Running a small business is no easy task. Staying competitive with larger companies in your industry while sticking to a tight budget is a challenging balancing act, making every purchase you make a serious deliberation. Many small-business owners struggle with finding office equipment that's appropriately sized for their company, capable of meeting all their needs, and still within their budget. This is especially true for printers, which are either small home-office models or very large business models with a high price tag. How do you find business printers in Anchorage, AK, that meet the unique needs of a small business? Keep reading to find out.
Multifunction Is a Must
For starters, it's important to note that a multifunction device is essential for any business, no matter how small it might be. It's extremely unlikely that your office will only ever need to print documents instead of scanning and copying them. If you're going to purchase an office printer, make sure that it has multiple functions to meet all of your document-handling needs.
Skip Unnecessary Features
While a multifunction device is a must, that doesn't mean you need every function available under the sun. Most printers come in a variety of models with different add-ons available. It's important that you know what your small business needs in terms of additional features, so you can skip the ones that are unnecessary.
For example, one popular feature among larger businesses is the ability to create unique login codes for everyone who uses the printer. This is extremely beneficial when you have 50 or even more people using the same device on a daily basis. However, this function isn't quite as necessary if you only have a dozen or so people in your office. In a smaller office, you're unlikely to need to set print limits and use the other perks that are associated with these unique login codes. So, this is probably an additional feature that you can choose to pass on without it being a detriment to your business.
Another example to consider is the ability to bind paper packets as they're printed. This can be extremely beneficial and an excellent timesaver in an office where multiple printing packets are common, saving an employee from having to separate and staple the papers together by hand. However, this is likely a much less necessary function in a small business. If you do print packets, it's probably something that only happens occasionally and in much smaller numbers than an enterprise-level corporation might do. This often makes the binding function unnecessary for small businesses.
Take the time to thoroughly consider all add-on options and determine which ones are actually necessary for your company. Then, make sure to find a model that offers what you need without a lot of additional functions you won't use. Skipping those unnecessary features can help to keep you in your budget when purchasing a new printer.
Know the Type of Printer You Need
While this is true for any business buying a printer, it's especially important for a small business that might default to the cheaper option to save on costs. However, it's essential to know that different types of printers excel at producing different types of documents. Laser printers are intended for producing text-based documents. They do an exceptional job of creating crisp, clear lines of text very quickly. It's worth noting, of course, that laser printers tend to cost more than the other type of printer on the market: inkjet.
Inkjet printers are great for printing image-heavy documents, where you want the colors to be rich, beautiful, and professional looking. But they're not always the best choice for offices that are primarily printing text. Ink can make the paper-heavy or wrinkle it, and the ink can smear if you grab the paper off the printer too quickly.
If your small business is like most other offices, you probably print text-based documents primarily. Despite the higher cost, it's generally worth it for businesses to purchase a laser printer to produce higher-quality prints more quickly.
Consider Multiple Printers
If you're having a hard time finding an office-sized machine that fits your needs and is within your budget, consider purchasing multiple desktop printers instead. You can place these individual desktop models in different departments, as opposed to a single location like a copy room, making it easier for employees to access their prints. While these are less powerful and generally slower than a freestanding, commercial printer, they can often work well for a small business that doesn't place a high demand on their printer.
Just keep in mind that while desktop printers can be multifunction devices that will print, copy, and scan, they don't typically have additional features. So, if you need other functions from your office printer, this option may not work for you.
Consider Leasing Your Printer
Another option for businesses on a tight budget is leasing your office printer instead of buying one outright. If you don't have the upfront capital, this option can allow you to get the printer you need without having to make a large payment out of your business bank account.
This option can also be highly beneficial to startup companies that may still be growing rapidly. If you purchase a printer early on in your business's life, based on your current needs, you may quickly find yourself outgrowing that printer's functionality. (Those add-on features that you previously deemed to be unnecessary may soon become essential to your business's productivity.) If this happens, you'll need to replace the printer after just a couple of years, which isn't always the most fiscally sound option.
However, if you're leasing your printer, you can end your lease and either purchase or lease a new model that better suits your growing company's needs.
Find the Right Printer for Your Business
Are you looking for a business printer for a business in Anchorage, AK? Contact Arctic Office Products today or visit our store to see some of our available models. We'll help you find the perfect printer to fit your company's needs.