome laser desktop printer may be an economical decision now, but will you just have to replace it with a colour printer in a couple of years? If so, then it may make sense to factor that into your budget and go with the more capable printer now, as it will save your company money in the long run. On the other hand, if you have no idea where your business will be in five years’ time and you are particularly risk averse, then maybe it would be better to think about printer leasing rather than purchasing, as that would give you the capacity to up- or downgrade your devices in line with the evolution of your company, thus giving you the best of both worlds.
Let Rethink Printing Help You
Here at Rethink Printing we have been selling and leasing printers and photocopiers to individuals and businesses in the Hereford and the Three Counties for almost 15 years, so we’ve got a proven track record when it comes to delivering a quality service.
When you contact us, we’ll offer you a free, no-obligation initial consultation so that we can explore your needs, then we get to know exactly how your business works before we find the perfect tailored solution for you. Plus, all of our machines come with a manufacturer’s warranty and are guaranteed by our in house maintenance agreements, providing you with peace of mind that, should anything go wrong, we’ll sort it out for you in a timely manner.
So, if you or your business is in need of a new Printer or photocopier, think about the factors mentioned in the list above, and we’ll take all the worry out of your hands and make sure you get the perfect printer for you. You can contact one of our friendly team today to arrange your free, no obligation consultation, by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, phoning us on 01432 2722233 or completing the contact form on our website.