We’ve all been hearing about the paperless office, the paperless schools and the paperless society in recent years, but is it actually here? Is it something we should be aiming for?
As a business owner you might be looking forward to ditching your old printer and never buying one – or the inkjet cartridges to feed it – ever again. Hang on a minute, though. Just because you’re comfortable with creating and storing your vital documents online doesn’t mean everyone is. You will have some clients who like to keep digital and hard copies of their paperwork, or you may have older clients who simply aren’t as techy as you are. These guys want printouts and if they don’t get them, they may leave you for another service provider.
Don’t lose your valued clients.
The proportion of clients who insist on printouts might be small, but it’s probably a significant minority; if you can help to keep them on board simply by having a printing facility, why ever not? There are countless business-standard printers from brands such as Brother available out there, with some costing less than £100. All you need to do is to keep a good range of Brother ink cartridges in the stock cupboard and you’ll always be ready to go.
Which type of printer is right for your enterprise?
You might want to look at multi-function printers. These types of machines can send faxes, perform scans and even photocopy – if these are tasks your staff members do regularly, a multi-function printer is ideal and will actually save you space and money. They’re more expensive than single-function printers, obviously, but cheaper than buying a scanner, fax machine and photocopier.
You also need to think about the volume and types of printing your company does. Is it mainly documents? If so, then a sturdy, business-grade black and white printer is your ideal choice, especially if you don’t want to spend too much money on it. If you print in colour a lot, then obviously a colour model is the one you need. If it’s equally divided between colour and black and white you might want a single-cartridge system to give you the best of both worlds.
Inkjet or laser?
Once you’ve decided on function, you need to make a choice between inkjet or laser printer. Inkjets are cheaper than laser in the main and the technology behind inkjet has improved quite a bit over the last few years to give clear and sharp documents. Of course you need to keep the machine well-stocked with cartridges, but that’s just part of running a business.
With laser printers, there’s a slight rise in quality of image and colour over inkjet, but there’s also a significant rise in cost, and laser-printer photographs aren’t as realistic as inkjet-printed photos. Added to this is that fact that inkjet is improving all the time and may end up being as good as laser soon for colour documents and images.