In a world that's becoming increasingly digital, many businesses wonder whether or not a printer is even necessary for their office anymore. This can be especially true for small businesses, which often have to be far more meticulous about their expenses than their larger competitors, who have larger budgets. While cutting costs is obviously essential to helping your small business thrive, skipping out on that printer/copier may not be the smart business move you think it is. Small businesses can actually benefit greatly from investing in business printers in Anchorage, AK. Keep reading to learn more about the potential benefits and how to choose the right one for your business.
Better Serve Your Customers
Maintaining a competitive edge over larger companies can be difficult for small businesses. Still, the one thing that smaller companies often have going for them is the ability to offer a more customized level of service. Many large companies often have a set way of providing their services, with little room for flexibility based on customer preferences—for example, the preference to rely on paper statements and communications.
Because technology and digitization are efficient, some large corporations may not offer the option to receive paper invoices, contracts, etc. This can often be difficult for customers who prefer a more traditional way of doing business. As a small company, you can cater to those preferences—but only if you have a printer. Keeping a printer in your office allows you to adapt to your customer's needs and preferences so that you can better serve them and maintain that unique competitive edge over big corporations.
Manage Documents More Effectively
As much as you might try to digitize your office, the fact remains that you'll likely still handle some paper documents. In order to more effectively manage this "mixed media" approach to business documents, you'll need an office machine that can help you to consolidate and digitize those physical pieces of paperwork. Most business printers today serve more than a single function and can scan documents in addition to printing and copying. This allows you to scan paper documents into your digital filing system so that all documents can be effectively managed together, rather than in a piecemeal approach that's more likely to lead to lost data.
Make Documents Searchable
In relation to effectively managing your documents, another advantage of a business printer is that modern machines can do far more than just produce an image of the documents you scan. A technology known as optical character recognition can be combined with many modern scanners, allowing the computer to recognize the individual characters on the documents you scan into your computer, thereby turning the PDF created into a searchable document.
This allows you and your employees to more easily find the documents and information you need with a single search, rather than having to read through countless pages of documents that your computer only sees as images. This saves time and effort while helping you stay more organized in your business.
Considerations before Buying
Now that you know some of the benefits of purchasing a printer for your business, let's go over what you should look for before buying.
Print from mobile – Mobile devices have become a consistent fixture in many workplaces. Employees get a lot done on their devices, from laptops to cellphones, which should include printing. Any printer you buy for your business should not require a device to be wired in to print. Make sure that you buy a machine that is enabled for mobile printing.
Additional features – In addition to the ability to print, copy, and scan, there are many optional features that can be added to today's modern printers. This can include functions like faxing, hole punching, stapling, and more. Be sure to consider all of the options available on various printers, and determine which ones are important to your company. You should also look at specifications like the size of the paper tray, print speed, and other basic capabilities that impact the printer's performance.
Security – You might not think that a printer needs security, but today's printers often have their own built-in computer and basic memory functions. That means that any documents scanned in through the printer could be temporarily saved on the machine and therefore be susceptible to hacks. Ask about the security features of any machine you're considering buying, and make sure you feel confident that any documents scanned or copied with the machine will be safe from cyberattacks.
Warm-up speed – We briefly mentioned print speed above, but you should also make sure to examine the printer's warm-up speed. If this is a machine that will be used several times a day, you want to ensure that your employees are left standing around, just waiting for the printer to fully "wake up" before it can even begin the print job.
Supply costs – All printers have some basic supply costs that you'll need to pay regularly to keep printing and copying. This typically includes paper, ink, toner, and possibly replacement parts when components begin to wear down. You want a highly efficient printer with ink or toner to help keep supply costs down.
Printer type – Speaking of ink and toner, do you know which type of printer uses which type of printing supply? Ink is for inkjet printers, while laser printers use toner. It's important to determine the pros and cons of these different printer types to determine which is right for your company. Generally speaking, laser printers are best for printing text documents, while inkjets are best at producing beautiful color copies of image-heavy documents.
If you're in the market for a business printer for a business in Anchorage, AK, be sure to keep all of these factors in mind so that you can reap the maximum benefit from any machine you buy. Still not sure what's right for your business? Contact Arctic Office Products today to speak to one of our staff members and get the help you need in choosing the right business printer.