How do I buy the best printer for my small business
No matter what size office or environment you work from, the office printer is the one piece of equipment that is always deemed as essential.
We talk about being in the digital age, but there are still a number of people (myself included) that like the option for hard copies to be made available – hence the printer may have adapted with changes in technology and advances, but it will never go away completely.
However, when it comes to what you need from a printer, this is different for each business as well as team and individual! We all use printers for different things and for different purposes, depending on the line of business that we’re in and also what our working preferences are. These differences are what will make up the requirements of what we look for in a printer.
There is a huge range of excellent printers and software available to meet all your needs. What we’ve provided below is some quick tips on things to make sure you consider as well as look out for, when buying a printer for a small business.
Things to consider:
- Think multi-functional. No, we’re not trying to make you buy the one with the most gadgets and “thingy me jigs” but we do want you to think about other things that the printer could be used for. Buying one printer that serves many purposes compared to multiple devices is much more cost efficient (and also stands much less chance of driving you crazy)! Think about printing. What is it that you’re printing, mainly text, mainly photos? Are you printing from one computer, multiple, or even from your mobile or tablet devices? What about scanning documents, would this be useful, effective? What about quality of photocopying and again just what is it your photocopying so that you achieve a perfect replica?
- Laser vs inkjet
If we’re honest this does depend on what you’re going to be using the printer for. However, we’ve outlined just what each can do and some of the things that maybe you would need to consider when you’re looking to purchase.
Inkjet printers can be great for photos and image heavy documents as they are better at blending and smoothing colours compared to a laser printer. Which means that inkjet is also more suitable for printing on different types of paper including glossy photo paper. However, with a laser printer, plain printing can be ultra-sharp, especially if the text is black. Again, it comes down to what your printer will be used for the most.
Inkjet printers tend to be cheaper than laser printers and inkjet cartridges are also cheaper that toner cartridges too. Inkjet printers can be easier to maintain however laser printers run much faster than inkjet, so if you do print high volumes it’s worth considering how valuable your time is!
- Then think ink vs volumes
Depending on what you are printing of course does depend on how much ink you’ll use. If you have extremely large, one-off print volumes for example, it might be worth looking at getting a price comparison from an external printer, to help save on those ink costs.
Also, don’t be put off when it comes to the cost of ink, as with compatible ink cartridges you could save up to 70% on price AND, with most compatible ink and toner cartridges you will find you get more for your money in terms of volume, meaning your printing literally will last you longer.
At Compatink, we’re pleased to be able to offer this service to small businesses and help support you with your printer needs. We have an extensive catalogue, outlining all ink and toners compatible with all of the major printer brands and we guarantee to be cheaper on price.
- Wired or wireless
Yes, this may seem pretty straight forward but there are benefits as well as negatives to both of these options when it comes to choosing your printer.
A wired printer is just that, a printer which is connected to your computer through a USB device. A wired printer is very easy to install. In most cases once you insert the USB your computer will prompt you to do the rest in terms of setup. You can also share a wired printer over a network, however a word of caution, if the computer which is connected to the printer shuts down, everyone else currently printing or wanting to print later on that day will lose their connection.
Wireless printers are of course the most common in this day and age. Similar to a network printer but instead of an Ethernet cable it is connected via WIFI. When choosing a wireless printer however you must make sure that your network type as well as the printer’s capability match, and of course the software will have to be installed onto all devices you require to have access to the printer.
Wired printers are usually the cheaper option and the easiest to set up, but wireless gives you much more flexibility meaning you can print from anywhere without being restricted and for us personally the less wires the better!
- Which brand?
This can sometimes be down to personal preference, but what also needs to be taken into consideration, is the answer to all of the above questions when it comes to what your needs are and then ultimately cost. Printers can be an expensive business so look at what is on offer and also have a budget in mind. Then consider maintenance costs if something goes wrong with the machine, and you have to pay for their repair service and parts. Also investigate the option of buying or leasing, depending on what you choose and also the size of your business. Leasing your printers and paying a service fee could be a better option for you to help with costs.
There are some great printers now available for small businesses, which offer a number of solutions and trust us, there is most definitely something for everyone.
If you’re looking for advice on ink and toner cartridges as well as costs and more then check out Compatink’s website, filled with compatible ink solutions at a fraction of the costs of originals. We also have a comprehensive catalogue and a great search tool, so you don’t have to spend hours finding the right ink or toner!
Or if you have any specific questions which you’d like to ask, then give us a call on: 0113 873 0135 we’d be happy to help!
Finally, if you have a printer which screams out for a recommendation, which you would like other small businesses to be aware of, then please comment and share your thoughts below!